When LinkedIn conducted a survey asking 1,000 workers how they felt about their skill sets at work, they found that a surprising number of employees were uncomfortable with their current abilities.
In fact, 78% said they felt they needed new skills in order to maintain or to advance their careers. That’s interesting, we think, as training is often reserved for new employees, team members who need to execute specific tasks or processes, and onboarding for new systems and tech.
But these numbers show that employees want some on-going skills training: They want employee development that enables them to improve basic job skills—like writing, using email, productivity, and communication (to name a few.)
Let’s look at some more of the findings from this study and get a more complete picture of training needs in the modern workplace.
Skills Training: Bridging the Skills Gap
Skills training is not something businesses often focus on, because there are not hard, tangible results produced. They’re more for overall employee development rather than correcting a process that directly impacts the company’s bottom line.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not useful. With the existing skills gap workers are dealing with, weak skills can indirectly impact the success of the business.
For example: Say your customer service department has some very poor communication skills, and they’re making customers angry every time they call in for help resolving an issue. As a result, you lose customers—and these angry clients tell their friends about how poor your service is.
Because of poor communication skills and no corrective training, you’re losing customers and getting a bad wrap around town.
More Stats Indicating the Reality of Weak Skills
The reality of weak skills is proven further still. LinkedIn’s study noted other stats that indicate the skills gap:
-56% of Baby Boomers feel they need new job skills
-30% of employees focus on their perceived weaknesses at work
AOL’s study echoed this—indicating that 40% of all employers are unable to fill positions because of the widening skills gap. Add to this that MetLife noted that 51% of older workers are being forced into early retirement because of their lack of technical skills.
You have to stop and ask yourself, “Am I seeing a trend here?”
We think the answer is a resounding yes. Employees need skills training on an on-going basis so they are continually learning and expanding their abilities to do their jobs well.
Evaluate Your Training Approach
With the knowledge and research you know about the need for skills training, now is the time to reconsider your organization’s approach to training.
Implementing courses that help your team improve their skills is an investment in your business—as people are at the core of your everyday operation. Allow them to grow and improve within their positions, and your business and customers will notice the change.