​Key findings of Cegos’ European research: “Transformation, skills and learning”

24th October 2018


Cegos Group has unveiled in June the results of its European survey “Transformation, skills and learning: how to address the future?”. The 2018 survey polled 2,227 employees and 316 HR & Learning Directors, all working in private-sector companies with 50+ employees in five countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Key findings at a glance

Impact of the technological developments on the management of HR

Cegos' 2018 European research: 89% of employees believe that technological developments could change the content of their work

In Europe, employees and HR & Learning Directors share the same lucidity in regard to the impact of technological developments on employment and HR management:

  • 82% of European employees think that, over the next five years, technological developments will impact their current job. Only 29% of them feel left behind by technology.
  • 89% of European HR & Learning Directors believe technological developments will impact the management of HR within their organisation.

If we look at the sort of impacts these changes are having, HR & Learning Directors expect the outcomes to be more creative than destructive – a rather positive outlook that runs counter to general opinion. A total of 90% of European HR & Learning Directors say they are preparing for these changes, a figure that is consistent across companies of all sizes.

Another interesting finding is that training is identified as the main tool to cope with these changes. It is the most popular choice among HR & Learning Directors (79%), followed by job restructuring (55%) and recruitment (42%).

Strategic skills for the future

Cegos' 2018 European research: 24% of European HRD are currently facing a key skills gap

When we ask HR & Learning Directors what behavioural skills the employees in their organisation should master first, they lean towards long-term skills such as flexibility and adaptation (49%), learning to learn (45%), efficient organisation of work (41%).

These findings are especially important as 24% of European HR & Learning Directors say that their organisation is currently facing a key skills gap. This deficit of key skills can be explained mainly by difficulties in developing these skills (45%), but also by difficulties in recruiting people with these skills (44%) and by difficulties in retaining people with these skills (24%).

When it comes to skills development, employees appear to be more open to ATAWAD solutions (“anytime, anywhere, any device”) than their HR & Learning Directors. They prefer face-to-face formats (training, coaching or peer learning), where they can interact with other learners and where classes are designed as times when employees are available to learn. Otherwise, their preference goes to solutions that enable employees to learn when they need to (using online resources, for example).

Professional training: perception and usage

Cegos' 2018 European research: 79% of employees would be willing to take training outside of their work time

95% of European employees are ready to complete some training in order to adapt to the technological changes. Similarly, self-funded training and training outside working hours are ideas that are gaining traction among employees: 53% of European employees would be willing to finance part of the cost of their training (a 13-point increase on 2016), and 79% would be willing to take training outside of their work time (a 14-point increase on 2016).

HR & Learning Directors’ top three priorities for training are as follows:

  • 1. Provide employees with the means to learn at any time, according to their needs
  • 2. Strengthen the link between training policy and company strategy
  • 3. Be able to evaluate training courses’ impact and ROI

One of the major challenges facing HR & Learning Directors today is to engage learners. For employees and HR & Learning Directors alike, the three main drivers for learner engagement are to set the training in a real work situation, to make training content easy to access, and to provide support by a tutor or trainer. In other words, the more directly useful the training is, the easier it is to access and the more personal support the learner receives, the more likely the learner is to be engaged.

PDF copy of Cegos’ 2018 “Transformation, skills and learning” research paper

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