Why young managers want face-to-face training

by L&D14 Dec 2015
Younger managers are more likely to choose face-to-face training as opposed to digital learning, according to a new report by CMI and Oxford Strategic Consulting.

The reason for this is the shortcomings of the digital learning solutions which are on offer compared to high-quality smartphone apps, according to the research.  

Indeed, the results also found that four in five (79%) managers believe their organisation is not realising the digital learning potential of smartphone and tablet web-enabled apps.  

The survey consisted of responses by 1,184 UK managers and also found that 69% believe that their organisation only offers digital management and leadership development to cut costs. That’s compared to just 20% who think it is actually used to improve the quality of teaching.

Moreover, more than one in three (37%) surveyed said that the courses are not properly aligned with the organisation’s objectives.

One way the respondents said the digital learning experience could be improved is by concentrating on the personalisation of the learning experience.

Seventy-three percent of managers said they want to see digital learning become more personalised by using adaptive learning technologies, with content and approach tailored to personal learning style and progression.

Further, 41% of those under 35 say they would find games or apps helpful for digital learning, compared to only 16% of those over 55s.

Another interesting result was that 58% of younger managers want better peer networks, which only 15% think digital learning methods are currently able to offer.

The control and content of leadership development is increasingly exercised by leaders themselves at all levels, instead of L&D experts within their own organisations, said the report’s lead author, Professor William Scott-Jackson of Oxford Strategic Consulting.

"Successful L&D professionals will respond by providing guidance for self-directed learning, ensuring that high-quality content is easily accessible, building new ways to help ‘do’ leadership as well as learning it and providing accreditation for a wide variety of journeys to leadership capability," Scott was quoted as saying by The Training Journal

"This is a great opportunity for professionals who can adapt but suggests a career change for those who can’t!”

Additionally, CMI’s chief executive Ann Francke said: “Many employers need to rethink how they go about helping their managers learn new skills. Just dumping textbooks onto smartphones is a dumb way to upskill managers. Managers want personalised bite-size content, to share knowledge and learn from connected peer networks, to ask questions and get feedback in real time. Why? Because it’s now part of how we work and live.”