Workers favour employers who offer continuous learning and development

As the UK navigates the post-pandemic economy with rising inflation and prepares to endure a macro-economic downturn, many organisations are desperate to keep hold of their staff as talent shortages grow in many sectors and hiring freezes are implemented. With many businesses in survival mode and unable to increase pay to match the rising cost of living, a new survey finds that investing in L&D could be one of the best ways to engage employees during this time and crucially, generate positive ROI for businesses.

As a new independent Docebo survey reveals today, more than 8 in 10 (83%) UK employees would be more likely to choose to work for an employer that prioritises continuous learning and development opportunities. Furthermore, two-thirds (66%) said that they would consider changing jobs within 12 months if their current employer cut (or did not offer) learning opportunities or training to help with their career development.

Overall, when asked for the top three reasons why they would quit a job or have quit a job in the past, UK workers cited not being paid enough (75%), poor management (49%), and the under-resourcing of teams (34%) as the top factors. Whilst pay is paramount, managers lacking the right skill set to lead and talent shortages leading to under-staffing are putting pressure on teams and sparking further employee churn.

Elsewhere, almost a third (30%) of UK employees cited ‘poor culture’ as a reason they would or had quit and over a quarter (28%) cited ‘limited opportunities to climb the career ladder’. Implementing a culture of continuous learning and investing in staff development could be a significant way to reduce staff turnover when increasing pay is not an option.

Although scoring highly across all age groups, millennials appear to care the most about choosing the right employer with L&D in mind, with 8 in 10 (83%) saying they would be more likely to choose an employer that prioritised continuous learning and development opportunities, compared to 79% of Gen Z. Interestingly, the less experienced an employee is, the more they would feel compelled to quit their job if their employer cut L&D. Two-thirds of Gen Z (66%) and 65% of millennial respondents said they would consider quitting, compared to only 55% of baby boomer employees.

“What we’re seeing here is a clear trend that shows how important learning and development opportunities are to staff across the UK and how much career development is a non-negotiable when it comes to staying with an employer,” said Mike Byrne, Vice President of Sales EMEA at Docebo, a leading artificial intelligence (AI)-powered learning suite provider. “During a time when business survival depends on retaining the right number of staff with the correct skill sets but inflationary pressures are making it impossible to increase wages to keep up with the cost of living, organisations must look at other options to keep staff satisfaction – and headcounts – up.”

Byrne continued: “Rather than cutting L&D budgets and risk a staff exodus, business leaders must consider the clear return on investment that upskilling and training programmes can provide. Whether it’s attracting the best new staff, improving the skills of managers, upgrading workplace culture by encouraging continuous learning or developing each individual to reach their career goals within your organisation, L&D has a tangible impact on retention rates and therefore, your business’ bottom line, at a time when success is most needed.”