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Long-time employees are less interested in training and development

21 October 2014

Employers are worried about the willingness of employees to learn new skills. The longer employees work for a company, the less interest there is in training and career path development. This is the outcome of the Raet HR Benchmark 2014-2015 study that TNS Nipo conducted among employees, HR managers, and directors, on behalf of HR cloud supplier, Raet. At the same time, almost a third of the surveyed directors and HR managers are worried about their employees’ ‘willingness to learn new skills’. 

Henk Jan van Commenee, specialist in talent management at Raet: “These are disturbing figures at a time when knowledge becomes obsolete more quickly than ever before, and lifelong learning becomes more important by the day. It is critical for an organisation and its employees to continue investing in personal development, even for individuals who have been employed by the organisation for a long time.”

Talent management: good for organisation and employee

Van Commenee: “Talent management, a strategy for continuously developing the skills and knowledge of employees, is critical in this day and age. Talent management is good for the organisation because it ensures business continuity, attractive employment opportunities, and it keeps existing talent in house. However, it is also good for individual employees.” Van Commenee adds that it is crucial for employees to be resilient in an ever more flexible employment market. “Proper education and development form the key components of resilience.”

Van Commenee states that more attention is needed here, especially because the study shows that 60% of the surveyed employees have not participated in any training during the past twelve months. Furthermore, many employees have little or no idea of what their career path perspectives are with their employer; only 56% have indicated that they have a clear idea of their career path.

Talent management is not effective enough

The responses from directors present a picture that is in line with the responses from employees. Directors indicate that they are not satisfied with the results of existing talent management efforts. 65% have scored these results with a rating of 6 or less. According to the employers, talent management needs to become more effective.

One of the obstacles according to directors is the willingness of employees to learn new things; 28% of the respondents affirm this. Moreover, a large number of directors blame themselves: 57% indicate that they assign too little priority and devote too little time to talent management. Ultimately 41% named the quality of people management as an area for improvement.

More attention for development is necessary

According to Van Commenee, these figures show that more attention is needed for talent and talent development. “Employees who work for the same employer for a long time tend to lose interest in further developing their talents, even though development is a necessity. Employers recognise this too. Technological developments occur at such a fast pace, thus changing the essence of many jobs. Therefore, adapting to these developments is a must.”

Employees in charge

Van Commenee sees it as the employer’s job to enable employees to take charge of their personal development. Employees need this as well. 78% of them want to take charge of their personal development plan. “Have this conversation with your employees and put them in charge.”

To facilitate this, employers need to have better insight into employees’ talents according to Van Commenee. Currently, this is often lacking, according to the study. 36% of the HR managers state that identifying existing talent within the organisation is an area that needs improvement. 41% of them find it difficult to identify the talents that will be needed in the future. Van Commenee: “If you can gain better insight into the talent you already have in house today and the talent you will need tomorrow, the areas for development shall become clearer. Employees will become more involved in the process. Managers will be able to manage development more closely so that employees can get more out of their talents.”

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