How to blend learning and work

by Brett Henebery26 Jun 2017
Towards Maturity’s latest benchmark report – Unlocking Potential – shows that a record 93% of L&D professionals want to integrate learning and work. However, only 15% are delivering on this.

At a time when organisations need to respond faster than ever before, this is a challenge that needs to be addressed.

The report found that while 19% of L&D budgets are allocated to learning technologies and organisations have doubled the numbers of technology they use, L&D professionals are still struggling to deliver against their goals.

This slow pace of change has prompted Towards Maturity to develop a new statistical analysis for this year’s benchmark data.

The analysis identified 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.

Laura Overton, CEO and founder of Towards Maturity, says translating learning strategies into improved individual and organisational performance is now a key part of what L&D does.

“Our research shows that L&D leaders see their learning strategy as a means to deliver much more than learning impact,” she said, adding that top-performing organisations could see the following boost in performance:
  • Reduce the time-to-competence by up to 15%
  • Increase productivity by 14%
  • Improve organisational revenue by 10%
Overton says that while these are ambitious goals, some L&D teams are already achieving them.
“Of our Top Deck organisations [those in the top 10% of our benchmarking index], 62% are achieving performance and productivity benefits [versus the average of 26%],” she said.

“Integrating learning and work is a great starting point. By thinking of learning as a part of work – not separate to it – learning leaders can start to look beyond the course.”

When it comes to blending learning and work, some organisations have found that starting small and focusing on building a coaching culture has been an effective way of achieving this.

A study between International Coach Federation (ICF) and Human Capital Institute (HCI) found that 43% of organisations reported using internal coaches to work with employees and 60% say coaching is available to their high potential employees.

One L&D professional that has used this method to improve team performance in her own company is Lauren Karan, group L&D lead at Fulton Hogan, a civil engineering and construction company.

“Integrating short workshops over a couple of months and introducing coaching concepts is certainly something that has worked for us,” Karan told L&D Professional.

“Combine that with executive coaching and internal coaching through 360 feedback and succession planning and you are able to start to map and integrate coaching across various levels of the organisation.”

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