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Survey: Professional Development Is Key to Retaining Talent, But People of Color Report Less Access

NEW YORK, July 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- As talent shortages persist, a new survey reveals that professional development opportunities are one tool for retaining employees. Indeed, 58 percent say they are likely to leave their company without professional development?or continuing education and career training to help develop new skills, stay up to date on current trends, and drive career advancement. This likelihood to leave holds especially true among women, people of color, and Millennials.

But for people of color, there may be a gap in access to these opportunities. Conducted by The Conference Board, the survey reveals that more people of color report a lack of opportunities and resources for professional development than do their White counterparts.

The latest workforce survey from The Conference Board captured the thoughts of more than 1,200 individuals?predominantly professional/office workers?from May 16-31. Respondents weighed in on the importance, access, reasons, and barriers to professional development.

Key findings include:

Development opportunities are key to retaining employees?especially women, people of color, and Millennials.
How likely are you to leave your company for another if you do not receive the development opportunities you believe you need?

"These survey results reveal that, in the midst of a talent shortage, providing and promoting opportunities for career and skills development can be a critical way to attract candidates," said Rebecca Ray, Executive Vice President of Human Capital, The Conference Board. "In order to retain and grow the diversity of thought and experience within your organization, it is critical to ensure that all employees have access to rich professional development opportunities."

Most employees highly value the opportunity to develop work-related skills.
How important is it to you to continuously develop your work-related skills?

Despite the high value placed on professional development opportunities, people of color report a greater lack of access to these opportunities and resources.
What barriers/challenges do you experience in developing your skills?

A lack of time is the greatest barrier to developing skills overall.
What barriers/challenges do you experience in developing your skills?

Are there enough opportunities for development? The C-suite and individual contributors disagree.
What barriers/challenges do you experience in developing your skills?

One in ten worry their skills won't keep up.
How confident are you that you have the skills you need to perform well in your job now? For the next 1-2 years?

Personal growth is the top driver of developing work-related skills.
What are the top reasons why you want to develop your work-related skills?

Many employees take their learning and development into their own hands.
How do you communicate your need to develop skills and capabilities with your current employer?

Employees are learning from free online resources.
What resources do you use most often to develop work-related knowledge and skills? Which are most effective?

Senior-level staff are less likely to use employer-provided resources, and less likely to find them effective.
What resources do you use most often to develop work-related knowledge and skills? Which are most effective?

Employees think leadership, critical thinking, and adaptability will be the most important skills for the future.
Which of the following non-technical, personal skills will be important for your future job opportunities and career success?

"Employees have made clear their desire to keep learning and growing both within and beyond their current roles," said Jennifer Burnett, Principal of Human Capital, The Conference Board. "It is in the best interest of employers to provide all employees across their business with learning and development opportunities related to business priorities and overall personal growth, whether it's ensuring there are appropriate resources for front-line workers or highlighting the importance of empathy for managers in a hybrid world of work. Creating a culture of learning will not only help your employees flourish but will help your company stay ahead of the rapidly changing business environment."

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what's ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org


SOURCE The Conference Board

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