71% of profitable businesses invested in employee development during 2020, showing commitment to sustainable growth London, UK - 26 April, 2021: Avado, today unveils research identifying a dramatically widening gap between business needs and people capabilities over the course of 2020. Businesses that had previously invested in employee development, however, were somewhat protected from the worst effects of the pandemic: of those surveyed, 71% that saw growth over the last year had increased their training budget. Among businesses that saw a decline, 61% said they did not have a training strategy or that their strategy was not fit for purpose. The research surveyed over 1,000 executive leaders and senior HR staff from progressive UK and Asia Pacific (APAC) organisations. The research was further analysed by ambassador Miatta Fahnbulleh, Chief Executive of the New Economics Foundation. More than three-fifths of business leaders revealed that the events of 2020 had widened the skills gap to a capability chasm in 2020, with the majority feeling they had been unable to manage the issue. Over-reliance on traditional skill sets and recruiting to plug capability gaps at the expense of staff development were also shown to have negatively impacted business growth.
- In the UK, nearly half of executive leaders and two-fifths of HR leaders admitted to using recruitment of new talent to fill capability gaps.
- Respondents across all industries agreed their organisation had prioritised survival over capabilities (63%). This was particularly pronounced amongst HR respondents (69%).
- Concerns about mental health were global: 49% of UK respondents and 48% in APAC were concerned about the future mental health impact of the capabilities gap.
- In general, respondents in the UK were more concerned about the gap than in APAC.