Does anyone care what we think? Understanding employees’ views on L&D
There are numerous surveys asking businesses about their attitudes towards L&D, their spending habits and if they think it’s worth the investment. But what about the employees’ views? It is certainly important to know whether companies are making the effort to invest in their employees by offering necessary training packages. But it is surely also important to ask the people who are supposed to be benefiting from these programmes, whether it is having the desired effect or not. Without this vital information, businesses are potentially wasting time, money and effort providing training solutions to their employees that are having no positive effect on their personal development or the development of the business. By asking a few simple questions, organisations can make sure they are targeting their approaches in the most effective way, making sure that all parties benefit.
Asking the Right Questions
The important thing when conducting any form of employee survey is to make sure you ask the right questions to get the information you need. This will naturally vary depending on your organisation’s individual vision and targets, but we’ve come up with a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
- Do you know about all of the courses available to you?
- Do you know how to book them?
- What is your preferred method of training (e.g. classroom, experiential, e-learning etc.)?
Support to engage with training
- Do you feel encouraged to spend time training/do you feel you have enough time to train?
- Do you have the opportunity for workplace learning (e.g. shadowing)?
- Do you regularly review your training needs with your manager?
- Do you have a dedicated L&D team who manage your training needs?
The value of training
- Do you feel training courses are useful to your development?
- Have you completed any training that has had a direct effect on your job performance/led to promotion?
- Does the L&D offering match up with your expectations when joining the company?
- Does the training you’ve received seem relevant the visions and goals of the company?
Using the Answers
Questions about employees’ views on L&D could be part of a wider employee engagement survey, or a standalone piece of communication, it could even take the form of an employee forum or focus group. But no matter how you ask the questions, you are sure to find out some useful information when you do. If you find out for example that much of your workforce have no idea about the training you provide, or don’t feel they have the time or support to do training, then that tells you a lot about the company culture, and also provides insight into what can be done to improve this.
It’s also not enough to simply do this exercise once and move on. As your workforce evolves so too will their needs and perceptions, which means in order for businesses to remain on the top of their game in L&D, they need to keep their finger on the pulse and regularly monitor how things may be shifting. This is something every business does to ensure they remain commercially competitive, so why wouldn’t you do it to make sure you’re investing in your people?
For some, this may be a case of stating the obvious, while other organisations may not have even considered it. But with countless reports identifying L&D as an important driver for improved productivity, higher employee engagement, and better outcomes for both employee and the business it makes sense to try and fully understand your employees’ experience of the L&D programme you offer and make it the very best it can be, not only for their sake, but for the business too.
If you enjoyed this blog post, the sixth issue of Enhance magazine includes an article on employee surveys and avoiding disengagement.