Upskilling and Reskilling no Longer Optional
At Alison, we know that our 20 million Learners worldwide are committed to empowering themselves by expanding their skillsets and developing their talents. Our endless stream of graduate testimonials is evidence of that. However, we wanted to find out if businesses are as committed to upskilling their workforces as their employees are to developing their skills.
As the WEF report outlined, retraining is increasingly essential for workers to effectively carry out their jobs. This means that staff retraining is becoming increasingly essential for businesses to continue to function. Employees who are taking Alison's online courses to better carry out their tasks as their job descriptions change are clearly doing their companies a huge service. What's also clear is that, if they've turned to Alison to provide them with quality training, then their employers obviously aren't providing them with the training they need in-house.
Are Employers on Board?
We surveyed our Learners to find out more about their experience of upskilling at work, in light of the changing landscape outlined by the WEF. We wanted to know if companies are providing their staff with training and study time at work, given that this necessary learning is ultimately for the company's benefit?
Unsurprisingly, given the findings of the WEF report, almost 40% of Learners were studying with Alison to gain skills that they would then apply at work. However, it came as a shock to learn that only 2% of respondents were studying because their employer required it. It's clear that there's an enormous gap between employees who know they need to upskill to do their job efficiently and employers who are still in the dark about the changing nature of the workplace. One respondent answered that their motivation for studying was to "upskill to prepare for all the reoccurring changes in the organization I am working for."
Further evidence of the difference in mindset between employees and employers was the fact. At the same time, 80% of respondents study during the working week (Monday to Friday), only 26% of Learners were actually studying at work. Of the Learners studying during the working week, only 8% say their employers give them time to study, while almost the same number (7%) are studying at work without their employer knowing. One Learner wrote that they use their free time at work to study, including their lunch hour, breaks and that they even find time to study before work by arriving early.
It's clear that employees are studying to be able to perform the work required of them. However, the overwhelming majority are expected to do this training on their own time, even though it's in the company's interest. Furthermore, because businesses are not facilitating workplace learning, 77% of respondents say that their study schedule changes weekly. This irregularity has a negative impact on knowledge retention and the quality of learning, but it's inevitable if employers refuse to formalise job training and instead expect employees to fit it into their own schedules.
Besides trying to strike a healthy work-life balance, studying outside of work is not an option for many employees. Some have young children at home who make studying impossible, while others lack access to a computer. Access to the internet is another major concern for many employees. One Learner wrote that “sometimes at weekends, I haven't got any budget for internet [to] hotspot [my] laptop. So I have to study at work during lunch hours.”
Of the respondents who didn't have access to study facilities during the weekends, 63% were full-time employees. These are employees who, unless their employers provide them with the necessary training, might soon find themselves under-qualified to perform the work they need to earn a living and which the company needs them to do to keep functioning.
Our survey revealed that employers are currently failing their employees by not embracing at-work learning. While the results made for sober reading, we're also encouraged because we know that, at Alison, we have the infrastructure needed to address this problem.
Free Skills Development with Alison Group Learning
We're already helping to upskill staffs around the world by working with various businesses through our corporate services. Our Group Learning feature offers businesses a valuable framework for at-work learning. Group Learning means that businesses can offer their employees ad-free Alison courses and discounted certification. Crucially, Group Learning allows companies to track staff’s learning progress by seeing what courses they're taking and what grades they're achieving.
Using Alison for at-work learning, businesses can guarantee that their staff and workforce are always up to speed with the knowledge and skills needed to carry out their work to the highest standards. Besides this obvious benefit, businesses that invest in employee training and development also maintain higher staff retention rates and workplace satisfaction than those that don't.
If you're an Alison Learner and would like your workplace to introduce at-work learning, why not introduce your employer to Alison's Business services? From API connections to bulk certificate purchases, Alison has everything your business needs to successfully keep your workforce fully skilled in the latest advances in your field.