Glacial pace of change in L+D prompts Towards Maturity to focus on tactics that work

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Despite the fact learning and development professionals want to change the way they design and deliver learning only a tiny proportion are having any success at doing so, according to of more than 600 L&D professionals and 5,000 employees.

Published in a report, Unlocking Potential, the research shows that 95% of L&D leaders want to respond faster to changing business conditions, but only 19% are making progress and 90% want to play an active role in supporting business innovation, but only 17% report they are succeeding.

Towards Maturity has been collecting data on how L&D professionals use, and intend to use, learning technologies since 2003. In recent years the data has shown that L&D teams want to embrace technology but are failing to make a success of it.

More established forms of training continue to be popular with 56% of L&D teams using face to face delivery. Although nine in 10 teams are using live online learning and seven in 10 are using video and mobile, 61% of respondents say they are failing to achieve significant progress in meeting their goals of a digitally enabled learning strategy.

The slow pace of change has prompted Towards Maturity to develop a new statistical analysis for this year’s benchmark data, which identifies the tactics that are most likely to correlate with successful outcomes for five of the most pressing business challenges: improving efficiency, fine-tuning processes, boosting performance, cultivating agility and influencing culture.

For example, L&D teams specifically achieving the goals related to improving efficiency, use tactics such as:

  • Integrating technology into face-to-face training (45% vs 21% of non-achievers)
  • Regularly reviewing programmes to maintain relevance (66% vs 35% for non-achievers)

Additionally, the teams successful in achieving goals related to boosting performance:

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

Laura Overton, Founder and CEO of Towards Maturity, commented, “This year, we have used a new statistical analysis to highlight tactics that the most successful organisations are using to deliver impact on the most pressing business challenges. With the data showing a painful rate of progress for most L&D teams, these evidence-based shortcuts are desperately needed. Our aim is to use our data to help learning professionals kick-start interventions that will have the biggest impact.”

Organisations in the top decile of the benchmark are making progress with a technology enabled learning strategy. They report the following impact:

  • 77% are improving efficiency (versus 44%)
  • 64% are fine-tuning processes (versus 33%)
  • 62% are boosting performance (versus 26%).

L&D skills remain a big barrier, with 59% of respondents saying that lack of skills within the L&D team is hampering progress.

Read the report here.

[Picture credit: Kasabubu]

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