A new survey has found that while most organisations are worried about skill shortages, only half of workers believe the learning resources provided by their employers meet their requirements to allow them to upskill within their role in a constantly evolving world of work.
This contrasts with 60% of employers who believe the resources they offer meet the needs of their workers.
This was revealed by workforce solutions and recruitment agency Hays in its Learning Mindset Report 2022, in which the findings of its survey with corporate education content hub Go1 were published.
The survey, which received over 20,000 responses from both employers and professionals across 26 countries, including Malaysia, was conducted to gain an understanding of the learning mindset of both employers and employees.
When asked how frequently their role requires them to learn new skills, 64% of workers said that they either always or frequently need to learn new skills. Only 8% said they either rarely or never had to require new skills.
On the other hand, 42% of workers surveyed said there was not a clear development plan currently in place with their employer that involves specific learning, while 27% stated there was.
As the world of work continues to evolve, Hays said there is a constant need for workers to upskill to ensure their skills remain relevant and make sure their organisations have the necessary skills among their workforces.
Commenting on the survey findings, Hays CEO Alistair Cox noted that the speed at which digital transformation has taken place has not been matched by the supply of talent available for these roles.
“At the same time, what employees look for from their jobs and workplace has changed, and what is expected of employers is no longer the same as it was previously,” he said in a recent statement by Hays Malaysia.
“The need for new skills is not limited to just one sector – it’s an imperative everywhere and for everyone,” he added.
And as automation increasingly takes over the delivery of repetitive tasks, Cox said workers must upskill their capabilities to ensure they can contribute to more specialised roles.
Differing opinions between employers and employees
Hays’ survey also revealed that 83% of workers are highly interested in learning new skills, while only 48% of employers believed their employees were so inclined.
The survey also found out that when it comes to outcomes of learning, there is another difference in perception, as 81% of workers believe they regularly apply their new skills effectively, which compares to only 60% of employers stating this to be the case.
On the other hand, only half (52%) of workers said they received learning resources from their employer and just 42% were satisfied with the learning that is on offer.
This compares to 78% of employers who stated that they provided employees with learning resources.
Go1 co-founder Chris Eigeland said even with the best of intentions, many employers seem at a loss to identify and embed the skills needed for an effective workforce – even those who recognise the importance of upskilling.
“This has resulted in a mismatch between the skills that employers need and the skills that workers actually have,” he said, adding that companies are also weighed down by the challenge of engaging employees in learning and finding learning content that meets the full spectrum of their learners’ needs.
Cox said the results of Hays’ survey show that there is a potential disconnect between employers and employees when it comes to learning and acquiring new skills.
As such, organisations need to ensure that their workers know what learning resources are available to them and ensure that they provide the right level of support in areas of skills development that are needed.
Employers must also ensure they work to identify what skills of the future may be needed and be encouraging towards their workers in acquiring new skills, he said.
“Ultimately, it will help businesses to not only retain the key talent already within their business but to attract new talent as well,” he added.
The silver lining, according to Hays Malaysia regional director Natasha Ishak, is that employees in Malaysia have a strong appetite for learning, even as only 25% said they were satisfied by the learning resources made available by their organisations.
“To nurture and support their employees’ learning, organisations could double down on preferred learning methods such as in-person classroom learning as well as setting clear development plans with employees,” she proposed. – Oct 1, 2022
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