learning survey

2012 UK Learning Trends Survey

Just in case you missed it, the 6 monthly UK Learning Trends Survey from GoodPractice was released a month or two ago.This survey of 250 Learning and Development professionals  provides a  UK sector learning and development pulse check.

I always wonder how survey results would vary if it included stakeholders outside learning and development. Nevertheless it tells us something about the mood and perceived priorities in the UK and we might be able to make come connections with the New Zealand economy.

Key survey findings included

A continued focus on Leadership Development

When considering the most critical areas of L&D focus for the next six months, leadership development remains the most important area of focus at 45%. Although leadership development continues to be ranked above all other issues, the gap between it and the next most critical issues (namely management performance, performance management and talent management) has closed. For example, the development of middle and senior management, talent management and performance management initiatives have all seen a renewed focus. These three areas are ranked equal second in terms of importance at 35%.

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Organisational efficiency should still be your primary driver

Maintaining organisational efficiency remains the primary driver for L&D, ranked above all other issues at 67%. This emphasis on efficiency demonstrates a more commercial, results-driven approach to learning provision. Given the challenging economic conditions, the pressure on L&D to provide value and be cost-effective is now central to its very existence. This focus on organisational efficiency demonstrates a move towards a more commercial, results-driven approach to learning provision.
Don’t ignore social media

The latest Learning Trends survey highlights the expanding role played by social media across the L&D landscape. 56% of learning managers predict an increase in the use of social media tools in their L&D solutions in the coming six months – an increase of 10% from the previous survey. As interest in, and demand for, social media to support learning gathers pace, L&D’s role should be about encouraging the use of relevant social media tools to ensure they have a positive impact on the overall learning experience.

A greater emphasis on informal learning

In the survey, 57% of learning managers highlighted increased budget support for informal learning – an increase of 10% on the previous survey. More organisations are beginning to identify and harness the benefits of informal learning. As traditional, face-to-face learning delivery comes under pressure from financial and efficiency perspectives, informal learning has become more prevalent. It is unclear in the survey if this a deliberate strategic choice and or a symptom of cost constraints.
Overall the survey was upbeat about the emerging role of L+D in the next year which is a good thing. In a nutshell I think the survey tells us what we already know , make sure your activities  are strongly anchored in the business strategy, deliver a blended range of effective and efficient learning practices and opportunities and recognise the reality that most people learn most whilst being challenged on the job.
You can access a free copy right here

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