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Home Arrow Research Arrow Sector Benchmark Report: Embracing Change in Mid-Sized Businesses (2016)

Sector Benchmark Report: Embracing Change in Mid-Sized Businesses (2016)


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DateApril 05, 2016 Keywords: blended learning, learner engagement, learner support, Social Learning, Towards Maturity Benchmark

The 2016 Sector Benchmark Report: Embracing Change in Mid-Sized Businesses is available to download at the bottom of this page, thanks to the support of Kallidus.

This report provides powerful evidence to help senior management and L&D teams to ensure that their learning experiences lead to closer alignment to business goals and greater learning results for its employees.

Even though mid-sized businesses (MSBs) are widely considered to be more productive than small businesses and more nimble and innovative than their larger counterparts, this report highlights that many are lagging behind in their investment and use of learning technologies and are e-enabling less of their formal training programmes than larger organisations. In addition, mid-sized organisations are achieving less impact from their learning initiatives, with only an average of 25% achieving the benefits that they seek.

Demographics and overview 

The report draws on data from Towards Maturity's 2015-16 Industry Benchmark Report: Embracing Change. This research was conducted online in 2015, involving over 600 organisations, 17% of which were from MSBs - organisations with 250-999 staff. Over 90 of these organisations received Personalised Benchmark Reports™ to help them with their strategic planning in 2015.

The objective of this report is to help MSBs, operating in a highly competitive and dynamic marketplace, to evolve their L&D practice from the classroom, update legacy systems and approaches, and align their learning strategies more closely with business needs to achieve sustainable growth and success.

The report also seeks to identify the barriers to this much-needed evolution within MSBs. However, there is a reluctance to change, so it is essential that the key barriers holding back the progress of L&D departments are tackled head-on. These include the perceived lack of skills amongst employees to manage their own learning and to learn with new technology; technology costs and e-learning courses that are too generic to meet individual and business needs.

Fast Facts

Mid-sized businesses – organisations with 250-999 employees – have a growing L&D department and an increasing budget:

  • 43% have increased their team in the last two years 
  • 35% expect their team to increase over the next two years

Mid-sized businesses have a particular focus on recruitment and induction/onboarding, citing the following drivers as key for the use of learning technologies:

  • To improve talent strategies to keep the best people (96%)
  • To improve induction/onboarding processes (96%)

Budgets and Barriers

Mid-sized businesses are investing 14% of their available budget on learning technologies. They would need to almost double this proportion to match the percentage allocated by the top learning companies. Although barriers for the adoption of learning technologies remain significant, they are diminishing in some areas:

  • Lack of skills amongst employees to manage own learning (69%, fallen by 14%)
  • E-learning too generic and not sufficiently tailored to our needs (52%, fallen by 18%)

Mid-sized businesses report that they are struggling to achieve all the benefits they would like to see with, in many instances, fewer than one in five achieving their goals. For example, only

  • 16% report that they are improving organisational performance through learning innovation
  • 8% report that they are improving performance management

Impact and Efficiency

They are, however, realising significant impact from modernising their learning strategies through technology. They report:

  • 24% improvement to ability to change procedures or products
  • 17% improvement to ability to speed up the rollout of IT applications
  • 12% improvement in customer satisfaction scores

Find out more on how mid-sized businesses can continue to embrace change, by downloading your copy of this Sector Benchmark Report below.

Start embracing change with the Towards Maturity Benchmark

If you want to find out which actions will enable you to change and have a real impact on business, the Towards Maturity Benchmark is a great place to start. Confidentially review and compare your strategy, for free. Head to www.towardsmaturity.org/benchmark to get started.  


This In-Focus report is free to download thanks to the support of Towards Maturity's Ambassador, Kallidus.

Please note, you need to be logged in /registered to download your copy - the download link will take you to our registration page if you are not logged in. By downloading this report, you agree for your email address to also be shared with Kallidus (Please contact us directly for a copy if you do not wish for your address to be shared).
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