Under-employed staff feel increasingly trapped with sporadic training

Workers increasingly feel under-employed and less likely to fulfil their career goals at their current employer.

Significant numbers of UK employees are also missing out on training and the chance to progress their career.

The results came from the latest CIPD/Halogen Employee Outlook survey which revealed that learning in the flow of work is becoming increasingly commonplace in UK workforces.

The survey of over 2,000 employees found that one in three (33%) employees felt over-qualified for their role, up from 29% in the autumn.

Similarly, the number of employees saying they were unlikely to fulfil their career aspirations in their current organisation also rose noticeably in the same period, up to 36% compared from 32%.

Employees were equally pessimistic with their opportunities to learn and grow with 30% saying their current workplace failed to provide them with that chance.

And a quarter (27%) added that they were dissatisfied with the opportunity to develop their skills in their job.

The result may help explain why the Britain at Work survey, published last month, found so many employees said were unhappy with their current employer.

CIPD head of learning and development content Andy Lancaster noted that it was surprising to see so many employees missing out workplace training and lamented that for businesses to move forward, people must move forward too.

“There’s also a clear link between a lack of development support and employees feeling over-qualified in their current role and not able to reach their career goals,” he said.

“It’s not enough to just hire talent, once individuals are in the workplace, they still need ongoing development to achieve their full potential and organisations need to be driving this. Previous research has shown that many organisations have been looking externally for new staff to meet the changing skills needs in-house, particularly as the world of work evolves and different capabilities are needed on a much more frequent basis.

“However, if more attention is given to the development of internal staff, organisations would be able to build skilled and sustainable workforces in the long-term that are able to fulfil future skills needs. Satisfaction with performance support is also likely to improve if more care and attention is given to the development of relevant skills for employees,” he added.

 

Mixed success

According to the report it appears employers are getting some aspects of training right, but have been ignoring other popular types.

The three methods of training rated most useful by employees were training from peers (95%), coaching (92%) and on-the-job learning (91%).

Over the last twelve months, employees were most likely to have received on-the-job training (28%), online learning (26%) and learning from peers (20%)

The CIPD said this created a culture of ongoing knowledge-sharing and collaborative working.

However, just 9% of employees said they had actually received coaching over the last 12 months despite its popularity.

A similar fate befell job rotation, secondment and shadowing, which was also highly rated (88% saying it was useful) but yet only 5% had taken part in the last year.

Lancaster said that it was interesting to see a conscious movement towards learning in the flow of work.

However he noted that there were some mismatches between the kinds of learning methods employees wanted and what organisations were actually providing.

This highlighted the importance of listening to employees and understanding what they want to learn and how they want to learn it.

“By putting employees at the heart of the design process, we will empower them, and by measuring what works and what doesn’t, organisations can move with the times and deliver learning that brings considerable business benefits, over and over again,” he added.

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