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L&D programmes not meeting employee expectations


Learning technology was found to be a particular area of concern

L&D programmes are not meeting employee expectations, according to research from global learning technology provider D2L.

The company surveyed 100 UK HR directors and 1,000 UK employees, and found that only 55% of employees are satisfied with their company’s L&D programme.

The survey found that the majority (77%) of employees believe workplace learning is important, with 37% claiming that a lack of training had negatively affected their career. Additionally, 38% of employees stated they would consider the quality of employee training when offered a job.

Learning technology was found to be a particular area of concern. While 78% of employees believe it is important that their organisation is leveraging new technologies for learning, only 15% of HR directors agree.

The survey found that 60% of employees believe their employer should implement mobile learning, but less than a third (30%) of organisations are doing so. It found that half (50%) of UK organisations are failing to utilise tools such as video for employee coaching in their learning programmes, even though 68% of employees think this is valuable.

"Among the unsettling findings of this research, the disconnect between individual use of digital technologies for learning and the importance given to them by HR managers really stands out,” commented Myles Runham, an independent consultant at Myles Runham Digital & Learning, and former head of digital and head of interactive learning at the BBC Academy.

He stressed the importance of organisations offering employees an HR technology experience on par with consumer tech they use at home.

“Use of digital tools such as YouTube, Wikipedia, WhatsApp and Twitter (among a growing host of others) is a reflex behaviour for everyone on a routine basis,” he said. “Where consumer expectations lead employers need to follow. Application of these kinds of tools and products does not have to be either complex or expensive any more. Organisations that don't respond risk irrelevance in the modern world of work."

The research found evidence of employees embracing new digital learning programmes and models, with 41% wanting their employer to use blended learning, which combines online and traditional methods. Additionally, 27% would like to take advantage of adaptive learning, a personalised learning approach that adapts in real time to the individual employee’s capabilities.

“It’s not surprising that employees are embracing these learning models,” said Elliot Gowans, VP EMEA at D2L. “As employees become increasingly connected to each other and company information through modern technology, they have reset their expectations around when, where and how they learn.

“The modern workplace environment is evolving to include more field and remote workers, which means training increasingly needs to be accessible whenever and wherever employees need it. It’s critical that HR directors consider what their employees want and need when investing in their workplace learning experience.”

The survey also found that a fifth (20%) of HR directors do not measure the success of their learning programmes. “By failing to track and measure their programmes, HR directors are missing out on a golden opportunity to optimise employee learning and engagement,” said Gowans. “A learning programme doesn’t just benefit the employee; it can provide HR teams with invaluable information about employee performance.”