Workplace learning has changed dramatically in the past ten years and technology has been the primary driver of that change. However, it has not necessarily been learning solutions supplied by organisations that have been the game-changer. The way that technology has enabled workers to self-direct their learning has been the significant factor. Whether it’s been fully acknowledged or not, this has dramatically changed the learner’s relationship with L&D.
By capitalising on recent insights into today’s learners – their motivations, habits and preferences – L&D can drive improved business performance through increased learner engagement.
Modern Learning Habits
Research shows us that employees are accessing the ‘learning’ they need differently from how they did just a few years ago. Most are now looking for what they need away from their organisation’s Learning & Development channels. For example, it’s recognised that more than 70% of employees will now use web searches to learn what they need for their jobs and are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to find just-in-time, immediate answers to their unexpected problems.
The way people are interacting with their mobile devices provides further insight into modern habits.
- 91% of smartphone users will turn to their devices for ideas while completing a task
- Searches related to “how to” on YouTube are growing 70% each year
- More than 70% of employees use search engines to learn what they need for their jobs; will unlock their smartphones 9 times an hour; and watch videos for no longer than 4 minutes
Employees are learning from more varied sources…
Research is showing that employees are developing ‘continuous learning’ habits whilst drawing from various sources to do so. Furthermore, the involvement of the organisation and L&D is a small proportion of this continuous process as people explore and discover new trusted sources.
- Employees spend up to 5x more time learning from their own sources: Workers invest more than 14 hours a month, on average, learning on their own, but just two to three hours on employer-provided training
- Employees rely disproportionately on self-direction vs company L&D: 23% of workers say they completed a course of any kind in the last 2 years, whereas more than 70% learned something for their job from an article, video or book in the last 24 hours
…But company training is the lowest rated way to learn in the workplace
The relationship between L&D and today’s Empowered Learners has changed, with direct access to experts, knowledge and learning freely available online. This was seen starkly in a recent survey to rate the importance (value/usefulness) of 10 different ways of learning in the workplace. It was revealed that ‘web-searching for resources’ came second only to ‘knowledge sharing within the team’. ‘Company training/E-learning’ was rated least important – and ranked 10 out of a possible 10.
Learn what this means for your Learning & Development, and what simple, practical steps you can take to make your offering more appealing to today’s Empowered Learners. Download your free copy of the white paper today.