Train to retain: Research reveals risk of not upskilling your employees


Companies are being warned that offering training to employees holds the key to retaining them, according to research.

A study by online printing specialist instantprint found that more than half of people would leave a job if not given the chance to upskill.

It is no empty threat either. The instantprint study shows that nearly one third had quit a job already due to the lack of training opportunities. It is an alarming fact that businesses in the UK cannot afford if they want to recruit and retain the best employees.

The importance of workplace training

One area in which workplace training is considered most important is Human Resources (HR). In a significant hike on the already startling average, 80% of HR professionals admit they’d leave a job that had no development opportunities. Four in 10 had already taken such a decision.

But it is clear there is a shortfall between employee expectations and what employers provide. In 2017, government statistics show that 26% of employees had taken part in training or education over a three-month period. It is a training deficit backed up by instantprint’s survey findings.

The survey found that more than one in five of employers offer no ongoing training at all. Meanwhile, a third of employees said they hadn’t been provided induction training as new starters. It is an issue that is being seen across the UK – but location can be a very real factor.

Indeed, from the instantprint research, it seems that training opportunities are more prevalent in southern England. A significant majority of workers are offered training from employers in the south, which compares with just two-thirds from northern employers.

What can businesses do to enhance their training offer?

No matter the location, however, there is a genuine risk to businesses who do not offer training opportunities to staff. To stop talented people walking away, it is crucial for employers to figure out how to best meet this desire for learning and development.

For many employers, it is not a lack of desire but the failure to understand what employees are looking for. As part of their survey, therefore, instantprint also reveals the most effective forms of training that employers could provide – from mentoring initiatives to eLearning.

Room for improvement?

The most important thing for companies to bear in mind is that there is always room to improve. Training can have a significant impact, as instantprint CEO James Kinsella explains: “Workplace training is vital if you want your staff to stick with you and be performing at their best.

“Our survey has revealed a serious shortfall between the training employees expect and what they’re currently getting in workplace training offers across the UK. All companies should offer induction and ongoing training to staff, to help them settle in and achieve a fulfilling career.”

Leaving it to chance is not an option in a fast-paced, ever-changing world. The need to offer a proper training pathway is not all about employee satisfaction either. It is about equipping any business with the ongoing skills and knowledge to compete and succeed.

It is often employees who prove to be the most important asset to any company. Not investing wisely in this regard can be a real error. As instantprint’s study suggests, it can be all too easy to lose talent as a result. But replacing that talent can often be anything but.