What do your employees want from a learning programme in summary:

  • Recent research has discovered that employees are asking for more tailored and engaging training, learning and development as part of their roles.
  • Employers should avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach to learning programmes. Delivering relevant, flexible and engaging learning should be the priority for HR teams.
  • In addition, employees want to have recognition for their learning efforts, receive ongoing support and a personalised learning experience.

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, having access to engaging learning programmes shouldn’t just be a perk of a job – they’re a necessity.

Forward-thinking employers are increasingly recognising the importance of investing in learning and development programmes to upskill their workforce. Especially when we consider the dual problems of a chronic skills shortage and shrinking workforce. But, it’s not just employers who see the value in learning – employees also see it as a vital part of positive workplace experiences.

What do Your Employees Want from a Learning Programme? Cezanne HR blog

For example, according to a survey conducted by Gallup, 87% of millennials consider professional development opportunities crucial in a job. This emphasises the growing expectation among the younger workforce for employers to provide opportunities for learning and career growth.

Also, LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report found that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in their career development, showcasing the direct correlation between learning initiatives and employee retention.

However, amidst the abundance of learning options available, it’s essential to understand what resonates with employees. What do they look for in a learning programme? How can organisations tailor their offerings to meet these needs effectively? And how can they make them engaging and even entertaining?

Learning programmes must resonate with employees to be truly successful

Have you ever found yourself sitting through a training session, eyes glazing over as you wonder, “When will this end?” Yup, we’ve been there too.

Boring and uninspiring content or generic training courses are causing the majority of UK workers to disengage with workplace learning programmes. And, given that career development and learning are high on the list of employees wish lists, this presents a huge problem for organisations and their HR teams.

If the learning programmes you offer don’t engage with your workforce, they’ll likely just be seen as a waste of time and effort. In the long term, ineffective learning programmes can ultimately harm retention strategies, and even lead to vital skills and knowledge being lost… and even more difficult to replace.

So, what do employees want from their learning programmes, and how can HR teams ensure they’re effective?


People want learning opportunities that are relevant to their roles, career goals, and the organisation’s objectives – otherwise, they’re simply irrelevant and won’t provide any real value. If you’re going to offer training or learning courses in your business, they should directly relate to your employees’ job responsibilities, or help them advance in their careers further – even if that’s outside your own business.


Employees appreciate learning programmes that offer flexibility in terms of scheduling and delivery methods. If employees must constantly give up their own time to engage in or attend your company’s learning programmes, you’ll probably find that their engagement plummets.

Of course, it’s a fine balancing act to ensure your workforce remains productive whilst also expanding their skillsets. So, think about whether your learning options could include self-paced online courses via an LMS platform, in-person workshops, or blended learning approaches that combine various formats to suit your employees’ work-life balance.


The last thing you want your learning programmes to be are dull snooze fests where participants are struggling to keep their eyes open. Learning programmes must be engaging and interactive to maintain employees’ interest and motivation – this will, in turn, build that meaningful engagement.

Consider how your programmes or activities can incorporate more interactive elements such as gamification, demonstrations and group discussions. These can make the learning experience more enjoyable, effective and memorable.


Employees value support throughout the learning process, including access to useful resources, mentorship, coaching, and feedback. For example, the Cezanne HR software system with its integrated LMS has a comprehensive library of learning resources employees can access anywhere, anytime. Plus, you can also create your own bespoke learning resources to compliment the library of off-the-shelf content.

In addition, having someone they can turn to for guidance and assistance enhances their learning journey. This is where mentoring or a ‘buddy system’ can prove useful and give learners insights from someone they know within the business who can guide and mentor them further.

Recognition and reward

Recognising and rewarding employees for their learning achievements can boost morale and incentivise participation – especially if they’ve completed learning programmes in their own time. This could include certificates, badges, promotions, or other forms of acknowledgment for their efforts and accomplishments.

Career development opportunities

Engaging learning programmes should offer opportunities for skill development and career advancement. Employees want to know that investing their own time and effort into learning will lead to tangible benefits; such as increased job satisfaction, salary growth, and advancement opportunities within the organisation.

That being said, there may come a point where an employee will need to leave your organisation if they want to advance their career. However, if you’ve given them the skills and knowledge they need to take their career forward, they’ll be more likely to become an advocate for your business – perfect for attracting the best talent from limited job markets.


Tailoring learning experiences to individual needs and preferences can increase engagement and effectiveness. Providing options for personalised learning paths, content recommendations based on interests and skill gaps, and adaptive learning technologies can enhance the overall learning experience.

By tailoring the journey to fit the learner’s needs, you’ll create a pathway that’s more engaging for the learner. With personalised learning paths, each individual can chart their course towards success, and feel empowered to manage their own progress.


Last – but by no means least – learning programmes should be accessible to all employees, regardless of their background, location, or abilities. This includes considerations for language, disability accommodations, and ensuring that learning resources are available across different devices and platforms.

By incorporating all these elements into your company’s learning programmes, you’ll be better placed to meet the diverse needs and preferences of your employees, ultimately leading to a more effective and successful learning experience for everyone.

Paul Bauer author image

Paul Bauer

Paul Bauer is the Head of Content at Cezanne HR. Based in the Utopia of Milton Keynes (his words, not ours!) he’s worked within the employee benefits, engagement and HR sectors for over four years. He's also earned multiple industry awards for his work - including a coveted Roses Creative Award.

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