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Unlocking Potential: The Fast Facts


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DateNovember 17, 2016 Posted by: Levi Phillips   Keywords: #MakeItHappen, Towards Maturity Benchmark

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Today's successful workplaces are fast moving, global and digital. Learning innovation, done well, delivers results that can support sustainable, agile workplaces. Business and learning leaders alike need to expect more.

Learning professionals are aspiring to build a dynamic learning organisation:

  • 93% want to integrate learning and work (up from 80% in 2015)
  • 95% want to respond faster to the speed of business
  • 98% want to support the sharing of good practice
  • 90% want to play an active role in supporting business innovation (up from 80% in 2015)

However, learning provision today has not changed much in 5 years:

  • 56% is delivered face-to-face
  • 19% of budget is allocated to learning technologies
  • 22% is delivered via blended solutions

What's more, the use of technology in learning is focused on online course delivery, rather than performance support:

  • 9-in-10 are using live online learning and e-learning content
  • 3-in-4 are using Learning Management Systems
  • 7-in-10 are using video and mobile

The Top Deck are at least twice as likely to report that they are achieving the five essential outcomes highlighted in this report:

  • Improving efficiency - 42% on average vs 77% Top Deck
  • Fine-tuning processes - 33% vs 64%
  • Boosting performance - 26% vs 62%
  • Cultivating agility - 20% vs 54%
  • Influencing culture - 17% vs 46%

Barriers to achieving desired outcomes include:

  • Staff lack skills to manage their own learning (reported by 62%)
  • L&D lack the skills to implement and manage e-learning (59%)
  • Line managers are reluctant to encourage new ways of learning (58%)

7-in-10 staff learn online in order to do their job better and faster

Unlocking potential: unleashing the power of your people

This study explores the tactics most likely to correlate with successful outcomes. Here are some examples of tactics that can unlock potential. Comparing the achievers with the non-achievers for each outcome, we find that:

Those successful at improving efficiency:

  • Integrate technology into face-to-face training (45% vs 21%)
  • Regularly review programmes to maintain relevance (66% vs 35%)

Those successful at fine-tuning processes:

  • Analyse the business problem before recommending a solution (76% vs 50%)
  • Use stakeholder steering groups to support design (66% vs 37%)

Those successful at boosting performance:

  • Deliver learning in time to meet business needs (71% vs 43%)
  • Use activities to practice learning outcomes (66% vs 41%)

91% of staff like to learn at their own pace

Those successful at cultivating agility:

  • Proactively understand how staff learn (43% vs 28%)
  • Have a culture that supports learning from mistakes (60% vs 35%)

Those successful at influencing culture:

  • Actively provide new work experiences as an opportunity to learn (63% vs 35%)
  • Communicate success to line managers (67% vs 36%)

Top Deck organisations consistently deliver more across all these outcomes. What is more, 3-in-4 practice all the tactics above.

Top Deck teams are most likely to be led by those with an L&D or business background who invest in their own learning and skills.

Top Deck leaders are also building the skills and networks of their L&D teams today, to deliver the learning organisation of tomorrow:

  • 82% invest in CPD for L&D staff (52% in the rest of the sample)
  • 74% L&D staff join internal networks to learn for themselves (53%)
  • 63% agree that staff spend time in other operational areas of business to learn (43%)
  • 87% have good links/relationships with the IT department (46%)
  • 90% formalise working with subject matter experts (47%)


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