New York, NY, February 20, 2018 — When it comes to formal workplace training, employed Americans (including adults working both full-time and part-time) are just as likely to have been offered strictly online training (17%) as they are to have been offered classroom-based training (15%), while another three in ten (30%) say that they have received a mix of both online and classroom training from their current employer. However, nearly a third of employed adults surveyed say they don't receive any formal workplace training (31%) – and this is especially true for women (36% vs. 25% of men), the less affluent (36% of those earning less than $50,000 annually vs. 27% earning more), those who do not have children living at home (34% vs. 24% of those with kids), and those currently employed part-time (47% vs. 25% of those working full-time).
• The proportion of employed adults who report they don’t receive any formal workplace training is up one-percentage point compared to last year (31% vs. 30% in 2016). In 2016, women, those earning less than $50,000 annually, and part-time employees also stood out as being more likely to have never received formal training from their current employer.
• Online training is especially common among adults working in professional sales (41% vs. 22% retail sales associates and 8% manufacturing employees). Those most likely to have received strictly classroom training include manufacturing employees (29%), call center employees* (38%), and financial advisors* (29%) – especially in comparison to those working in professional sales (10%) and retail (11%) who say the same.
According to the recent online survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Axonify, employed adults are most likely to emphasize the importance of training that is easy to complete/understand (93%), personalized and relevant (91%), and engaging and fun (90%) when thinking of formal workplace training. Nearly as many say it is important to them that they can access the training information anytime/anywhere they need it to do their job (89%), while another 88% say the same thing about having the opportunity to apply their training on the job in real life.
• For professional sales employees, being offered training that is engaging and fun (97%) is especially important. A sizeable proportion of manufacturing employees (93%) and retail sales associates (92%) also feel the same way about training that is engaging and fun, though not quite to the same extent.
• Logistics* (73%) and bank* (62%) employees are among those least likely to stress the importance of having the ability to access information anytime and anywhere needed to do their job – especially compared to those working in professional sales (96%) or financial advising* (97%).
• Fewer adults working in logistics* also rate having the opportunity to apply their training on the job in real life as being important to them (73%) versus at least eight in ten from all other professions who say the same thing.
Being paid to complete the training (as part of regular wages) (86%), having the liberty to pick the training times that work best for their schedule (85%), and receiving regular, frequent training (80%) are also rated as being important by more than eight in ten when thinking about formal workplace training. For just over two thirds, the duration of the training session (3-5 minute vs. 20-minutes or more, 67%) and the option to participate in training on any device, anywhere (67%) are important factors when thinking about formal workplace training, while training that offers rewards or points of some kind (59%) is seen as being important by six in ten.
• Compared to 2016, a significantly greater proportion of employed Americans are emphasizing the importance of being offered training that is easy to understand (93% vs. 90% in 2016), personalized and relevant (91% vs. 85%), and/or engaging and fun (90% vs. 85%), while and the importance placed on receiving regular, frequent training (80% vs. 73%) is also up considerably compared to those who said the same thing last year.
• Though few differences exist across demographics, younger adults (ages 18-34) are especially likely to rate the duration of the training sessions (74% vs. 58% of adults ages 55+), training that offers rewards or points of some kind (69% vs. 46%), and having the option to participate in training on any device, anywhere, including their phone (75% vs. 56%) as being important to them.
• Professional sales employees are among the most likely to rate these items as being important, including greater proportions who rate picking the training times (93%), receiving regular/frequent training (88%), the duration of the session (82%), the option to participate on any device, anywhere (82%), and being offered rewards/points when training (78%) as being very/somewhat important to them. Call center employees* mirror this pattern when it comes to having the choice to pick training times (93%), receiving frequent, regular training (86%), and the option to participate on any device/anywhere (83%), with sizeable proportions reporting that these are important to them when it comes to formal workplace training. Being paid to complete training also stands out as being particularly important for call center employees (98%).
• Those working in manufacturing are also among the most likely to stress the importance of regular, frequent training (87%). However, adults in this profession tend to be much less likely to see short vs. long training session (63%), the option to participate in training on any device, anywhere (62%), and being offered rewards or points of some kind (57%) as being important when it comes to formal workplace training.
When respondents think about their formal workplace training (or lack thereof) as it relates to their level of engagement at work, 46% report feeling extremely engaged - stating that they know what their role is, it’s overall importance and believe their contributions are highly valued by the company. Those working in professional sales are among the most likely to say training makes them feel extremely engaged (55%) – especially compared to those working in retail sales (31%) and manufacturing (33%). Similar proportions (46%) state that such workplace training makes them feel somewhat engaged towards their job – e.g., for the most part they enjoy work but feel that there is more than the company can do to make them feel better connected and valued. In comparison, only 8% associate their workplace training with feelings of disengagement, saying they don't feel connected to the company's business objectives, don't understand how their role is valued and probably won't stick around – and this jumps to 16% among call center employees*.
Effectiveness of Workplace Training
Looking at trainees more specifically, most (57%) see their training as being extremely/very effective in helping them succeed at work, though just over two in five (43%) say the opposite, stating that the workplace training that they have received is somewhat/not very/not at all effective in helping them be successful on the job. Those most likely rate their workplace training as being effective include professional sales (65%) and manufacturing employees (71%), while among retail sales associates, effectiveness ratings drop to 35%.
The majority of those who feel that their workplace training is extremely/very effective in helping them to succeed at work feel this way because they believe the information they learn can be applied in the workplace (59%) and allows them to develop professionally (50%). Two in five believe their formal workplace training is effective in helping them succeed because the information is presented in a digestible, retainable way (43%), while roughly a third say the same thing of being paid to complete the training (36%) and receiving training sessions that are short/manageable (34%), happen often/regularly (32%), and are fun and engaging (32%).
On the other hand, those who think workplace training is not effective are most likely to blame this on training that is boring/not fun or engaging (34%), lack of regular/frequent trainings (29%), and/or being provided with too much information at once (27%). One in five employed adults who say workplace training is not effective in bringing them success on the job admit they forget most of the information within a short period of time (21%), while at least one in ten say they are trained on the wrong content (12%), don’t have the time to participate in the training (9%), and/or are not being compensated for the training (9%), negatively impacting the effectiveness of the training. Fewer just don’t care to be trained (4%), while 13% bring up some other reason for saying their workplace training is somewhat/not very/not at all effective.
About the Study
These are the findings from an Ipsos poll conducted November 20th – December 4th, 2017, on behalf of Axonify. For the survey, a sample of 1,089 adults over the age of 18 from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online, in English. In order to qualify for the survey, respondents had to be currently employed full-time or part-time. The sample includes 811 adults working full-time and 278 adults working part-time. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of ± 3.4 percentage points for all respondents surveyed.
The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, region, race/ethnicity and income.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of ± 3.5 percentage points for all respondents (see link below for more info on Ipsos online polling “Credibility Intervals”). Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,089, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=4.9).
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