Are you unleashing the power of your learners?

by Brett Henebery18 Jan 2017
A new report shows that helping learners reach their potential through innovative processes is paramount to future success, but are organisations adapting?

The research – titled ‘Unlocking potential’ – was released by business management consultants, Towards Maturity. It found that if done well, digitally-enabled learning innovation can reduce risk and help organisations thrive.

According to the authors’ findings, the potential for change is considerable.

Digitally-enabled learning innovation has been shown to improve agility by implementing change faster, increase revenue and customer satisfaction and attract (and keep) the best people.

However, as the report pointed out: “the C-suite research does not consider that their people professionals are able to deliver or are equipped to deliver”, which can limit their expectations of help.

For example, only 57% of C-suite believe that their academies are “very or fully aligned” with corporate priorities.

The report’s research team, Laura Overton and Dr Genny Dixon, said that it is time for business leaders and learning leaders to expect more – and time for change.

“The detailed analysis in ‘Unlocking Potential’ identifies the step-by-step actions that L&D professionals need to take to support the agile workforce needed in the future,” they said.
A record 93% of L&D professionals want to integrate learning and work – however, only 15% are delivering on this.

Overton and Dixon pointed out that at a time when businesses need to respond faster than ever before, this is a challenge that people professionals clearly need to address.

“Although 19% of L&D budget is allocated to learning technologies and organisations have doubled the numbers of technology they use, L&D are still struggling to deliver against their goals,” they said.
One step forwards, two steps backwards?
  • 95% of L&D leaders want to respond faster to changing business conditions, but only 19% are making progress 
  • 90% want to play an active role in supporting business innovation, but only 17% report they are succeeding
The slow pace of change prompted Overton and Dixon 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.

These are: 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)
Overton and Dixon said today’s successful workplaces are fast moving, global and digital.
“Learning innovation, done well, delivers results that can support sustainable, agile workplaces. Business and learning leaders alike need to expect more,” they said.