The Learner Voice: Part 2

by | May 5, 2015 | The Learner Voice

The Learner Voice series aims to help L&D leaders challenge their assumptions about workplace learning and to identify new opportunities to connect with and engage their staff.

Direct Learner insights have been drawn from the Towards Maturity Learning Landscape Audit (LLA), which is an ongoing research programme that started in 2003. The LLA helps individual businesses uncover the real facts about how their staff learn at work, both formally and informally. Each organisation has a unique profile of behaviour, but there are some trends across all of the businesses that we look to share in the Learner Voice series.

In part 1, we looked at how 2,000 learners in the private sector are learning what they need to do their jobs. In Learner Voice Part 2, we dig a little deeper with a new group of learners.

The Learner Voice Part 2 provides:

  • Insights from 5,700 workers* – A new sample drawn from 17,000 learners responding from a range of companies across the private and public sector.
  • A perspective on current behaviours – All data was gathered in the period Jan 2014 to October 2014.
  • Key Differences – Comparing line managers, sales staff, those in role for less than 6 months, the over 50’s and the 21- 30 age group.
  • A challenge to L&D – As we compare learner perspectives with feedback from L&D professionals in our 2014-15 Towards Maturity Benchmark.

Quick facts from the report:

Collaboration is king:
  • 91% of the whole sample say that team collaboration is either essential or very useful for learning what they need for their job (rising to 96% for those who have been in the company for less than 6 months and dropping to 84% of those in sales roles).
  • Over 4 in 5 Staff are willing to share what they know with their peers. This rises to 96% for those new in role and this drops slightly for the over 50’s to 70%. However 15% of managers and sales staff and 26% of new starters say they’d like help in getting started.
The classroom is not dead (but neither is online learning):
  • 3 in 5 rate face to face and 50% rate e-learning courses, mobile learning and live online learning as essential or very useful.
  • 3/4 are motivated to learn online because they want do to their job faster and better, half are looking for promotion or just to learn for personal development.
Barriers to learning online:
  • Whilst 3 in 5 struggle to find time, 2 in 5 can’t find what they need or think that current offerings are not relevant to need.
When are staff learning?
  • Line managers and new starters are most likely people to learn online when travelling to and from work (56% and 59% respectively do this)
  • Sales people are most likely to learn at the point of need (49%).
Generational differences:
  • This sample shows few significant generational differences with older and younger both showing similar rankings when rating the usefulness of online, face to face and collaborative practices for learning
  • However we noticed that older staff are twice as likely to find poor technology a barrier to learning online that their younger peers in the same sample (29% vs 16%). Younger people are 50% more likley to struggle with not finding what they need (45% vs 29%).
  • Younger staff members are twice as likely to want to learn online for personal benefits than older staff
Managers Matter
  • 81% of all staff say that manager support is essential/very useful for learning what they need for their job
  • only 58% agree their manager makes time for them to learn at work
  • only 33% agree that objectives are discussed with managers prior to to learning
  • Only 49% agree their managers expect them to apply learning after a course.
Does L&D understand their learners?
  • Understanding how staff learn what they need to do their job is a core characteristic of Top Deck learning organisations however only 36% of L&D professionals do this.
  • Learner Voice 2 highlights some of the mismatches in supply and demand that result.

Next steps

The Learner Voice Series by necessity can only provide a snapshot on what we found out from this sample, do contact us if you want to find out more.

In the Learner Voice series, we don’t comment on the findings, instead we’d rather leave it to the reader to decide if L&D are tuned into the learner voice!

* This sample predominantly consisted of knowledge workers from service industries in the UK and Europe.

Download this report below to find out:

  • How do staff learn what they need to do their jobs?
  • The Line Manager’s Voice
  • The Sales Person’s Voice
  • The New Starter’s Voice
  • The Voice across Generations
  • Staff views on learning culture
  • Are L&D teams tuned into the learner voice?
  • Characteristics of top deck L&D teams

Use this report to think about:

  • The design of your current formal learning programmes
  • The way that you support learning in the workflow
  • The skills you need in your L&D team to support 21st century learning more effectively
  • The media you use to support learning

Registered users can download the full report for free by clicking on the link in the related downloads below.

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Download this report

Create an account or sign in to download this report and get instant access to:

  • L&D Benchmark Reports
  • In-Focus Reports
  • Sector Reports
  • Case Studies
  • Free Resources


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