New Ipsos report finds training is still falling short for frontline employees

Frontline employees are critical to your business agility and the experiences you provide. They are the trusted face of your brand. They solve problems and close deals. They keep operations safe and production humming. They need the right support to do their best work. But, according to findings in the latest State of Frontline Employee Workplace Training report, it seems organizations are continuing to fall short when it comes to delivering the training that their frontline employees want and need.

For a third year, we partnered with market research firm, Ipsos, to check in on the state of frontline employee training. The research surveyed more than 1,000 American adults over the age of 18 who are part- or full-time frontline employees from industries including Retail, Contact Center, Sales, Finance & Insurance, Manufacturing and Logistics. Unlike many other training industry reports, which tend to survey human resources and managers regarding their practices, this research engaged real frontline employees from a range of industries to find out what’s most important to them when it comes to the way they are supported on the job.

Here are some of the key findings from the report:

  • For the third year in a row, nearly 1/3 of frontline employees (30%) still don’t receive any formal training
  • Among those that do receive training, only 59% feel the workplace training that they receive helps them succeed on the job
  • Frontline employees want training that prepares them for what’s ahead. For 76% of employees, the opportunity to develop their careers and prepares for the future makes an employer more attractive,
  • Despite an eagerness to train, only 41% say their employer offers this kind of development
  • 81% state that training makes them feel more engaged at work and 79% feel that more frequent training would make them feel even more engaged

Respondents also rated the attributes they associate with effective training. Here are the top five they identified:

  1. Easy to complete and understand – Once again, employees cited this as the most important attribute for formal workplace training.
  2. Anytime, anywhere access to information – 90% of employees indicate that ability to access information from anywhere, at anytime is important to them. Check out the report to see how the importance fluctuated by generation.
  3. Personalized and relevant– 89% of employees value personalized, relevant training. Interestingly, when training is seen as ineffective, 20% believe it’s because it doesn’t apply to their role.
  4. Engaging and fun – 88% of employees want training that is engaging and fun. And almost half of those same employees, identify it as very important.
  5. Ability to apply training on the job – Employees across all industries, ages and employment statuses say it’s extremely important to be able to apply training on the job (87%).


The frontline has spoken. Now it’s your turn.

While this year’s research has some fresh insights over research from previous years, the results do paint a very clear picture:  the frontline employee is currently underserved. And when frontline training needs aren’t met, employees can’t perform to their full potential, which poses significant risk to the business.  If you want to get inside the heads of your frontline workforce and truly understand what’s working for them (and what’s not), the attributes they most want in their training, and their attitudes towards training that prepares them for the future, I highly recommend you check it out the entire report.

Download the State of Frontline Employee Workplace Training Report

Carol isn’t your typical leader. She’s driving a revolutionary approach to employee knowledge, but she’s also a doors-open, come-see-me-anytime kind of executive. Carol doesn’t just talk the talk—she definitely walks the walk. You can read more from her on Training Industry Magazine, ATD, CLO and as a regular contributor for Fortune.

Let’s work together to drive frontline performance in all the right ways.