4 Employee Expectations That You Meet

What are your employees’ skills development expectations?

In LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report [1], 94% of employees say they will stay with a company longer if it invests to help them learn. It is a win-win for organizations to invest in a skills development program to equip employees to do their jobs well, and also increase employee confidence that their employer cares about their career development and future.

Employers do not have to guess what employees want, because if they ask, employees will tell them. Here are four employee expectations that each skills development program must meet.

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Employees want to be competitive in the labor market

Employee confidence declines when COVID and automation threaten jobs. A Boston Consulting Group and The Network [2] study found that more than a third of workers worldwide have lost their jobs or had to accept reduced working hours due to business closures or slowdowns due to COVID.

Employees know that the more competitive their skills are, the greater the chance that they will retain jobs, which is why upgrading is so essential. Gallup defines upgrading as training that teaches new skills or upgrades existing skills, while some scholars distinguish between upgrading as upgrading existing skills and retraining as learning new skills.

A Gallup / Amazon study [3] found that nearly two-thirds of workers believe that upgrading by employers is very important in evaluating whether they should stay in their current job or accept a new job offer. The trend is highest among employees earning $ 120K + per year. Young workers (ages 18 to 24) listed upgrading as the third most important benefit when evaluating a new job, with only health insurance and disability benefits considered more important.

Employees want career advancement

Anxiety is high among all workers post-COVID, but especially remote workers are worried that they will fall behind in their careers (CNBC) [4]. The most sought-after employers will be those who provide remote employees with an effective skills development plan with a clear path to career advancement. In addition, employees value mentorship from people who are further in their careers and can share wisdom and experience.

For some employees, career advancement in an area that is in line with their interests and values ​​will mean changing their career focus, so smart employers will enable employees to change their functional roles. Employees who work in positions that suit them best are more likely to remain loyal to an employer.

For employees to judge their employers as fair and inclusive, career building skills must be available to everyone, not just a select few. Leadership training, for example, is valuable to all employees who aspire to become managers, whether now or in the future. Employees may feel “trapped” at their current level if an organization leads leadership training to those who have already ended up in the executive suite.

Employees want training to be personalized and relevant

It frustrates employers when the skills their workers have acquired in school are not in line with the skills needed to be successful at work. Employees also want training to be valuable immediately. This means “one size fits all” learning is less likely to benefit employees than learning that is both practical and tailored to each employee’s individual learning goals.

Because many organizations are understaffed, employees have limited time to participate in learning. Personal learning is faster because it will only focus on what the learner needs to know. Even highly motivated employees have just as many hours in a day, so personalization is one way to make learning useful for employees who have reduced time.

Personalization is increasingly the norm in technology, entertainment and shopping, so learners also expect these qualities in their training programs. Employees are happiest and most productive when their job expectations are clear, the organization aligns training with what they need to learn, and they know what rewards they will earn if they achieve their performance goals.

Employees want training to be accessible and convenient

Employees want collaborative technology to support agile learning (Harvard Business Review) [5]. Some promising learning trends that make training more accessible and convenient are:

Distant – Because so many jobs are now remote, it is important for employers to provide remote learning opportunities. [6]
Asynchronous – Employees can complete learning at the time and place of their choice.
Microlear – The training provides a format where learners can master small amounts of information in a short amount of time. [7]
Gamification – The creators of the skills development program make it fun and playful. [8]

Key takeaways

Employers will enjoy better outcomes from their skills development programs if they align training goals with employee learning goals. They need to provide employees with training that helps them stay competitive and progress in their careers, which is complete, personalized, relevant and also accessible and convenient.

Download the ebook Skills Building Success: Use Intelligent Technology Skills Development Tools to Learn How to Use Modern Technology to Boost Employee Growth.


[1] 2022 Workplace Learning Report: The Transformation of R&D

[2] Concerned about the aftermath of the pandemic, 68% of workers say they would train for a new career

[3] The American Upgrade Study: Empowering Workers for Tomorrow’s Work

[4] Fear of returning to office: Remote workers worried about falling behind in careers

[5] What your future employees want most

[6] How to provide personal training and support for remote workers

[7] What is microleared: a complete guide for beginners

[8] Gamification for learning: strategies and examples

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