Mid-sized businesses are letting down learners, says new study

by L&D06 Apr 2016
Mid-sized organisations (employing between 250 and 1,000 staff) typically only invest 14% of their available L&D budget in learning technologies, according to a new study by the global research and benchmarking organisation Towards Maturity.

This is compared with top performing learning companies who put 25% of their budget towards technologies that will help staff learn and support their performance.

The report, Embracing Change in Mid-Sized Businesses, also found that 45% of mid-sized businesses expect their overall training budget to rise in the next couple of years, and 35% expect their L&D team to grow.

The key drivers for using learning technologies included increasing learning access and flexibility (98%), improving data analysis of learning impact (98%) and increasing appeal to millennium learners (64%).
While the benefits from using learning technologies meant 24% reported improvements in the ability to change procedures/products, 12% saw improvements in customer satisfaction, 11% had improvements in productivity and 13% achieved cost savings.
The report also made some interesting comparisons between the typical L&D professionals surveyed and the top learning organisations. This included:
  • 7% of L&D professionals encourage learners to solve problems together using social media tools, compared with 27% of top learning organisations
  • 13% of L&D professionals agree staff know how to work together to share knowledge, compared with 45% in top learning organisations
“Despite having modern business structures and increasingly multi-national operations, mid-sized businesses continue to lag behind their peers in e-enabling formal learning and embracing a truly blended approach to learning,” said Laura Overton, Managing Director of Towards Maturity.

“However, this research highlights the opportunities to learn from others, exploring how they can take advantage of new learning approaches and tools."

In particular, mid-sized businesses need to ensure they are doing enough to support their own growth, according to Rob Caul, CEO of Kallidus (the company who sponsored the report).

“Now is the time to be investing in new learning technologies and systems that today’s tech-savvy, self-driven learners need and want,” he said.

“Larger organisations have a much higher cost-of-entry point and more complex deployments, so mid-sized organisations stand to gain a big advantage by evolving their learning beyond the classroom now, even on a smaller scale."


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