Lockdown could be a good time for businesses to help teams develop their personal and professional skills—but despite widespread interest in training, many staff feel short of support.

That is the view from surveys by CGA and CPL Learning of the Hospitality Professionals panel—a group of people working in a variety of frontline roles and sectors, set up to provide important ground-level perspectives during the pandemic. One poll found that nearly two thirds (64%) of professionals had actively looked for ways of personal or professional development during Britain’s first lockdown last spring.

However, not all of them have felt well served on training by their employers. More than half (56%) of professionals are generally satisfied with the learning development opportunities they get in their work, but this number dropped ten percentage points to 46% during lockdown.

With so many staff on furlough and with time to spare, it is a great opportunity to explore training—and surveys emphasise that engaging in it can improve staff satisfaction. Businesses that facilitate external training for staff may also benefit from a boost to their reputation. Nearly half (46%) of professionals who had taken external courses during lockdown said it had improved their impression of their employer.

Around half of employees would like access to career progression programmes (53%), skills training (53%) and help with personal development (49%). There is also an urgent need to support employees’ wellbeing after many months of anxiety about the pandemic and job security—but only six in ten professionals feel their wellbeing is being prioritised by their employers.

Despite its clear value, training has not been a major focus for a majority of business leaders. CGA’s recent Business Confidence Survey found that only two in five (39%) leaders had prioritising training and professional development in the second half of 2020.

Training has always been important in keeping teams engaged and motivated, but it’s absolutely crucial at such a stressful time for so many people personally and professionally,” says Chloe Sheerin, consumer research executive at CGA. “All our research shows that good provision leads directly to greater staff satisfaction and better experiences for customers, and any resources that support people’s wellbeing are really valued at the moment.

Online training is better and more accessible than ever before, and teams that put it to good use now will be well placed to return with confidence when venues are able to welcome people back.”

Businesses can access extensive hospitality focused training support from CPL Learning. Mental wellbeing, product knowledge, personal development and hospitality e-learning resources can be found on UKHPathway, a free online training platform from CPL Learning and UKHospitality accessed by over 6,000 users to date. Team members can also access the Aspire channel, a hub of free inspirational and motivational content such as wellbeing webinars, training videos and hospitality focused blogs.



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