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Half of companies cannot get work done due to lack of personnel

Training has never been more critical

Half of companies do not have enough personnel to handle all their necessary tasks. These were the findings from a large-scale study carried out by SD Worx. As many as four out of ten European employers indicate they are having trouble attracting employees, nor do they expect this to improve any time soon. Furthermore, a third  also struggle to retain personnel. To compete in the war for talent, companies should provide regular training and educational opportunities in support of their personnel's continuous development.

    The war for talent is nowhere near over, confirms recent research by leading European HR and payroll service provider SD Worx among more than 16,000 employees and nearly 5,000 HR managers in sixteen European countries. More than four out of ten European employers  (43%) say they are having trouble attracting employees. Belgium and the Netherlands have it worst in this respect (56%), followed by France (51%), Germany and Italy (45%). On top of that, a third  of the companies surveyed struggle to retain their existing personnel.

    These and other factors mean that half  (49%) of companies cannot get their necessary work done due to lack of personnel. French companies are experiencing the most difficulties (61%).

      Half of employees understand the value of training opportunities

      One solution is to offer employees training opportunities to support their personal development. More than three-quarters  (77%) of European workers are well aware of what their strongest talents are, and think about this actively. It is striking that 40%  of employees are conscious of training's usefulness in keeping them attractive on the labour market, although this awareness decreases with age, particularly past the age of 55 . Of employees who struggle to find a new job, half are aware that further training could help to ease their search.

        Quarter of managers reluctant to provide training opportunities

        Despite the indisputable importance of education, a quarter  of the companies surveyed indicate experiencing difficulties with training and development. This could help explain why half  the employees did not attend any training courses in the past year. Although not everyone seems to have minded; one-third  of the employees have no desire for training. Young people under 25 are especially uninterested in training opportunities (37%), followed by those aged between 25 and 29 (35%) and 45 to 49 (33%).

        This disinterest is strongest in Denmark (47%) and the United Kingdom (44%). 38%  of all employees surveyed say they don't have the time, while a quarter  of employees claim their managers are actually obstructing their personal development. 

          Half of employees develop skills through digitalisation

          People learn through their work, either with or without guidance. Just over half (51%)  of employees indicate developing new skills by digital means. Employees in Croatia (62%), Italy (61%), Finland (60%), Ireland (57%) and Spain (55%) are the most likely to use e-learning to build new skills in practice. Companies are also well-equipped in this respect: no fewer than seven out of ten organisations have access to the necessary technology to provide digital training. Almost half (47%) of employees in Europe prefer learning together with others (social learning) – slightly more than the 41% who prefer individual training options. There is also a greater preference for learning that is guided by an expert, teacher or coach (54%) over unsupervised learning (34%).

            Lifelong learning is very important, whether solely to update knowledge or also to develop or improve soft skills. Fostering various talents and skills among your personnel doesn't just enhance their ability to keep up with changes, it also benefits your organisation. Training means staff can be deployed in multiple ways, giving companies the flexibility to respond to constant societal and technological changes more easily. By offering personnel training and development opportunities, companies also encourage internal mobility and can make better use of talent. This gives them an advantage in the war for talent.
            Veronik Van Loon, Central Lead, SD Worx Academy