More UK employers are maintaining training budgets or even increasing them despite the tough economic climate, according to a recent survey by the Institute of Directors’ (IoD).
Contrary to the perception of employee training cutbacks, the new survey of nearly 1,000 business leaders revealed that 80% of directors have actually maintained or increased training over the past 6 months to help position their organisations well for the upturn.
Interestingly, although overall investment in training had increased, the survey identified that many organisations were reassessing the type of training offered. For example, organisations were placing more emphasis on short training courses to meet essential business needs rather than longer-term ‘investment’ training (e.g. degrees and professional qualifications).
The survey also presented some interesting findings about the changes in the delivery of training, with more organisations opting for in-house training, using experienced staff to train others, sharing training with other companies or using online training courses.
Other key points from the survey were:
- Respondents believed training can improve employee morale (76%), boost productivity (74%), enhance customer satisfaction (69%), aid staff retention (62%), increase market share (37%) and improve recruitment (21%)
- 88% of directors reported that their organisations were planning to maintain (56%), or to increase (32%), training investment over the next six month
- Only 12% were planning to reduce training spend
- Only 14% of organisations had used the government’s flagship Train to Gain programme and 32% had never heard of it.
The research then clearly shows that employers are placing a high value on training staff whatever the economic situation.
Why? For many organisations, training in new skills will help put them in a much better position to grow when the recession is over.
Furthermore, training will also help organisations motivate staff and reinforce their sense of well-being, which is ultimately linked to productivity and business performance – essential in tough economic times.
For more tips on managing talent in hard times, you can read our blog post here which gives some great ideas for free/low cost alternatives to expensive training courses.