Research: Workforce training is worth the investment, increasing productivity and job satisfaction

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  • Provided by TechRepublic Premium
  • Published July 25, 2021
  • Topic TechRepublic Premium
  • Format PDF

In addition to the COVID pandemic, analytics, automation, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, and other tech trends are changing business needs more rapidly than in recent years. It’s also causing companies and workers alike to grapple with a growing skills gap that must be closed. Should companies offer employees retraining, upskilling or other educational and development opportunities to help close the skills gap?

TechRepublic Premium conducted an online survey to find out. The survey explored the different ways technology helps business leaders build their future workforce and how to keep employees’ skills up to date.

The survey asked the following questions:

  • How important is it for employees to be given an opportunity for retraining, upskilling or additional educational opportunities?
  • Why do you believe this is important?
  • Why don't you believe this is important?
  • Has the coronavirus pandemic made the need for retraining and upskilling more important at your company?
  • What types of training or skills focus has your company offered?
  • What types of opportunities has your organization provided?
  • How many employees have participated in the upskilling/retraining/additional educational opportunities at your company?
  • Have you implemented any type of feedback/analysis process to determine how employees benefited from these endeavors?
  • How did employees describe their experience?
  • Do you have any plans to improve the process where needed?
  • How much has your organization invested in these programs?
  • How much do you plan to budget for these programs when they begin?

Survey respondents shared retraining and upskilling options offered by their organizations as well as rationale both for and against such programs. The majority of respondents (87%) reported that their companies consider any learning opportunity as either very important or important.

Businesses supported employee development and continuing education for varied reasons ranging from improving expertise and making employees feel valued to increasing employee retention and boosting productivity.

However, one-tenth of respondents don’t consider such initiatives essential for business operations due to it being budget prohibitive, not utilized when offered previously, deferred to employees to manage, or a staff flight risk, thereby wasting time and money invested by the company.

Slightly more than two-thirds of respondents recognized the need for retraining and upskilling following the pandemic. A much smaller number (14%) of respondents said that the pandemic did not enhance a need for retraining or upskilling employees, and 20% were unsure.

According to respondents, the most popular training or skills initiatives focused on leadership (47%), cloud services (32%), automation (32%), cybersecurity (29%), networking/VPN technologies (29%), and SaaS (25%).

Despite the fact that 100% of respondents described the training as “somewhat successful” or “very successful,” only 37% implemented an official feedback/analysis process to determine how employees benefited from such experiences. Further, 63% of respondents either did not contribute or realize the option existed.

Companies recognized the need to better promote and clarify feedback options. Across the board, 100% of respondents plan to improve their training, overall, reiterating the importance of such initiatives.

To read all of the results from the survey, plus analysis, download: Research: Workforce training is worth the investment, increasing employee productivity and job satisfaction.

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