How Canadian employees are embracing learning, development in their jobs

By Alana Pratt 

Law360 Canada (September 19, 2023, 11:48 AM EDT) --
Alana Pratt
As students across the country return to school after their long summer break, many Canadian workers are showing school spirit with eagerness to learn new skills and knowledge in their jobs.

A recent survey revealed that 63 per cent of Canadian employees want their employers to prioritize learning and development in their roles.

Learning is becoming a valuable asset, and employers are offering it to attract and retain their employees in a competitive market where 75 per cent of Canadian employers anticipate difficulties with hiring.

Our learning platform, BrightLearn, has seen a 46 per cent increase in usage in the last month, as more and more professionals are taking its e-learning courses.

Nearly 89,000 courses have been assigned to BrightLearn users during this time, following the launch of our Learning Management System, showing a strong focus on learning across all sectors and job roles … and perhaps suggesting that employees are coming back from their holidays with a renewed enthusiasm for learning.

Those stats indicate that learning in the workplace is related to not only the skills of a trade or discipline but also those “softer skills” that apply across industries and to any profession — and are very much needed in today’s world of work.

In fact, diversity, equality and inclusion awareness is our most accessed course, followed by mental health awareness. Other courses employees are showing keen interest in include cybersecurity best practices, effective communication and time management.

Soft skills are more than just a “nice-to-have” in today’s workplace. Seventy-four per cent of employees say they’re essential to grow their career. This shows that employers and employees are after a new skillset of modern-day working practices that need all team members to have some level of cross-functional knowledge covering areas like HR, IT and marketing.

Especially in the post-pandemic world, people want more satisfaction, fulfilment and meaning from their work. It’s now clear that many Canadian employees value work relationships over a pay rise. And so, soft skills are crucial in building positive relationships with colleagues and developing a positive work culture. Also, employers that equip their staff with tools to improve their skills and knowledge have an edge in the war for talent.

A recent survey by showed that recently, 78 per cent of Canadian employers polled said they are willing to hire candidates without a relevant degree or qualification, choosing to look beyond academic qualifications and focus on potential when it comes to job applicants. This shows learning and development is an area that is constantly changing. As employees’ priorities change and their goalposts move, so will their needs for growth.

That’s why e-learning is a great way to provide employees with the opportunity to develop and refine their skills in many avenues while staying up to date with their wants and needs.

Workplace learning and development should be more than just another box to tick. Give your people the tools and means to do so, and you’ll set your business up for growth. Not only that, but you’ll also reap the benefits of an engaged, satisfied workforce.

E-learning is the key to retaining your employees and preventing business stagnation and high staff turnover. Soft skills often go overlooked, but it’s become apparent that they should be an integral part of your business’s e-learning strategy.

Alana Pratt is an HR advice specialist at BrightHR Canada.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the views of the author’s firm, its clients, Law360 Canada, LexisNexis Canada, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

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