News story

Global workforce reveals learning and development not meeting their needs

GlobalLearning NewsKineo

79% of employees would like to see a bigger focus on L&D at work; 85% currently struggle to access training in their workplace; only 16% of employees find learning offered in their workplace very effective.

New research published today by City & Guilds Group, the leading global skills organisation, reveals that while employees around the world have a strong appetite for learning, they are inhibited by a lack of accessible, appropriate and engaging training opportunities. 

The study, conducted by City & Guilds Group business Kineo, which surveyed 6500 employees and 1300 employers across 13 markets – found that 79% of employees would like to see a bigger focus on training and people development in their workplace. With many failing to see a positive impact of learning and development (L&D) on either their career progression (39%), performance at work (29%) or understanding of their organisation and sector (32%), it is clear current programmes aren’t quite hitting the mark.

The research shows that access to training is a major obstacle, with 85% of employees saying they have experienced problems accessing L&D activity in their workplace. Respondents cited not having enough time to get into training as a significant barrier, along with technical issues and design flaws.

For 59% of employees the current training content they receive is not always considered exciting or engaging, making it clear that content and delivery methods need a global overhaul. According to the study, employees are calling for a more curated and bespoke approach to training: listing more personalised (38%) and bitesize (26%) content – as well as a better blend of on- and offline training (26%) – as key to more effectively equipping them with the skills for the future.

John Yates, Group Director – Corporate Learning at City & Guilds Group comments:

“The ways in which the global workforce lives, learns and communicates are rapidly evolving through technological transformation, and L&D activity needs to keep pace. Employers will be particularly worried by the level of disengagement, and the fact that only 16% of the employees that we spoke to globally agree that the training provided by their company over the past year was very effective.”

As a consequence of falling engagement with L&D, the research goes on to show that employees are taking training into their own hands. Two-thirds (66%) of employees surveyed had instead invested their personal time in learning, education or training activity, and 59% had sought online advice, guidance or e-learning solutions. Employees across the world are also calling for more self-direction over their L&D experience; 71% would prefer to choose when and where they undertake training and 68%agree they would pick up skills faster if they had more direct control over the pace of workplace learning.

John Yates continues: “Even if budgets and strategy for learning and development are in place, businesses won’t see a real return on investment until the training they provide is fully accessible to all. Employers need to understand that individuals have their own learning preferences and motivations – and training must be tailored to these needs. Only by letting employees learn on their own terms, fitted around their schedules, will organisations enable them to train in a way that is in sync with the needs of the business. A more personalised and ‘blended’ learning approach, delivered at the point of need, is critical to that success, if employers want to build an engaged and skilled workforce that’s fit for the future – and crucially prevent significant L&D investment from going to waste.”

An organisation doing it right

Leading skin care brand Dermalogica places professional education at the heart of its organisation. Committed to helping skin therapists and employees achieve their professional goals, Dermalogica has over 90 Training Centres and around 1000 Partnership Colleges worldwide.

Candice Gardner, Education Manager – Digital and Content at Dermalogica commented: “There is a constant battle between being broad enough to reach as many people as possible with education, and yet making sure learning is personalised enough to be effective. You aren’t going to get it right every time, but successful educational experiences come down to nailing the human connection – authentic trainers delivering content that has real personal relevance or worth to the individual. We believe learning must be accessible and trackable so people can see where the value is and how it will impact personal, professional and business growth. By keeping learning focused and responsive to the needs and goals of individuals, we are able to keep people engaged for the long haul.”

A learner from Dermalogica added: “What’s kept me motivated is knowing that it’s personal. Of course, you know that you are helping the business by developing the skills to deliver specific treatments, but when you feel like it’s an investment for you, that’s what makes you want to keep learning. We all have bigger goals.”


Notes to editors

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About the research

Kineo, City & Guilds Group surveyed a global sample of 6532 employees in companies of 10 or more people and 1304 employers in companies with 25 or more employees across 13 markets. The research was conducted by Vitreous World on behalf of City & Guilds Group in April 2019.

Markets surveyed: UK, France, Sweden, Kenya, South Africa, UAE, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Argentina

About Kineo

Kineo is best known for digital content development, rapid elearning, workforce management systems and open source technology innovation. Kineo utilises its global teams of industry-leading instructional designers, innovative elearning technology developers, and agency-level creatives to design and produce solutions that precisely meet the needs and objectives of its clients. Kineo is part of the City & Guilds Group, which is one of the world’s largest learning and skills businesses, and together we work with employers, education providers, and governments in over 100 countries around the globe to help people, markets and economies grow by shaping skills systems and supporting skills development. To learn more, go to @kineo.