How to motivate your staff to learn

A survey has found that a third of UK employees have negative attitudes towards learning. And yet with a national shortage of skilled workers, fostering a culture of learning is more important than ever. So how can employers increase employees’ interest in professional development?

Negative attitudes towards learning

People Management recently reported on findings that 32% of UK workers hold negative sentiments or are indifferent towards learning. The survey, conducted by AVADO, also found that 18% thought colleagues should learn on the job, as opposed to taking a day out of the office to train.

Some of the reasons behind this negative sentiment were cost (48%), travel (26%) and an inability to fit learning around work duties (20%). This suggests that while there might be an appetite to learn, economic concerns and excessive workloads may be hindering employee development.

And yet if the UK wants avoid falling behind the rest of Europe, it’s imperative that we invest in the skills of our workforce. This doesn’t just mean funding training initiatives, it also means giving employees licence to take time away from their immediate duties to train.

Building a culture of learning

The Mental Health in the Workplace Report by Benenden Health found increased workload to be the leading cause of employee stress. When work is piling up, taking time away to train may be an unappealing prospect. Enriching as the experience may be, the prospect of returning to missed emails and looming deadlines is likely to lessen the appeal.

So employers must make continuous professional development an integral part of their employees’ objectives. Adding an element of accountability will encourage employees to actively seek out learning opportunities.

This may sound like a potential stressor, adding more weight to already-overloaded plates. So employers may need to take a creative approach to the problem. Staggering training sessions, and encouraging employees to support one another in their duties while they train, is one way to tackle the problem. Incentives and recognition programmes can also serve to shift perspectives.

Taking a flexible approach to training

In an increasingly complex workplace, employers need to take a flexible approach to training. Offering a range of options, from classroom sessions to remote learning and self-study courses, will cater to a range of needs and learning styles.

A report by Towards Maturity earlier this year found that 55% of trainees want the option to personalise learning to their own needs. Yet only 50% of L&D professionals stated that employees could access learning provision at any time.

Help with your learning and development strategy

If you want help to build an engaging, inclusive learning and development strategy, get in touch. Knight’s Agency is a specialist training provider that not only provides expert-led training courses, but can also help you to develop your training programme from the ground up. Get in touch via the form below or call 0207 112 8412.


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Four Seasons Healthcare Group

We had an urgent need to provide training in Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) across our business as a result of the challenges experienced during the first critical months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Knights Absorb worked with us to define a training solution that could be delivered in a ‘Covid-Safe’ manner that would enable us to reach our teams at our target sites within a tight time frame. They trained 277 of our team members across a 6 week period, providing the reassurance we needed to keep our teams and residents safe as well ensuring we were meeting regulatory requirements. The trainers were professional and sensitive to the needs of our homes at all times, and the feedback from everyone who attended the training has been fantastic.

United Response

Knights are now our preferred provider. The quality of training that Knights provides is exceptional. When it comes to Customer Service, Knights excel, in the many years of partnering with multiple companies, Knights are head and shoulders above the rest. Never phased by challenges that clients provide, Knights naturally deal with the issues, assess the need and make the correct decision for the customer. This is not to say they bend over or wilt when challenged, quite the opposite, they seem to scope issues and resolve them efficiently, a customer service ethic that is quite rare. Keep up the good work guys, it is noticed and appreciated.


Knights don’t use generic trainers but find the best trainer for the course and client. The trainers are specialists in their fields and have practitioner experience which I feel is always important when delivering to staff. Trainers discuss our needs before attending training and revise training to meet specific needs.


Knights have personalised courses to meet our learning and development needs. As predominately a learning disability/Autism provider we require trainers and courses that reflect these specific needs and Knights have delivered on this. All courses have met our requirements fully

Modus Care

Knights Training are an organisation that are easy to work with, reliable, operate a competitive straight forward pricing structure, offer an impressive range of courses and employ good quality trainers who have expert subject knowledge, certainly an organisation that I would recommend.