Only a third of employees asked about essential skills in their last appraisal

Statistics released today by Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s responsible business network, show that many employers are missing an opportunity to equip their current and future employees with essential skills such as communication and problem-solving.
The survey, carried out by YouGov, includes responses from more than 2,000 employees. 
Essential skills 
Essential skills are critical to every individual and every business. They include skills such as communication, problem solving, creativity, resilience and teamwork. 
The results show that there is a clear appetite for development from employees with 97 per cent of UK employees saying that there are benefits in having these essential skills at work and 59 per cent saying that they would like their employer to help them develop their essential skills further. However, fewer than half of employees say that these skills are being discussed at key points in their career such as job interviews (43 per cent) or as part of their appraisals (33 per cent).
Two in three UK employees (67 per cent) feel that people with essential or soft skills have better relationships with colleagues and believe those skills make them more productive at work. Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) feel essential skills increase confidence, and half believe job satisfaction and overall wellbeing increases when employees have those essential skills.
Nicola Inge, employment campaign direction at Business in the Community, says:
“Essential skills are vital to social mobility and job mobility, so that everyone, regardless of background, can succeed and thrive. Despite the overwhelming appetite from employers for essential skills in their employees, 39 per cent of employees are saying that their employer is not helping them with this kind of development. It is also disappointing to see that businesses are failing to embed essential skills in their HR processes.
“There is a real need to do more to build these skills across the life course, from education to employment, at every stage of an individual’s career journey. This means making interventions from the classroom to the boardroom, developing a shared approach to essential skills that helps people future proof themselves for a changing world of work.  
Business in the Community is calling on employers and education providers to come together to make essential skills essential for everyone. For more information, go to the BITC website.
Notes to editors
  • To find out more, please contact Cathy Beveridge, media and external affairs manager, Business in the Community on 07776 181945 or
  • This report presents the key findings from a survey of 2,003 full and part-time employees in the UK that is representative of gender, age, industry sector, region and business size, excluding sole traders and those working alone. 
About Business in the Community 
Business in the Community is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We were created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales to champion responsible business.  
We inspire, engage and challenge members and we mobilise that collective strength as a force for good in society to:  
  • Develop a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow
  • Build thriving communities where people want to live and work
  • Innovate to sustain and repair our planet.