• Employees crave a way to use their skills: Employees who feel their skills are not being put to good use in their current job are 10x more likely to be looking for a new job.

  • The skills required to work are changing: LinkedIn members’ skills for the same occupation changed by an average of 25% between 2015 and 2021. We expect members’ skills to change by about 40% by 2025.

  • It’s essential for future business health: 59% of L&D professionals agree that their highest priority following the pandemic is upskilling and reskilling.
  • Skill proofing is future proofing: According to the World Economic Forum, the rapid acceleration of automation and economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic will displace 85 million jobs and create 97 million new ones – all of which will require new skills.

  • Employees are concerned about it, too: 78% of learners expressed the need for course recommendations based on their skill gaps.

  • The skills required for jobs are changing fast: The number of skills required for a single job is increasing by 10% year over year, and more than 30% of the skills needed three years ago will soon be irrelevant.

Additional Sources: Chief Learning Officer; Gartner

  • It significantly improves retention: 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career, and 60% of US employees who quit their jobs in the past year cited a lack of career development opportunities as a major reason why.

  • Employees are asking for it: “If it is personalized specifically for my interests and career goals” was employees’ second-highest motivation factor for choosing professional development courses, after “if it helps me perform better in my current role.” 

  • Career development attracts new hires: 80% of people seeking employment say they are looking for a company that will help them achieve career growth. 

Additional Sources: Pew Research, Prudential

  • It motivates employees on their own terms: 78% of learners expressed the need for course recommendations based on their career goals.

  • It improves engagement, morale, and willingness to learn: 92% of employees who took Unilever’s “Discover Your Purpose” workshop to connect their jobs to the skills they were most interested in had higher engagement levels and felt more ready to learn. 

  • It creates lifelong learners: Motivating employees to pursue career goals and interests, rather than only learning what they “need” to, will teach employees how to learn and help inspire them to continue doing it throughout their careers

One way to begin building a goals-driven employee career development program is simple: figure out what your employee’s goals are. To do that, survey them and ask the following questions:

  • Which skills are employees already proficient in?

  • Which skills are they most interested in learning?

  • Are there any skills they don’t possess but should?

  • Which skills do they need to learn to get to the next level?

  • Are your employees interested in management or individual-contributor career paths?

Based on the results of this survey, choose to develop skills for each employee that match as many of the following criteria as possible:

  • The employee doesn’t possess the skill, or doesn’t possess the skill at a competitive level

  • The employee is interested in learning the skill(s)

  • The employee needs to develop to achieve goals


  •  It improves engagement: Companies that recommend personalized professional development paths on LinkedIn Learning see 69% more hours of learning watched per employee.
  • Employees look for guidance: 56% of employees say they would spend more time learning if their manager suggested a course to improve skills.

  • Employees are hungry for personalized help: Employees’ number one motivation for wanting to take a professional development course was, “if it helps me stay up to date in my particular field.”
  • It’s more engaging and effective: L&D pros believe that learning is more engaging when people learn together (86%), and believe employees who learn together are more successful (91%). 

  • Social learners spend more time learning: Employees who use LinkedIn Learning’s social features spend 30x more hours learning than those who don’t.

  • It creates a sense of belonging… which also fosters engagement: L&D professionals also believe social learning helps create a sense of belonging (92%). Employees who feel a sense of belonging are 5.2x more likely to be engaged at work.