Quality Workplace Training Leads to Improved Engagement and Job Positivity, But Opportunities and Effectiveness Vary Considerably

Quality Workplace Training Leads to Improved Engagement and Job Positivity, But Opportunities and Effectiveness Vary Considerably

The author(s)

  • Negar Ballard Senior Account Manager, US, Public Affairs
  • Emily Chen Research Analyst, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, August 22, 2019 - 

Training Availability and Methods

One in three employees do not receive any formal workplace training (30%) according to the recent survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Axonify. Part-time employees (36%) are significantly more likely than full-time employees (29%) to not receive formal training. Also, over a third of professional sales (35%) and manufacturing/logistics (34%) employees do not receive formal training.

The most common type of formal workplace training offered by employers is a mix of online and classroom training (30%), followed by online e-learning or mobile learning (22%), and classroom training (14%).

  • Less than a fourth of part-time employees (23%) say they have received a mix of online and classroom training and just 9% say they have received classroom training, compared to 32% and 16% of full-time employees who say the same, respectively.
  • Retail sales associates are equally split between receiving online e-learning or mobile learning training (31%) and not receiving any at all (31%).
  • Financial advisors (47%) and call center employees (35%) are the most likely to receive a mix of both online and classroom training.

Attitudes Towards Training

Overall, employees believe workplace training is valuable, citing higher engagement, career development, and building of transferrable skills as important outcomes. In particular, most agree that training makes them feel more engaged and happy at work (81%) and helps them prepare for the future (80%).

They also see the value in workplace training to help them build transferrable skills to use outside of work (78%).

Positivity toward increasing the frequency of training is stable across industries, with about four-fifths of total respondents who agree that more frequent training would make them feel more engaged at work (79%). Financial advisors (76%) and call center employees (78%) fall just slightly below this.

  • On the other hand, industries have varying opinions when it comes to whether or not their training helps build transferrable skills they can use outside of work. While nine in ten professional sales employees (89%) are likely to agree with the statement, just 63% of call center employees say the same. Meanwhile, financial advisors (82%), manufacturing/logistics employees (76%), and retail sales associates (75%) occupy the middle of the spectrum.

However, employees also find that their training is mostly focused on current jobs rather than future career development. Whereas most agree that their employer offers them training to develop their career, 41% say their employer focuses on additional skills that aren’t necessarily needed for their current role, but to instead prepare them for a higher position/title.

  • This is particularly low among retail sales associates (33%) and manufacturing/logistics employees (39%).
  • A majority of financial advisors, on the other hand, report that their employer offers additional skill training to prepare them for advanced roles (56%).
  • Full-time and part-time employees also differ by a significant margin; 45% of full-time employees say their employer offers additional training, compared to just 29% of part-time employees who say the same.

Despite the limited number of employees who report being offered future-focused training, the vast majority say the opportunity to complete additional training to develop their skills for the long-term would make their current or future employer more attractive (76%).

  • Sentiments on this diverge significantly across industries: call center employees (81%) and financial advisors (83%) more likely than retail sales associates (75%), manufacturing/logistics employees (73%), and professional sales employees (72%) to say ‘yes’, the opportunity to complete additional training to develop their skills for the future would make their current or future employer more attractive.
  • Similarly, full-time employees are more apt to agree, with 79% who say ‘yes’ compared to just 66% of part-time employees.

Training Effectiveness

Three in five (59%) employees say their workplace training is effective in helping them be successful on the job. These employees primarily define training effectiveness based on whether the learned information helps them personally do their jobs better (63%). A smaller portion believe that formal workplace training should be easy to remember (43%), short and manageable (39%), and fun and engaging (39%). However, the top reasons employees say training is ineffective include not being provided with enough opportunity (29%), having a boring experience (27%), having too much information thrown at them at once (25%), and only having training when they started the job (25%). Very few employees state that they do not want to be trained at all (3%).

  • Professional sales employees (70%) and financial advisors (67%), who are the most likely to say their training has been effective, cite learning information that helps them personally do their job as the top reason (56% for professional sales employees, 75% for financial advisors).
  • Retail sales associates and manufacturing/logistics employees – a majority of whom also say their training has been effective (55% and 54%, respectively) – also reference information that helps them do their jobs as the most important factor.
  • Call center employees are less likely to say training has been effective (47%), citing too much information being thrown at them at once (43%) as the top reason for ineffectiveness.

Important Factors for Training Effectiveness

Most employees say effective workplace training must be easy to complete and understand (91%), personalized and relevant (89%), and allow the ability to access information anytime and anywhere needed to do the job (90%). A vast majority also value training that is engaging and fun (88%), includes the opportunity to apply training on the job in real life (87%), and the choice to pick the training times that work best for their schedules (83%). Also considered important by a majority are short (3-5 minute) vs. long (30-minutes or more) training sessions (75%), the ability to take a few minutes each shift/day to train and then get back to work (72%), and training that offers rewards or points of some kind (66%).

  • Across the board, industries are in agreement that the ability to access information anytime and anywhere needed to do the job, training that is engaging and fun, and training that is easy to complete and understand are of high importance, with slight variation in what rises to the very top. Nine in ten of both retail sales associates (91%) and professional sales employees (90%), however, also value training that is personalized and relevant to them.

About the Study

These are the findings from an Ipsos poll conducted June 10-18, 2019 on behalf of Axonify. For the survey, a sample of 419 employed adults ages 18 and over from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online, in English. The sample includes 334 fulltime employees, 85 part-time employees, 98 professional sales employees, 39 call center employees, 111 retail sales associates, 112, manufacturing/logistics employees, and 59 financial advisors.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ 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 a 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, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability 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 plus or minus 5.5 percentage points for all respondents. 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=419, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-7.0 percentage points).

The poll also has a credibility interval plus or minus 6.1 percentage points for full-time employees, 12.1 for part-time employees, 11.3 for professional sales employees, 17.9 for call center employees, 10.6 for retail sales employees, 10.6 for manufacturing/logistics employees, and 14.5 for financial advisors.

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Negar Ballard
Director, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 312 292-8366
negar.ballard@ipsos.com

The author(s)

  • Negar Ballard Senior Account Manager, US, Public Affairs
  • Emily Chen Research Analyst, US, Public Affairs

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