8 out of 10 UK workers rate access to personal development above a salary increase

Learning culture in the workplace.

Employers have been emphasising the value of a ‘learning culture’ in their organisations and encouraging workers to commit to training and development programmes for many years. But now, according to new research, things seem to be changing*,

GoodHabitz 2018 Learning & Development Trend Report into attitudes towards learning among working adults, shows that UK workers from all backgrounds not only want the opportunity to develop, but that they value being given the chance to do so above a salary increase. They also expect to be given time off during working hours to complete training courses and they expect their employer to finance the costs of their learning activities.

Stephen Humphreys, Country Director – UK & Ireland at GoodHabitz said,

Life is a learning adventure and talented people love learning. Given that the UK’s workforce is one of the most highly educated in Europe, it’s not surprising that people place such a premium on being given the chance to develop themselves over money, What’s interesting is the rate at which e-learning is overtaking traditional classroom formats and books, as digital technology continues to transform every aspect of our daily lives.

Key findings of the report include:

Knowledge is valued 20 per cent higher than salary: Having the chance to develop and put one’s talents to good use was among the top 5 things that UK employees value most in life. 80 per cent of working adults want the opportunity to keep on learning and challenging themselves. This was the finding among people of all educational backgrounds, who agreed that learning is very important to them. Among workers who have completed higher education programmes, the figure rose to 87 per cent. Being given an opportunity to learn by their employer (35 per cent) was also rated as more important than having a generous salary (29 per cent) or career prospects (22 per cent) by survey respondents.

One in five workers believe in positive psychology: The opportunity to develop new IT (27 per cent) and management skills (24 per cent) are most highly sought after, closely followed by skills related to positive psychology (16 per cent), such as NLP, mindfulness and stress management. In addition to professional and personal skills development, almost half of UK employees have undertaken some work-related training in the past year (45 per cent of workers), rising to 63 per cent among those who are degree educated.

Over 20 per cent of employees expect to only learn during working hours: Opinion over who should take responsibility for learning was firmly on the side of the employer, with 86 per cent of employees believing that employers should be facilitating the opportunity and investing in their workers. A rising number of people also felt that employers should be giving employees time off during working hours to dedicate to learning and development, with 23 per cent expecting this as standard, a 10 per cent increase on previous years.

Learning habits shift with 60 per cent decline to classroom based study: Although employees expected their employers to support them, both with access to learning courses and time off during the working day to complete training, the majority (59 per cent) prefer the convenience of e-learning to classroom based study (55 per cent of employees). The trend to favour e-learning is set to grow significantly, with just 18 per cent of respondents saying they will be learning from books or in a traditional classroom environment in the future, compared with 50 per cent expecting to use e-learning.

*GoodHabitz’ UK survey was conducted among a statistically significant sample of 826 respondents in the UK, aged between 25-55, who are either working or available for work.

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