Research suggests employees are ‘bored’ by workplace learning.

Training engagement.

Research published  by City & Guilds Group has found that UK employees feel bored and disinterested when it comes to workplace learning. The organisation says employees are calling out for “a more engaging, accessible and targeted development experience.”

The study, conducted by City & Guilds Group business Kineo, surveyed 500 employees and 100 employers in the UK – and a further 6000 employees and 1200 employers across 12 other global markets. It found that despite 80 per cent of British employees saying their organisation has taken steps to improve their skillset and overall employability over the past year, in many cases this effort hasn’t hit the mark. Only 13 per cent of employees would rate the L&D opportunities over the past year as very effective and just a fifth (21 per cent) feel very well equipped to do their job to the best possible standard.

UK workers are bored of their current learning provision, with over two thirds (69 per cent) saying training content is not always exciting or engaging – significantly higher than the global average of 59 per cent. Yet this hasn’t driven them to take learning into their own hands: employees in the UK were amongst the least likely to have invested their personal time in training (43 per cent) and to have looked for e-learning solutions or online advice (46 per cent).

Instead, UK employees are calling on their employers to provide a much more curated and tailored approach to training to better equip them with the skills needed for the future. More engaging (37 per cent), personalised (35 per cent) and better quality (29 per cent) content – as well as shorter, micro-style learning (23 per cent) – are cited as the most effective methods, and those they would like to see more of, when it comes to developing new skills and abilities.

“The nature of work is evolving rapidly and consequently learning and development has never been more important,” says John Yates, group director – corporate learning at City & Guilds Group. “While employers are making concerted efforts to upskill their workforce for the future, it’s concerning that current training may not be hitting the mark. Our findings clearly show that employees in the UK are crying out for new ways to learn and train, that truly cater to their individual interests and career paths.”

Whilst employers in the UK are fairly confident they have the budgets (81 per cent) and resource (82 per cent) to invest in staff training, the research highlights they need to make it far more accessible. A worrying 80 per cent of UK employees cite some sort of trouble accessing L&D activity in their workplace, with lack of time being the most significant barrier (24 per cent).

John Yates continued: “Even if budgets and strategy for learning and development are in place, businesses won’t see a real return on investment until training and learning are fully accessible to all. Employers need to deliver training in a way that makes it easier for employees to learn on their own terms, fitting around their schedules by harnessing technologies that enable a ‘Netflix’-style experience of L&D. Only by listening to the expectations of their workforce, and taking inspiration from global counterparts to develop an approach to learning and development that is both accessible and inspiring, can employers prevent this significant investment from going to waste.”

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