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Gaining Global Buy-in: New Learning Research Insights

by | Mar 30, 2015 | Articles

Read 6 tips for global L&D leaders and our latest findings on learning strategy in global organisations.

With businesses and brands becoming more global, teams are often dispersed around the world. Because the work environment is volatile, uncertain, complex and often ambiguous, the challenges of delivering consistent skills across those teams seem to be increasing by the minute.

In our 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark Study, we asked a question of our audience about the challenges of going global with their learning programmes, 166 of the participants shared insights. Of these organisations, 66% were from the private sector and 14% were from the not for profit sectors; the remainder were publicly funded organisations.
In this article, we share some additional findings from these global organisations and compare their activities with the Top Deck learning organisations from our report, Modernising Learning: Delivering results.

What skills are global companies tackling?

The skills that these global companies were most likely to provide to staff included:

  • Induction (92%)
  • Leadership (89%)
  • IT (88%)
  • Team working & comms(86%)
  • L&D skills (79%)
  • Marketing and Sales (62%)

How is technology being used?

Global companies are increasingly turning to technology to support their learning: 80% of global organisations are using technologies such as live online learning, custom online content, learning management systems, mobile learning and internal enterprise systems such as SharePoint.

Compared with non-global companies, global L&D teams are nearly twice as likely to be using virtual classrooms, analytic tools such as Learning Record Stores and badges to recognise achievement. They are also 60% more likely to use social media in learning and 30% more likely to utilise user-generated content and in-house video.

Why the drive to using learning technologies?

Over 95% of L&D leaders in global companies are looking to technology to help them:

  • Meet compliance needs
  • Adapt programmes to individual need
  • Reduce time to competency
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Improve the quality of learning
  • Improve administration of learning
But the graph below shows that they don’t all achieve their expectations:
The Top Deck (top 10%) learning organisations in the 2014-15 Towards Maturity Benchmark Study on the other hand (shown in pink above) are achieving much better results through their modernised learning strategy. They represent both global and local organisations from across the private, non-profit and public sectors. You can read about them in chapter 7 of Modernising Learning: Delivering results.

What is stopping global organisations from achieving their goals?

The challenges that global organisations face are predominantly related to people with cultural differences, reported by 53% of the sample.

35% said that local stakeholder buy-in was a challenge. This may be due to the fact that content development, translation and delivery all present barriers:
  • 43% stated that the cost of translation was an issue
  • 41% claimed that content developed centrally was not relevant locally
  • 34% professed that content developed locally was not being shared centrally
  • 45% struggled with inconsistent use of technology and/or multiple Learning Management Systems
The skills of the L&D team could also be contributing to the challenges, with only 27% of global companies agreeing that they have the skills in-house to develop digital content, and only one third stating they have the skills to deliver learning through a live virtual environment.

6 tips for global L&D leaders taken from top learning organisations

What can top learning organisations teach global L&D leaders about designing for global audiences and gaining global buy-in?

1. Start with the end in mind: 91% of Top Deck organisations analyse the problem before recommending a solution (compared to 58% of global companies)

2. Create a Framework: Top Deck organisations are twice as likely to create structure for learners through academies and other tools

3. Harness the power of the blend: 85% of Top Deck organisations blend a range of technologies into solutions (compared to 21% global)

4. Embed learning in the workflow: 88% of Top Deck organisations understand the support systems available to staff (compared to 48% global)

5. Share, collaborate, communicate: The Top Deck are three times more likely than global companies to agree that their staff know how to collaborate and share knowledge.

6. Demonstrate value globally: 80% of the Top Deck track success and share it with management (compared to 29% of the global companies)

We explored these tips and more with Lumesse in a webinar for Global L&D leaders. View the slides and find out how Vodafone approached these implementation recommendations in their global marketing academy.

Download the Insights Paper from Lumesse

View the webinar slides

Compare your L&D strategy with the Towards Maturity Benchmark

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Review your L&D strategy to discover your strengths and opportunities for improvement with the Towards Maturity Benchmark.

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