In these times of unprecedented economic uncertainty, staff training is likely to be more essential to ongoing business performance than ever. Yet a recent survey conducted by instantprint, an online printing company offering business cards, flyers, and more, has found that almost a third of UK workers have left a position due to a lack of adequate training.

What’s more, over 56% of employees would move on in the future if they felt their development needs were not being met. The organisations that fail to offer workplace training opportunities may underestimate its potential benefits to both business output and staff morale – and will suffer as a result.   

The current provision of workplace training in the UK

Workplace training can take on many different forms depending on business requirements, employee status, and resources. The instantprint survey however found serious shortfalls in certain areas.

31% of new employees don’t receive training as part of their induction, potentially hampering their early performance and job satisfaction. More positively, 79% are offered training on an ongoing basis – but 41% of those looking to secure a professional qualification would not receive financial support from their employer.  

There are vast discrepancies in opportunities by age and location, too. 40% of workers born before 1981 receive no induction training, compared to 26% of those born after. Meanwhile 66% of office workers in the north receive ongoing training, contrasting with 82% in the south.   

What incentives are there for businesses to invest in training?

instantprint CEO James Kinsella says of the findings: “Workplace training is vital if you want your staff to stick with you and be performing at their best. This survey has revealed a serious shortfall between the training employees expect and what they’re currently getting in workplace training offers across the UK.”

The majority of companies cite budget constraints as their main barrier to training provision. Yet over time investment in training can in fact benefit their bottom line through increased staff retention and higher quality business output. A motivated and skilled workforce will ultimately be the driving factor in any organisation’s success.

What employees want

Of those surveyed, only 59% of employees said they were satisfied with the training they receive. Their responses revealed a desire to learn and improve, as well as the types of training they desired most.

The most popular reason for wanting workplace training is personal development, suggesting that personalised plans are more effective than one-size-fits-all solutions. Creating individual plans to build on and review regularly can also more accurately highlight where and how a business should invest its training budget.

Next up is mandate training, which is the topics a business is legally required to provide training on such as GDPR and health and safety. Employees take these sessions as a given, and rightly so.        

The different styles of training delivery

Despite doubts over the concept of ‘learning styles’, some methods of workplace training remain far more popular than others. Coming out on top in terms of employee preference is on-the-job training, followed by coach-led and e-learning.

On the job and coaching programmes can be set up in house without external teachers, while e-learning resources often come free and use minimal up resources.

Given the potential ease of implementing workplace training then, do businesses have any excuse not to as we move into a new era?