Beta Data: Live Trends from the 2016 Towards Maturity Benchmark

by | Jun 15, 2016 | Research

The 2016 Towards Maturity Benchmark Study has been completed. 600 L&D leaders from 48 countries took part and the feedback has been fantastic.

A record number of Personalised Benchmark Reports were sent out in September to those who benchmarked their learning strategy this year. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Join us for the report launch

The findings of the 2016 Benchmark Study will be released on 17 November 2016 at 10:00 GMT, during a joint webinar with our partner, Learning and Skills Group.

The full report will explore how to #MakeItHappen, looking at the actions we need to take in order to:

  • Build business buy-in
  • Engage learners
  • Transform learning
  • Equip your L&D team
Join us for the launch webinar, where Laura Overton will present the key findings and make challenges to L&D and business leaders based on the data.

Register for the launch webinar

Read on below for early insights on the aspirations and challenges that L&D teams face in 2016:

Whist we are still in the process of producing the report, here are some of the early findings from our 600 participants.

It is clear in a changing economic climate, L&D leaders around the globe want use learning innovation to improve business agility and success:

  • 95% want to respond faster to business demand (94% in 2015)
  • 90% want to play an active role in improving business innovation (significantly up from 80% last year)
  • 99% want to increase flexibility and access to their services (98% in 2015) – the same number want to improve the quality of their offering (98% in 2016 and 2015)
We want to use technology to help us move learning nearer to the heart of the business:
  • 98% want to play a part in increasing the sharing of good practice (96%)
  • 93% are looking to integrate learning into the workflow (up from 80% last year)
  • 97% want to speed up the application of learning in the workplace (remaining high, 96% last year)
Overall, the desire for introducing behavioural change is greater than the desire to reduce cost (although that is still important):
  • 96% want to use technology to improve organisational performance (significantly up so far, from 85% last year)
  • 87% want to focus on building compliant behaviours – (moving beyond the tick in the box experiences) (up from 78% last year)
  • 87% want to reduce cost (down slightly from 88% last year)

In our 2016 Industry Benchmark Report, we will explore how successful we are in achieving these goals and what contributes to that success.

There is still a heavy reliance on face-to-face training

Despite the fact that last year 74% of delegates expected face to face learning to decrease in favour of blended and online learning the proportion of learning offered face-to-face remains high:

  • 56% of programmes are offered by face to face alone (similar to 55% last year)
  • 22% of programmes are offered online only (up from 19%)
  • 22% are offered using a blend of face to face and technology (slightly down from 26%)

The pace of technological change is clearly still a barrier, with 2-in-5 reporting this as a factor (similar to last year).

Despite a slight reduction in e-learning content, we seem to be slightly better at tailoring its application to our needs

  • 65% are using ‘off-the-shelf’ e-learning objects (down slightly from 68%)
  • 71% are using custom-made in-house elearning (down slightly from 76%)

That said, just under half of the sample still claim that online learning is too generic and not sufficiently tailored to need.

We are also starting to look at other ways of using technology to enhance learning:

  • We are turning to shorter, snappier content – 34% are using microcontent (under 5 minutes) compared with 27% last year, who were offering content under 10 minutes.
  • Pokemon Go might show how augmented reality is capturing the imagination, but to date, just 8% of L&D teams are seriously looking at augmented reality, with the vast majority just experimenting at this stage.

Video is going strong, but not taking off at the anticipated speed:

  • 7 out of 10 are currently using video to capture and share effective practices within their organisation (similar to last year – 69%, up from 68%)

Mobile and social sites are now more available – but are not being exploited by L&D to their full capacity:

  • 4 out of 5 now using some form of mobile to support learning but only 18% are using mobile apps to support performance at the point of need.
  • 86% say their staff can access social media platforms in the workplace (a big jump and change in attitude – only 72% had access in 2015)

Whilst staff are surrounded by free opportunities to connect and learn, L&D teams still feel constrained:

  • 65% say cost of setup development and maintenance is a problem
  • 57% this year say IT infrastructure is a major barrier to L&D’s progress. In 2015, this figure was 60%, showing a slight drop.
  • 62% believe that the fact that their staff lack skills to manage their own learning is holding them back.

Worryingly, 59% say that lack of skills in L&D staff to implement new models of learning continues to be a barrier (57%).

L&D professionals are seeing a slight improvement in management engagement, but still perceive that people in the workplace lack skills to manage their own development:

  • 44% believe that learning is not seen as a management priority, down from 48% last year.
  • 62% believe that the lack of skills amongst employees to manage own learning is holding their strategy back – the same as last year but this is currently the number one barrier to change.

Join us for the launch of the 2016-17 L&D Benchmark report

The aspirations of L&D professionals remain high, but so do the barriers to change. The benchmarking process is all about identifying actions – the activities that you need to put in place to realise your goals. The full research will explore how to #MakeItHappen – looking at the action that we need to take to:

  • Build business buy-in
  • Engage learners
  • Transform learning
  • Equip your L&D team

The 2016 Industry Benchmark Report will be released on 17 November 2016, during a joint webinar with our partner Learning and Skills Group.

Register for the launch webinar


Confidentially compare your learning strategy for free 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 – click below to get started.

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