Employers embracing more collaborative hands-on learning cultures

Employers embracing collaborative, hands-on learning culturesThere is a growing trend for employers to create collaborative hands-on learning cultures, with internal knowledge-sharing initiatives such as job shadowing and social learning increasingly commonplace. In the latest snapshot of the annual survey of L&D professionals by the CIPD, coaching by line managers or peers was the method of learning most likely to grow in use in organisations over the next two years, according to almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents. Over half (53%) expect to see the use of in-house development programmes increase, and on-the-job training (48%) and internal knowledge sharing events (46%) are also expected to become prevalent. The findings imply a growing focus on efforts to foster a learning culture with many organisations using technology to support learning and development.

After coaching by line mangers or peers, e-learning courses were the second most favoured learning technique, with 59 percent of L&D professionals expecting to use these more over the next two years. A third of organisations (36%) expect their use of virtual classrooms and webinars to increase and a quarter (25%) believe that their use of mobile device-based learning will also increase.

Ruth Stuart, Research Adviser for L&D at the CIPD, commented: “Learning and development is continually affected by external factors and the wider organisation, particularly as systems become smarter, new tools and techniques constantly come to the fore and resources ebb and flow. L&D teams face a stimulating and challenging future in meeting organisational and learner requirements in fast-paced and busy environments.

“This year’s L&D Survey shows companies becoming much more hands-on in the development of their staff and it’s up to L&D professionals to facilitate different ways of sharing knowledge throughout the organisation in order to achieve long-term sustainable change – collaboration and versatility are key to this.”

Almost a third of organisations expect a decline in their use of external development events such as instructor-led training delivered off the job (30% of respondents) and external conferences, workshops and events (25%) over the next two years. However, this is not necessarily the case for smaller organisations. Companies with fewer than 50 employees are not only more likely to use external development events than internal ones, they’re also more likely to report an increase in use of these over the next two years.

Stuart continues: “These figures show us that one size definitely doesn’t fit all, and it depends entirely on the needs of individual organisations, their workforce profile and their resources as to which L&D initiatives work best. However, regardless of size, sector, access to resources or growth prospects, organisations need to make sure their investments in L&D are the right ones and that activity is directed towards improving organisational performance.”