Making a Training Investment in 2014

According to a survey conducted by Accenture, 46 percent of organizations do not believe their employees have the necessary skills to adequately perform their jobs. The implications are serious.  Without trained workers, companies can expect loss of revenue, reduced overall competitiveness, and lower customer satisfaction as well as delayed product and service delivery.

In response, 51 percent of organizations are accelerating training efforts over the next two years while acknowledging that few employees have received company-provided training in the past. While a majority of employers surveyed believe that training is one of the primary ways to develop skills, they also reported that, currently, only 52 percent of their employees receive formal training. In the manufacturing sector, competencies of IT, engineering, and sales are lacking the most. In most other industries, employers stated that leadership, communication, people management, and project management skills are most in demand. 

The Accenture survey asked about training delivery methods and found that 42 percent use mobile delivery, 35 percent use social media, and 27 percent use massive open online courses.

In another survey, Lee Hecht Harrison asked approximately 380 employees about career development. Sixty-five percent said they rarely receive career development opportunities to help them in their jobs.  Only 6 to 10 percent of the respondents said they nearly always or frequently receive training.    

Both surveys noted that the lack of skill development is creating stress among employees, which further impedes employee engagement. As more employers recognize that a skilled workforce is necessary to maintain competitiveness, the focus on identifying skills gaps and developing targeted training programs is critical.