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Three in ten employees consider that they have too few opportunities to develop with their employer

Improving morale_ tips on empowering your employee experience

Thirty per cent of employees believe that employers do not provide enough opportunities for employees to continue to develop. Only slightly more than half (53.4%) indicate that they can decide for themselves which training courses they may/can attend. These are the results of research conducted by payroll and HR services provider SD Worx in Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The possibility to continue to develop within the company is the third most important factor in employee engagement. Nevertheless, many employers still do not offer their employees enough opportunities to continue to develop their talents. On average, 29.7 per cent indicate that they are unable to develop sufficiently within the context of their current job.

In Germany (37.9%) and the United Kingdom (34.6%), this is the case for more than one in three employees. In France too, at (31.1%), the figure is (slightly) higher than the average. This is the case for one in four employees (26.3%) in Belgium and fewer than one in five employees (18.6%) in the Netherlands. “Employers often underestimate the importance of offering their employees good prospects in terms of career opportunities within the company," says Cathy Geerts, Chief HR Officer at SD Worx. “No employees wish to have the feeling that they are stuck in a particular job. In order to increase employee engagement, it is crucial to give your employees the opportunity to develop continuously themselves and to undergo further training.

Around half choose their own training courses

The research also revealed that a large proportion of employees have no say in what kind of training courses they may attend. At the European level, an average of 53.4 per cent say that they are involved in making these choices. This means that almost half of them do not feel they are involved in deciding which training courses they may attend. In France (48.5%) and the United Kingdom (49.9%), less than half of employees say they may help shape their own development. In Belgium (53.6%) and Germany (54.1%), the figures were just over half. In the Netherlands, six out of ten employees are allowed to be involved in deciding which training courses they wish to attend.

These figures are, to a large extent, at odds with the efforts that employees wish to make in order to continue to develop. 71.6 per cent are constantly trying to obtain further training and develop specialisations. In all countries, at least two in three employees wish to improve their work and to work more efficiently. Half (49.2%) also look at the possibilities of attending training courses several times a year. “This indicates that most employees are looking for ways to become even better at their jobs. Employers should, therefore, take this into account and offer their employees opportunities to take steps in their development," says Cathy Geerts.

Most companies are committed to it

Fortunately, the majority of companies do so already. Three in four SMEs already have training projects underway for their employees or plan to do so. In medium-sized and large companies with more than 250 employees, nearly 90 per cent are already involved. However, it appears that the employees often still consider this as insufficient or have little input. Many companies can still take steps in this regard.

By letting employees share the skills they acquire internally and externally with each other and by setting a good example as a manager, and creating room for discussion and knowledge sharing, you can introduce a learning culture at the workplace," says Cathy Geerts. “86 per cent of employees think it is important that their manager take on a mentoring role and provides support as regards their personal development. Give them feedback and teach them to give and accept feedback. This will also increase their engagement. A good talent management system can play a supporting role here because it not only brings out a team's skills, but also provides employees with an overview of which areas and with which training courses they can continue to develop.” The majority of European companies do not yet use a talent management system to digitally manage and promote learning projects. This is especially the case with SMEs; only 14.5 per cent appear to have access to this. 28 per cent of medium-sized to large companies have a talent management system.