SkillSoft Café, London, 23 June – Over 30% of workers across Europe are doing jobs they are not properly trained to do because of cutbacks, suggests a survey just released by OnePoll and sponsored by SkillSoft, a leading provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions. The survey questioned over 2000 employees across eight countries in Europe, and paints a picture of employees thirsty for knowledge and ready to learn, but with traditional training methods not quite hitting the mark.
Although the survey shows that overall, 82% of employers offer some training, 76% of employees said they could be more effective and productive at work with even more opportunities to learn. Almost half (49%) said that the formal classroom training they had been given was only useful in parts, with an overwhelming majority (87%) preferring to learn at their own pace.
Also, 61% said that the offer of a training or personal development programme would be an important or very important consideration when applying for a new job – a point for HR managers to remember when freezes on recruitment due to the economic situation are lifted.
"With the majority (65%) of respondents either definitely wanting to try e-learning or wanting to try but not knowing enough about it, this survey suggests that employers should be rethinking their training methods," says Kevin Young, SkillSoft general manager EMEA. "There is certainly a desire for training and further learning out there, but with training budgets under pressure this is often going untapped and potential is being wasted. Considering a blend of learning methods, including e-learning, would satisfy the need for more flexible learning and be a cost-effective way to begin to optimise talent."
How do you learn?
The survey also revealed that peer-group communication is still the most important form of learning. Some 70% ask a colleague when they needed advice about a work situation, whereas under half (43%) ask their boss. Worryingly, almost half (46%) are taking between half an hour and two hours, to look up the answer on the internet or in a book, if nobody is available to ask.
A substantial 71% said that the best way to retain recently acquired knowledge was to put it into practice as soon as possible and exactly one half liked to have the opportunity to go back and revisit parts of a lesson that they didn’t understand. This suggests that on-demand and on-the-job learning is the most effective, offering learners flexibility and the security of knowing they can return to a lesson when needed.
Those questioned showed a certain maturity in preferring peace and quiet (58%) to listening to music (a surprisingly low 15%) while trying to learn. One third likes to get up and walk around, but on the subject of snacking, the different nationalities were definitely divided.
Overall, 29% said they liked to eat and drink while learning. The French and the Spanish were less likely (12% and 11% respectively) to munch away at their desks or their computers, whereas a third (33%) of UK respondents thought a snack and a cup of tea helped them to concentrate. As for the Dutch; there’s no question that for them a snack and a drink helps keep the brain cells working with 58% saying that these helped them to learn.
Notes to editors
About the survey
Carried out by OnePoll on behalf of SkillSoft, the survey questioned 2019 employees of businesses of over 50 people across the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland The Netherlands and Belgium. These were equally divided across age ranges, gender and status and covered a complete spectrum of industry sectors from accountancy to tourism. Full details of the survey and results are available on request.
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