- Workers rank professional development and training opportunities highly among their list of criteria for evaluating prospective employers, but comparatively few say their employers are helping to improve their skills, according to the results of a Jan. 20 online survey by The Harris Poll for the American Staffing Association.
- Slightly more than one-third, 39%, of the 2,042 U.S. employee respondents said their employers were doing so, while 80% said they considered professional development and training offerings to be important when accepting a new job. A majority of respondents across age groups said they considered such opportunities when accepting a new job.
- Additionally, more than one-third of respondents said they were concerned that automation would cost them their jobs. This share of employees affirming this concern was higher among millennials and employees who identified as Hispanic or Latino, ASA said.
The survey's findings present an opportunity for employers given recent research into the talent attraction and retention benefits of a robust training and career development program.
For instance, an October report published by TalentLMS analyzing the job preferences of technology industry employees found 91% of survey respondents wanted more training opportunities from their employers. That came alongside the company's other finding that 75% of employees said their employers placed more focus on attracting new talent than investing in current talent. The problem may be even more acute for younger workers; a joint report this month by nonprofit Jobs for the Future and the Taco Bell Foundation found that only a small contingent of young adults in the U.S. had jobs that offered opportunities for advancement.
It is not necessarily news to employers that such opportunities can build strong employee-employer relationships. More than half of manufacturing employees under the age of 25 in a survey last year by the Manufacturing Institute's Center for Manufacturing Research said they stayed in their jobs because of training and development opportunities.
But sources who previously spoke to HR Dive have noted that such opportunities need to be accompanied by real career paths, including opportunities for advancement internally, as well as forward-looking conversations between workers and their managers. Employers also have expanded the range of subjects employees train on by pursuing strategies like cross-training.