This year in the 6th Annual Learning in the Workplace survey, I asked respondents to rate the importance (value/usefulness) – of the following 12 ways of learning for, at or through work.
- Classroom training
- e-Learning (e.g. online courses for self-study)
- Internal resources (documents, guides etc.,)
- Knowledge sharing within your team
- Daily work experiences (i.e. doing the day job)
- Manager feedback and guidance
- Coach or mentor feedback and guidance
- Professional networks and communities
- Conferences and professional events
- Blogs and news feeds
- Web resources (e.g. videos, podcasts, articles)
- Web search (e.g. Google).
The results from over 5,000* people worldwide make for interesting reading. In the table below they are ranked by their combined VI+Ess scores. The red figures are where the most responses were received in each category.
(NI = Not important, QI=Quite Important, VI=Very Important, Ess=Essential)
|Rank||Results of the 6th Learning in the Workplace survey
(as at Tuesday 8 August 2017)
|1||Daily work experiences (ie doing the day job)||1||6||26||67||93|
|2||Knowledge sharing within your team||1||9||30||60||90|
|3||Web search (eg Google)||5||16||27||52||79|
|4||Web resources (eg videos, podcasts, articles)||4||20||37||39||76|
|5||Manager feedback and guidance||7||19||39||35||74|
|6||Professional networks and communities||4||24||41||31||72|
|7||Coach or mentor feedback and guidance||7||28||43||22||65|
|8||Internal resources (eg documents, guides, etc)||8||32||35||25||60|
|9||Blogs and news feeds||10||34||33||23||56|
|10||E-Learning (eg online courses for self-study)||20||39||25||16||41|
|11||Conferences and other professional events||17||48||32||3||35|
The most interesting thing to note about these results is that the 4 most valued ways of learning – Daily work experiences, Knowledge sharing with teams, Web search and the use of Web resources are all self-organised and self-managed “non-designed” forms of learning, whilst “designed” and “organised” forms of learning like Classroom training and E-Learning – both of which L&D traditionally has focused on – are the least valued ways of learning in the workplace.
All this seems to point to the fact that there needs to be some changes to the work that L&D does in order to offer a service that is more valued in the business.
Whilst some L&D teams are putting in great efforts to modernise their “designed” learning efforts – in order to make them more relevant for today’s people – this will not be enough. There is now enormous potential to support the other ways of learning in the organisation.
But that doesn’t mean putting in place some new enterprise learning platform and trying to capture and manage all the “learning” thats happening outside formal learning initiatives – an impossible task anyway. It doesn’t mean DOING more things TO people.
- It means enabling and supporting individuals to DO more FOR THEMSELVES – by helping them to
- get more out of their daily work
- to organise and manage their own continuous learning (i.e. self-improvement and self-development) both inside and outside the organisation – rather than simply spoon-feeding them stuff. This which will include helping them to
- grow their professional networks
- keep up to date with their industry or profession
- learn something new every day
- It also means working with managers to help them take a more active part in the growth of their people.
But all that requires a brand new L&D mindset, new L&D role(s), and new L&D skills, as I showed in The Case for the new Role of a Modern Learning Advisor.
Those L&D departments that offer new services that are of real value to the business are more likely not just to survive but to thrive in the modern workplace,
What do you think these results mean for the future of L&D? Comments are open below.
Meanwhile, if you want to find out more about helping your L&D department modernise their activities, take a look at our online workshops.
*Breakdown of demographics
- Countries: From 63 countries around the world, including USA 25%, UK 25%, Australia 9%, Canada 7%, New Zealand 6%, Germany 5%, Netherlands 3%
- Industries: Education 25%,Financial Services 10%, Government 9%, Healthcare 6%, Technology 6%
- Organisation size: 250+ people 66%,
- Function: HR/L&D 59%, IT 5%, Marketing 4%
- Job type: Non-managerial 39%, Senior manager 22%, Middle manager 18%, Line manager 10%, Other 10%
- Age: 41-50 36%, 51-60 25%, 31-40 24%, <30 6%, >60 6%
- Sex: Female 62%, Male 38%
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