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3 Things We Didn’t Expect from Our Continuous Learning Survey

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by 
Erin Cushing
on June 27, 2016

Workplace learning is a valuable and inevitable piece of the employee experience. Talented, highly experienced workers do not just appear when you need them most; your most valuable employees will require training, leadership, and information from your organization in order to become a long-term high performer. While formal learning management programs have become a staple across organizations, the ways in which employees want to learn – and successfully translate that learning into improved job performance – is radically changing.

In fact, Bersin by Deloitte research shows that corporate learning has become the third largest priority for businesses across the world; organizations are trying to develop programs that better serve their employees’ needs and in turn, better benefit the business.

That’s why PeopleFluent launched its Continuous Learning survey; we wanted to see how large companies are thinking about, structuring, and measuring their learning programs. We asked 509 large organizations with at least 1,500 employees about their learning programs. As we sift through the data, we have found 3 early conclusions that we were surprised to see. We weren’t expecting:

  1. Most Organizations Are Trying to Modernize Their Learning Programs When people tend to think of corporate learning, more often than not they picture those dreaded classroom sessions, where workers are pulled away from their work for hours- or day- long training. However, according to our survey, most organizations recognize that this form of learning is disruptive and less effective. 75.6% of our survey respondents are implementing some sort of continuous learning program in their organization. Continuous Learning is a program that enables an employee’s ability to develop and improve one’s skills and knowledge to perform effectively and adapt to changes in the workplace. Continuous learning is not, by definition, a one-time event; organizations are recognizing that good employees never stop growing and learning, and are structuring programs to support this type of learning style.
  2. Organizations are Tailoring Learning Programs to Support Business and Individual Goals Learning programs, while valuable to individuals who are focused on building their skill sets for career advancement, are also at their core responsible for driving business success; after all, the purpose of corporate learning is to instill specific knowledge, experiences, and habits into workers that will enable them to better perform their work on behalf of the organization. That’s why we were happy to see that of those companies using continuous learning programs, 76.1% aligns their learning programs with business goals, and proactively measures the effectiveness of those programs in helping reach business goals. This connection between programming and business objectives demonstrates a level of maturity in thinking about and developing learning program that serves both employees and business on a macro level.
  3. Organizations Are Trying to Wrangle Multiple Technologies into Their Learning Programs Gone are the days where a single instructor or course program is enough to serve employees and the business effectively. More and more organizations endeavor to enable employees with the right technologies to facilitate ongoing, peer-to-peer and expert-to-learner communication. For example, 40.3% of our continuous learning respondents are implementing social networks, video, podcasts, and other forms of digital learning, while 57.7% are using eLearning or online courses (respondents were able to choose more than one technology option). As organizations add more technologies to their continuous learning programs, they will need a next-generation learning management solution that will better manage these applications and tie learning data to performance data to better measure effectiveness.

We’re learning more and more about continuous learning and modern corporate learning as we sift through our survey data; stay tuned for more insights and analysis coming soon!

Interested in seeing what a next-generation learning management system looks like? Schedule a demo of our award-winning solution.

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