L&D is a key workplace motivator for today’s workforce. But why are so many enterprises still getting it wrong? New data looks at the demands placed on managers.
What is your biggest regret as a hard-nosed recruitment manager? Sending your best client a candidate who no-showed at the interview? Or maybe it was not buying that second luxury yacht, last year, when you had the chance.
In fact, it would seem that managers are a far more altruistic bunch than that. New research by Gartner has found that recruitment leaders name a shortage of coaching opportunities for their staff as a top regret.
In fact, 70 per cent of executives believe that they should be more engaged with the skills development of staff.
It is probably not a coincidence, then, that the exact same number (70%) say existing staff do not possess core skill requirements for current roles.
That second statistic should cause some concern. It means that hires are frequently being made with the hope of training applicants up to standard. If this is as widespread a practice as the numbers would indicate, then it suggests a greater skills gap than previously identified.
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However, the direct correlation with the first figure also suggests that managers are taking on a high degree of culpability for the situation. Whether that is misplaced or not, it demonstrates sound leadership traits.
Confidence and Time Constraints
In fact, close oversight of L&D may be more significant than perhaps first assumed. According to Gartner data, the current core generation of workers (millennials) require 50 per cent more feedback than previous generations.
It is an indication of the changing nature of the modern workplace. Today’s jobs market is characterised by a shortage of skills, and the emergence of new skill requirements. This creates something of a treadmill effect for employers, with learning and development being of paramount importance. But it also means that staff have grown aware that skills competencies have a shorter shelf life. Provision of learning and development opportunities is therefore a top priority of many employees.
So, why are we falling short of the L&D expectations that today’s job-seekers are looking for? Gartner says that, for 45 per cent of management, it is simply a lack of confidence. Almost half of today’s business leaders doubt their own capacity to foster talents within their workforce.
Limited resources also top the list of concerns and obstacles to skills development. Gartner reports that management level staff spend on average just nine per cent of their working day on direct reporting.
The data emphasises the importance of time and resource management tools. Automated reporting and recruitment software that frees up staff for human interactions will help. A greater understanding of core competencies among existing staff will help set targets and outcomes. And, according to Gartner, a strong understanding of what moves and motivates today’s workforce is invaluable to skills development.