Learners value training over pay – study

by Brett Henebery20 Mar 2017
A new study shows the desperate lengths many employees are willing to go to for increased professional development after 39% said they’d readily take a pay cut for improvements.

In a recent survey by HR service provider ADP, 40% of Canadians said their employer rarely or never provides them with career development support and 39% said they’d take a pay cut at another company if they were given more opportunities to learn and improve.

Among the 39% who would leave and take a pay cut, almost one-quarter (23%) said they would take five per cent less, and more than one in ten (12%) said they would take a 10% salary decrease.

Incredibly, four per cent of survey respondents said they’d accept a pay cut of up to 15% and one per cent said they’d even consider more than that.

“Canadian workers face a troubling growth gap, and their employers are ultimately the ones that will pay the price," says Sooky Lee, GM of HR business process outsourcing at ADP Canada.

"The paradox of a growth gap is that while many employers say they need workers to be increasingly adaptable to new tasks and responsibilities, many workers are saying they lack the development support to deliver on these expectations."

According to the ADP Sentiment Survey, employees were most likely to blame the growth gap on their employees not offering support with 33% saying they couldn’t access initiatives such as skills development programs, technical training, career mapping, or mentoring.

Almost two out of ten (19%) say they haven't asked for this type of support, while 14% feel they aren't senior enough to receive it. Close to one in ten (9%) say their boss doesn't have time to address their needs in this respect.

“This study should be a wake-up call for any employer that cares about employee retention and productivity," warned Lee.

Other findings from the research include:
  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of workers are ready to do professional development but feel their company is selling them short, agreeing or strongly agreeing their company should do better.
  • Over half of workers (53%) agree or strongly agree that professional development would be nice, but they're resigned to the fact that they probably won't get it from their employer.
  • Two in ten (21%) working Canadians show a laid back attitude, and are inclined to agree that professional development support isn't that important and “it's just a job.”

The preceding article was originally published on our sister site HRM Canada.