CGS Survey Shows That L&D Is In High Demand Across Industries

Employees want frequent and diverse training options, but employers are slow to implement

NEW YORK, March 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CGS, a global provider of business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services, today announced the findings from its 2019 Employee Workplace Trends Learning & Development Report. The results showed that regardless of age, most U.S. employees are looking to enhance their skills through learning and development (L&D) when considering new job opportunities. With PwC reporting that 74 percent of employees are ready to learn new skills to remain employable in the future, companies must prioritize L&D initiatives for their current and future workforce. According to the CGS study, employees are also interested in having both technical and leadership trainings more readily available in the workplace.

CGS surveyed more than 600 U.S. employees (ages 18-65+), who work in the retail, hospitality, banking and telecommunications industries, on how current training and development offerings affect their career and growth trajectory. New policies and procedures are being rolled out by companies on a weekly basis; however, many employees have found that training is not as frequent, and many current learning programs are not engaging.

Key findings from the survey include:

Leadership skills are gaining momentum, but technical skills remain a major concern

With a tightening labor market and skills gap in highly technical roles, companies are not fully acknowledging the need for new and increased skills across all industries. CGS found that at least 50 percent of employees in the retail, telecommunications and hospitality industries are concerned about their current level of technical skill, and nearly 40 percent of telecommunications employees state that they need to independently learn new technical skills because this type of training is not available. Further, across all industries, an average of 27 percent of employees feel that they are on their own.

Companies need to narrow the technical skills gap to retain employees. A recent LinkedIn survey shows that 57 percent of executives say soft skills are more important than technical skills, however, if employees don’t understand the technical skills crucial to their job positions, productivity and engagement may suffer.

Employers must prioritize L&D to stay competitive

Other than salary, training and development is a key consideration to taking on a new job, with 29 percent of respondents saying it is the most important attribute and benefit when contemplating a new position. In the retail industry, training and development is equal to salary in terms of importance, indicating the rising employee demand for up-to-date learning in the workplace.

While the average employee attrition rate in the U.S. sits at around 15 percent, the average turnover rate in the retail industry is slightly above 60 percent, according to the National Retail Federation. In industries such as retail where retention rates are low, the need for L&D becomes even more crucial. The CGS study found that 40 percent of retail employees regard training and development to be equal to salary in terms of importance.

New policies may be rolled out weekly, but learning is slow to catch up

Regardless of industry, at least one-quarter of employees feel they are seeing new policies and procedures rolled out to them weekly. Additionally, almost half of employees (an average of 48.5 percent) say that they see new policies and procedures on a monthly basis. However, while these new policies and procedures may be implemented weekly or monthly, the Annual Enterprise Learning Trends Report, a recent study conducted by CGS surveying L&D leaders, said that training programs are typically rolled out less frequently – on a quarterly or annual basis. Employees are struggling to keep up with new policies and procedures while also juggling their current responsibilities; thereby needing support from leadership to effectively do their jobs.

Employers and employees are not aligned on training format

While 37 percent of all employees find instructor-led training to be the most engaging, the CGS Annual Enterprise Learning Trends Report found that only 13 percent of these leaders plan to increase investment in that format. Juxtaposing this preference, 22 percent of L&D leaders plan to reduce instructor-led efforts.

“These findings show that now more than ever, a lack of frequent and continuous training initiatives can weaken the knowledge and performance of an organization, and businesses must be aligned with employees needs as retention and turnover can seriously hurt the bottom line,” said Doug Stephen, senior vice president, Learning division, CGS. “At CGS, we have a dedicated, agile team of program managers, designers and trainers that are client-focused, ensuring the best blended learning programs to fit our customers’ needs to deliver results.”

To download the full findings, see the infographic here.

To download each individual industry report, click here.

To download the CGS Annual Enterprise Learning Trends Report, click here.

CGS's Enterprise Learning Group serves as a trusted partner to many of the world’s most dynamic companies, delivering innovative, custom learning solutions that are essential to scaling their people, processes and performance. CGS’s custom professional development solutions range from interactive game-based eLearning to transformational technology rollouts. Each solution is designed to keep clients’ employee-related business fundamentals strong in today’s ever-changing corporate environment.


2019 Employee Workplace Trends Learning & Development Report: In November 2018, CGS surveyed over 600 U.S. employees (ages 18-65+), who work in the retail, hospitality, banking and telecommunications industries, on how current training and development offerings impact their career and growth trajectory.

Annual Enterprise Learning Trends Report: CGS surveyed over 200 L&D professionals and 1,000 employees to learn what the biggest challenges are, where businesses are focusing learning resources, how spending is changing and what employees really want.

About CGS

For 35 years, CGS has enabled global enterprises, regional companies and government agencies to drive breakthrough performance through business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services. CGS is wholly focused on creating comprehensive solutions that meet clients’ complex, multi-dimensional needs and support clients’ most fundamental business activities. Headquartered in New York City, CGS has offices across North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter at @CGSinc and @LearningCGS and on Facebook.

Media Contacts:

Susan Sweeney, CGS

Kate Connors (for CGS)