The 3 Needs of Corporate Learning, Part 3: L&D Team Needs
In the lead up to the launch of the 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark Report on 5th November, we’ll be exploring three areas of need for corporate learning that have emerged from the data we’ve analysed this year. They are the needs of the business, its learners and its L&D leaders.
In our final installment, we take a look at what L&D practitioners need from the learning and development function in 2015 and beyond.
The Changing Needs of L&D
It’s 2015. Who in L&D could doubt that the needs of business have changed dramatically in recent years? Technology has fuelled new ways of accessing, creating and sharing knowledge and information and it is having a dramatic effect on how business operates. Uber anyone?
We are all consumers of content outside of work but is the way we consume content inside the business vastly different from the way we did five or 10 years ago? It’s a good question to ask because old habits die hard. That can be seen in learning where classroom training is still the default in many organisations we still see that only a quarter of formal learning is e-enabled by technology.
What L&D is Doing Differently
In the build up to the publication to the 2015 Towards Maturity Industry Benchmark Report, we released some early findings from the research. These findings provide a picture of how L&D perceives change and how it is responding to it.
L&D leaders have high expectations for their learning strategy, with more than 90% wanting:
- More flexibility and access to learning
- To improve induction processes
- To improve application of learning in the workplace
- To increase sharing of good practice
- To improve effectiveness of face to face training
But the reality, is that relatively little L&D budget (just 19%) is allocated to technology – the vehicle that will deliver on most of these aspirations. E-learning courses and live online learning platforms remain the tools of choice for many.
L&D: Evolving roles, Enhancing Skills revealed that more than 50% of organisations surveyed said they are not planning on developing skills for instructional design, content development, technology, performance consulting and data analytics. Furthermore, despite 9 out of 10 L&D professionals looking to improve performance, productivity and sharing of good practice, only 53% agree that there are more options than ‘the course’ for building skills and performance. The organisations that are turning their ambitions into a reality, are the ones that apply business thinking to their learning strategy.
Top Deck organisations in the benchmark analyse the business problem before recommending a solution (84%, versus the average of 56%) and 94% agree that their strategy for learning allows for changing business priorities (59% average). 77% also invest in their teams, providing them with opportunities to develop their skills (54% average).
L&D Reality Check
The benefit of running a longitudinal study, is that over time, patterns and trends emerged, of which there are two identified in this article.
Firstly, most L&D practitioners are failing to deliver on their ambitions. There are expectations that technology-enabled learning will help achieve the goals, but so far only 29% agree that technology-enabled learning has resulted in improvements in productivity that they seek.
Secondly, we see that the Top Deck organisations are turning ambition into reality. They align with the business, invest more in technology and develop the necessary skills for their team.
On top of these two trends, we find the top five barriers to developing a successful learning strategy stubbornly remain the same:
1. Cost (reported by 63%)
2. Lack of employee skills to manage their own learning (63%)
3. Unreliable IT / infrastructure (60%)
4. Lack of L&D skills to implement interventions (56%)
5. Reluctance to engage from line managers (55%)
That in itself tells the story of what L&D needs to act on to create successful learning strategies.
Join us for the launch of the 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark Report and shape the future of L&D
Towards Maturity will be launching the 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark Report on 5th November, during a free webinar in conjunction with the Learning & Skills Group. If you are responsible for driving L&D or business performance, register for this free event today.
Also in this series:
- The 3 Needs of Corporate Learning, Part 1: Business Needs
- The 3 Needs of Corporate Learning, Part 2: Learner Needs
Compare your L&D strategy with the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check
Compare your L&D strategy
Review your L&D strategy to discover your strengths and opportunities for improvement with the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check.
The corporate learning market is rapidly evolving to meet the ever-changing demands of work and worker. The C-suite and L&D leaders can no longer ignore that over 90 percent of organizations do not realize the full value of their investments.
Every year over $400billion is spent on corporate learning globally, yet only 15% is proven to stick. Investments in learning are continuing to grow year on year but performance impact is not changing. The industry is still struggling to provide real proof of impact, in fact, for the first time the Towards Maturity Index is tracking a significant decline. This is causing leaders to have low confidence levels in L&D.
Having clear evidence is a vital starting point in identifying where improvement is needed and backing up your business case for change. We spoke with Emma Smith, Head of Talent at FirstPort Limited, a residential property management company. She had used the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check in a previous role and has now brought this tool to her new organisation in order to help transform their workplace learning culture.
Towards Maturity Learning Health Check provides an ideal starting point for organisations wanting to improve their development, by giving clear evidence and comparisons with high-performing learning cultures. To get a real idea of how the Health Check has a proven business impact, we spoke with Robin Lilly, Capabilities and Leadership Development Director of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, to hear his experiences.
Evidence is vital to backing up a case for change and even more powerful when internal data is being compared against high-performing learning organisations.