Companies drastically underestimate L&D, says survey

by John Hilton15 Jan 2016
Learning and development ranks as the third most wanted perk by office workers, according to new research by specialised recruitment company Robert Half.

The results showed that other than extra remuneration, 38% of Australian officer workers would prefer additional annual leave, 32% want more flexible working hours and 16% said more training or professional development opportunities.

This contrasted sharply with what Australian C-Level Executives believe their employees want, with 43% thinking employees prefer more flexible working hours, 33% nominating more annual leave, and just 4% saying more training or professional development opportunities.

The employee support for L&D stems from the fact that there are two major reasons why employees leave organisations, said Andrew Morris, Director at Robert Half.

One is a direct relationship with their manager and the other is the amount of training and development that they have received, he said.

“People definitely have a hunger in any organisation to get more training and development,” Morris told L&D Professional.  

“They want to set themselves up for success moving forward in an organisation, and secondly they want to increase their market value.”  

Morris added that although 16% is a high number in terms of the amount of employees who prioritise L&D, he expected it to be even higher.

“16% is a high percentage from a perspective of what people are looking for and L&D is critical for staff retention,” he said.

“Most employees want training and development, and are looking to progress,” he said.

“This is something that comes up in interviews on a very constant basis.”

Morris added that C-Level executives can get preoccupied with their day-to-day activities and lose focus on what people are looking for, which accounts for the reason that just 4% of this group believe their employees prioritises more training and development opportunities.

“Training costs dollars and time, and sometimes can be put on the backburner,” he said.

Meanwhile, L&D was more popular in Singapore where 20% of employees’ prioritised more training and development opportunities, which was backed up by 12% of C-level executives.

Australia – Perks (other than additional pay) which top employees’ wish list
  Office workers CFOs and finance directors
More holiday / annual leave 38% 33%
More flexible work hours 32% 43%
More training or professional development opportunities  
Home office / telecommuting 11% 14%
Other corporate perks, such as childcare, laundry, ironing services, fitness centre  
Source: Robert Half

Singapore - Perks (other than additional pay) which top employees’ wish list
  Employees C-Level Executives
More holidays and annual leave 36% 18%
More flexible work hours 32% 54%
More training and professional development opportunities 20% 12%
Home office/telecommuting 9% 9%
Perks such as child care, laundry and ironing services, fitness center, etc. 3% 7%
Source: Robert Half