Last updated: 16.09.14

New skills preferred to promotion, survey suggests

Given the choice between a promotion or learning new skills, employees are overwhelmingly in favour of the latter, suggests new research from recruitment company Kelly Services.

The results of the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) reveal that 68 per cent of the workforce would prefer to acquire news skills, rather than advancing to a higher level within the company they work for.

Perhaps the most startling responses were in regard to a pay rise, with 59 per cent cent of respondents stating they would prefer to learn new skills rather than receive an increase in their salary.

According to the findings, more than two-thirds of employees haven’t had a career development discussion with their boss in the last 12 months, leading 42 per cent to feel they do not have a clear path of progression available to them.

The results of the KGWI indicate that businesses are failing to meet the employee demands for skills, with a third of respondents confessing they are dissatisfied with the career development resources provided by their current employers.

More than 34 per cent of employees feel they have no opportunities for growth or advancement, leading 31 per cent to take matters into their own hands by paying for training themselves and 67 per cent to search for a new job.

Breaking the responses down into specific industries, it appears those working in the food and beverage sector are the most discontented, with 52 per cent of respondents admitting they were unhappy. Employees working in the oil and gas industry came in second, with 48 per cent citing dissatisfaction.

Helen Palmer, EMEA regional learning and development manager at Kelly Services, said: “Businesses must ensure that in order to encourage retention, they engage their employees, offering the skills, training and support they need in order to help them progress their careers in the long term.

“Yet this is clearly not happening in many UK businesses; employees are eager to learn new skills but aren’t always being given the opportunity to do so and as a result, many are looking for jobs elsewhere.”

E-learning is one of several ways businesses can ensure staff receive the training and skills they so clearly desire. Virtual College has developed the Business Series, which is a programme of courses that can help firms ensure their workforce receives continuous development.