32% of workforce does not receive training

call center
Retail employees are not getting the training they want or need. (Image: scyther5 / iStockphoto)

As much as 32% of the U.S. retail workforce does not receive any formal job training. According to the results from Axonify's second annual State of Workplace Training Study, retail's lack of training is higher than any other industry surveyed. 

In addition, almost half, 45%, of retail employees receive training via online or a mix of classroom and online, while only 11% receive classroom only training. And employees are not finding this training effective, as 30% admit that it's boring and does not engage them. 

“As the training industry is producing new and innovative technology to empower employees, it is alarming to see that companies aren’t embracing new approaches to learning as part of their overall strategy,” said Carol Leaman, CEO of Axonify.

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But there is hope, as 92% of those surveyed said that the right kind of training could impact their jobs positively and keep them engaged. Employee engagement is key to doing jobs properly and result in positive quality, productivity and customer satisfaction. 

Leaman stresses that a one-size-fits-all approach to training is no longer necessary and the individualized approach help workers develop individual strengths. 

As many as 80% of respondents say it's important to keep up with frequent training so they don't forget the information, up from 73% in 2016. 

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Leaman says that recent studies show that when training incorporates gamified elements, participation grows. 

Training effectiveness varies by industries and for this study, retail rated it as 35% effective, call center rated it as 63% effective, manufacturing and logistics rated it as 68% effective and professional sales rated it as 66% effective. 

Even across generations, employees seemed to want training anytime, anywhere and to be short with rewards. 

For example, 67% said they think it's important to receive anytime, anywhere training. Millennials specifically felt a bit stronger about this, 75% and Gen Xers, 72%, while Baby Boomers were not as concerned, 56%. 

Millennials were the generation with the most importance placed on short training sessions, 74%, versus Baby Boomers, 58%. 

And when it came to rewards, millennials again led the pack with 69% putting importance on rewards, while only 46% of Baby Boomers.