Story Highlights

  • Companies need employees who continually upgrade their skill sets
  • Businesses should provide ongoing learning and development opportunities
  • Most employees feel that they don't have those opportunities at their current companies

Business leaders can prepare their workforces for the future by moving toward a culture of continuous performance development. They can accomplish this by revisiting their performance management practices to more effectively incorporate HR data analytics.

"Agility" has become a buzzword in recent years as leaders have increasingly prioritized the need to adapt quickly to rapidly changing technological developments and emerging business realities.

Amid such constant change, companies need employees to be versatile and to continually upgrade their skill sets.

Well-managed organizations match this need with employees' rising expectations for ongoing career-relevant learning and development (L&D) opportunities.

There is no more important indicator of engagement -- particularly among millennials -- than employees' perceptions that they have opportunities to learn and grow at their company.

German employees are most likely to feel they have enough growth opportunities at their current company -- but even in Germany, only one-third strongly agree. In France, Spain and the UK, no more than one in five employees strongly agrees they have opportunities to learn and grow.

The strikingly low level of agreement among British employees is a particular cause for concern, as many UK businesses already face retention issues created by Brexit-related uncertainty.

Growth opportunities for workers in UK, France, Spain and Germany.

More generally, the idea that many European businesses may not be prepared to help their employees meet the growing need for continuous learning and development is a major long-term concern.

Not only does it imply a lack of adaptability among their workforces, but it also may leave many employees feeling unprepared for technological advances and thus lower the efficiency with which new technologies are rolled out.

Businesses that understand the importance of performance development strategies invest in the future by ensuring high-quality L&D opportunities are available.

Many cast managers as coaches who help employees stay on track with their developmental goals, often incorporating these goals into individualized performance metrics.

In that way, managers are better able to use performance discussions as opportunities to keep employees motivated by aligning evaluation criteria with their developmental goals and a personal sense of purpose.

This article is part of The Real Future of Work series. Learn more:

Gallup