About 85 percent of employees are unhappy with the quality of L&D in their organization. Source: Shutterstock

About 85 percent of employees are unhappy with the quality of L&D in their organization. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s what employers need to know about upskilling their workforce

WHILE MOST business leaders understand the need to upskill their existing workforce, not all are clear on how to go about doing it.

This is a great challenge when you consider the fact that according to estimates by the McKinsey Global Institute, as many as 375 million workers globally (by the year 2030) will have to master fresh skills as their current jobs evolve alongside the rise of automation and capable machines.

In a recent APAC study by VansonBourne, about 80 percent of employees in the region said that they received some form of learning & development (L&D) support from their employers last year — three times a year on average.

However, most reported being unhappy with the quality of the L&D they were provided.

Only 14 percent rated the L&D support they received as excellent; the remaining 86 percent, of course, felt that there was something lacking in the training provided to them.

Further, it seems as though being provided training three times a year is not seen as positively as one would think. About 85 percent of employes, VansonBoure said, wished they received more L&D from their organization.

The specialist research firm’s findings highlight that organizations in the APAC seem to be keen on providing effective L&D support to their employees to reskill them for the future — but in vain.

Unfortunately, failure is not an option. In a recent McKinsey survey, 75 percent of executives said they believed reskilling would fill at least half of their future talent needs, given the war for talent and hiring difficulties.

To succeed in the increasingly digital world, business leaders need to fix their training mechanisms, platforms, and strategies.

According to the study conducted by VansonBourne, 77 percent of APAC employees surveyed admit they need to learn a new skill in 2019 in order to remain confident in their role.

However, 69 percent of employees are concerned about not receiving the L&D support they need from their organization in order to remain employable and skilled in the future.

Employees favor e-learning and microlearning

In the era of digital transformations, delivering training on average three times a year is old school. Employees, instead, believe their organizations should keep up with times and offer e-learning and microlearning.

VansonBourne’s study found that 54 percent favored e-learning and 42 percent chose microlearning.

While e-learning is simply learning courses delivered over online platforms in text, audio, and video formats, microlearning is a little more complex — they’re usually mixed-format courses spanning up to 10 minutes, delivered online but optimized for use on mobile devices.

According to academic studies and real-world surveys, microlearning is a boon.

Dresden University, for example, says microlearning provides a 22 percent increase in retention of information compared to traditional training, and about 50 percent of employees in a corporate study expressed an inclination to use learning tools provided by their employers provided they were shorter.

No wonder then that employees in today’s busy world seek L&D support in the form of microlearning from their employers.

For employees worried about digital transformation and the lack of skills to support their changing future, better L&D support should be an immediate priority.

After all, VansonBourney’s study points out that only 27 percent of employees feel completely supported by their organization in meeting the changing demands of their role.