NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / November 14, 2022 / Paychex, Inc.
Providing the right advancement opportunities is critical to motivating and retaining employees.
But while investing in learning and development is important in itself, our research shows that it’s even more important for employers to ensure they offer development opportunities that are specifically tailored to their employees.
To understand what employees today are looking for in terms of skill development and career advancement, we conducted an online survey of 606 employees from various organizations across the US
The participants were full-time and part-time employees living in the US, working in small to medium-sized businesses (20-500 employees), and aged between 18 and 75 years. Respondents represent a mix of in-person, fully remote, and hybrid workers, as well as both active (requiring physical movement for much of the day) and sedentary (requiring minimal movement for most of the day) work roles.
More than half of the participants (64%) agreed that they are satisfied with their organization’s career opportunities. At the same time, however, 63% said they would be more likely to stay with their current employer if they had better access to these career development opportunities.
Our research also revealed that there are significant differences in satisfaction levels depending on employee work styles (remote, hybrid, on-site) and industry.
Here are some of the key findings:
- 63% of participants said they would be more likely to stay at their company if they were offered better opportunities for advancement.
- Data analysis, computer, software and marketing skills are the most important hard skills of the employees, which as a whole keep them from career advancement. The top soft skills employees feel are holding them back are time management, digital literacy and leadership skills.
- On-site employees would prefer to have more opportunities for in-person training/tuition from subject matter experts, while remote employees would prefer more access to a range of online courses.
The most important results: The career opportunities that employees want
#1 More than 50% of employees are satisfied with their current career options, yet remote workers are not as satisfied as those who work in person.
Overall, 23% “strongly agreed” and 41% “agreed” that they are satisfied with the training and development opportunities their organization offers for career advancement.
However, those working entirely remotely (14%) are more likely to disagree than those working entirely on-premises (8%) or hybrid (7%).
Also, full-time workers (69%) are more likely to agree that they are satisfied with their opportunities for advancement than part-time workers (57%).
Finally, people in professional and business services (84%) are more/rather likely to agree that they are satisfied with their career development opportunities compared to people in other industries (values range from 44-65%).
#2 Opportunities for advancement play a huge role in employee retention.
63% of employees either “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that they would be more likely to stay at a company if they were offered better learning opportunities to improve their skills and advance their careers.
However, those with hybrid working arrangements (78%) are more likely to agree with the above statement than those working fully on-site (63%) or fully remote (52%).
Full-time workers (71%) are also more likely to agree with the above statement than part-time workers (56%).
Looking at this sentiment across sectors, those working in construction (76%) are more likely to agree with the above statement than those working in leisure and hospitality (42%); education and health services (60%); and retail, trade, transportation and utilities (59%).
#3 The development opportunities desired by employees vary depending on the form of work (remote/on-site, full-time/part-time)
Overall, data analysis (39%), computers (39%), software (37%) and marketing skills (36%) are the hard skills employees believe they lack, which is holding them back from career advancement. When looking at work arrangements, fully remote workers (45%) were more likely to say a lack of marketing skills is holding them back than those who are fully onsite (33%) or hybrid (32%).
Additionally, full-time workers (32%) reported that analytical skills held them back more often than part-time workers (25%).
When it comes to soft skills, time management (43%), digital literacy (39%) and leadership skills (37%) are the #1 soft skills employees believe are holding them back from career advancement.
When looking at work arrangements, those who are fully on-site (46%) were more likely to say their digital literacy is holding them back than those who are fully remote (34%) or hybrid (26%).
#4 Employees value access to learning in different ways.
Overall, the most desirable types of career development opportunities are:
- Opportunities to prepare for a new job or promotion (58%).
- Employer-sponsored certifications in an area the employee wants to develop further (57%).
- In-person training/tuition with subject matter experts (53%).
Remote workers (58%) prefer access to a range of online courses compared to on-site workers (43%).
Conversely, on-site employees (58%) would prefer in-person training/tuition with subject matter experts compared to remote (47%) or hybrid (46%) employees.
Active workers (63%) prefer development opportunities that prepare them for a new job or promotion compared to sedentary workers (51%).
How employers can retain employees by prioritizing professional development
- Conduct employee satisfaction surveys with learning and development to identify gaps between different segments within your organization. Our survey found that perceptions depend most strongly on employees’ work environment (face-to-face, remote, or hybrid), whether they work full-time or part-time, and whether they are active or sedentary. Differences can also be found between industries, where we found that employees in business/professional services are by far the most satisfied with their career development opportunities compared to other industries. The industries reporting the greatest dissatisfaction were financial services, leisure/hospitality and other services.
- Once you understand the needs of different employee segments for providing development opportunities, prioritize those needs and act quickly. It could be the difference between keeping and losing a good team member.
- As workers increasingly choose remote or hybrid work environments, focus on understanding the diverse needs of these workers, the skills they need training on, and how they would like to be trained. Some may desire in-person seminars, while others may desire a self-paced online course. Our research found that remote workers and part-time workers are the most likely to be dissatisfied with their current opportunities.
- Adapt the training opportunities for hard and soft skills to the working conditions of your employees. For example, on-site employees may prefer digital skills training, while remote employees may want to develop marketing skills.
The Power of Paychex
Providing solid training and development opportunities is key to motivating, engaging and retaining your employees. Paychex’s online learning management system offers hundreds of training videos, as well as the ability to customize your own.
Are you looking for other ways to attract and retain qualified employees? Discover the many other HR solutions we offer, including best-in-class benefits and HR technology, that can help you create a more positive employee experience.
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SOURCE: Paychex, Inc.