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D2L research reveals three ways HR directors can maximise workplace learning technology

D2L, a global learning technology leader, has announced the results of research into the UK’s workplace learning landscape, employees’ learning preferences, and the role of technology in the learning experience.

The company conducted two surveys of 100 UK HR directors and 1,000 UK employees, which revealed that 97 percent of organisations believe their employees’ learning and development (L&D) is important, yet only 82 percent have a formal learning programme in place. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority (77 percent) of employees believe workplace learning is important to their continued professional development (CPD), with 37 percent claiming a lack of training had negatively impacted their career. Furthermore, 38 percent of employees state they would consider the quality of employee training when offered a job.

Recognise the importance of L&D technology

The survey also revealed that employees’ and HR directors’ expectations of L&D programmes do not correspond. Key findings included:

• 78 percent of employees believe it is important that their organisation is leveraging new technologies for learning, yet only 15 percent of HR directors agree • Half (50 percent) of UK organisations are failing to utilise tools such as video for employee coaching in their learning programmes, even though 68 percent of employees think this is valuable • 60 percent of employees believe their employer should implement mobile learning, but less than a third (30 percent) of organisations are doing so • Only 55 percent of employees are satisfied with their company’s L&D programme

“There is clearly a disconnect between what employees want and what organisations are delivering when it comes to the learning experience,” said Elliot Gowans, VP EMEA at D2L. “While these results indicate that HR directors are aware of the importance of a learning and development programme, this doesn’t always appear to translate into practice. Today’s employees are eager to learn and want a modern learning experience that utilises the most up-to-date technology and offers them the flexibility to learn from anywhere – so much so that it is starting to impact their decisions when accepting a new job. With learning and CPD becoming increasingly important to employees, by understanding the positive impact of their learning programmes and technology, HR directors will not only boost skills and improve engagement, but also attract and retain key talent.”

Embrace adaptive and blended learning

According to the research, employees are also embracing new digital learning programmes and models. Indeed, 41 percent of employees want their employer to use blended learning, which combines online and traditional methods, whilst 27 percent would like to take advantage of adaptive learning, a personalised learning approach that adapts in real-time to the individual employee’s capabilities. Gowans continued: “It’s not surprising that employees are embracing these learning models. As employees become increasingly connected to each other and company information through modern technology, they have reset their expectations around when, where and how they learn. The modern workplace environment is evolving to include more field and remote workers, which means training increasingly needs to be accessible whenever and wherever employees need it. In order to meet expectations and get the most out of their learning programmes, HR directors need to leverage technology that enables them to tailor training to each individual’s ability whilst combining digital and face-to-face learning.”

Measure the impact of L&D

Finally, the research indicated that those with L&D programmes in place are failing to maximise them or take time to understand the value of their investments. In fact, a fifth (20 percent) of HR directors claim they do not measure the success of their learning programme.

“The final – and maybe the most important – rule when investing in workplace learning technology is to measure, measure, measure. By failing to track and evaluate their programme, HR directors are missing out on a golden opportunity to optimise employee learning and engagement. A learning programme doesn’t just benefit the employee; it can provide HR teams with invaluable information about employee performance. It’s also key that HR directors know exactly what they are investing in so that they can maximise their workplace learning technology and adapt the programme if necessary to improve their Return on Investment (ROI),” concluded Gowans.

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