Most employees view job training and career development as vital, according to a recent poll.
An overwhelming 91 percent of workers said that job training and career development were among their top priorities, according to the poll by Lee Hecht Harrison, a career services and outplacement firm. Six percent called it a “duty.” Just 3 percent said it is a hindrance.
The finding marks a shift in how workers traditionally have viewed learning and development. A common complaint among workers has been that they are too busy for learning, a hassle that takes them away from work, said Kristen Leverone, senior vice president and global development practice leader at Lee Hecht Harrison.
That attitude has changed in recent years, however. The volatile job market has instead refocused workers to think about development as integral to career development and future job prospects. “A lot of people see their careers as one of the best investments they can make,” Leverone said.
While it is possible that support may drop when looking at a larger sample size, the overall trend presents CLOs an opportunity to align employees’ desire for more development on one side with employers’ need for skilled talent on the other.
“If employees feel underutilized and the organization says they don’t have the right skill set for the future, you have this opportunity to figure out who you have in terms of talent and look at the skills sets going forward,” Leverone said.
People Want Careers, Not Jobs
Leverone said a large number of employees are not getting the development they need and want from the companies they work for. At the same time, many organizations have great talent within their ranks but simply don’t know it.
“A lot of organizations are overlooking existing internal talent right now,” Leverone said. “Managers really have to be talking to their people, having career conversations about where they want to go and what are their aspirations.”
Managers play a critical role in career development, but that role is often one of the weak spots in internal development. CLOs can step in to prepare managers to have better career conversations while also providing tools that put information about available roles and development to employees.
“Sometimes we’re over-relying on the manager to handle that piece with the employee,” Leverone said. “We have to figure out how to get the organization more directly involved in employee development.”
Mike Prokopeak is the vice president and editorial director of Chief Learning Officer magazine. He can be reached at mikep@CLOmedia.com.