Are big workloads killing L&D?

by John Hilton07 Dec 2015
The common workload expectation has resulted in employees typically having just 1% of their work week available to dedicate to L&D, according to recent research from Bersin by Deloitte.

Rosie Cairnes, Regional Director – Australia and New Zealand at Skillsoft, told L&D Professional that it’s an “alarming statistic”.

“When you think about what’s required in the average role today the statistic is a scary thought,” she said. 

“But in reality everyone is busy, so while we would like to see an improved allocation of time offered for L&D I think workers are battling workload pressures.”

Cairnes added that instead, L&D practitioners should rethink the way they offer learning tools to learners to entice them for that reality.

“In order to get learner participation you need to respect the needs of the learner and the learner’s preferences,” she said.

“I think that is more likely to be the thing that has an impact as opposed to requiring everybody to spend more time in L&D.”

Cairnes added that the trend is especially worrying given we have a skills shortage.

She said this was elaborated on in a recent report by McKenzie which referred to the projection that by 2020 there will be about 85 million fewer skilled workers than we need for the roles at that time.

“I think that for L&D to have measurable impacts to the bottom line, and to move the dial on the key business metrics they are going after they need to offer learning solutions that respond to time-poor learners,” she said.

L&D needs to be able to provide solutions where individuals can learn at the speed of business, Cairnes added.

“It’s all about making it easy at the learner level for them to consume the content and get something beneficial to take away in a relatively short space of time,” she said.

“L&D practitioners should really think about their mix and about whether or not they are responding to the needs of the modern learner today, because if they are not then that 1% of the working week that they spend on L&D is not going to be delivering any impact.”