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Our L&D Practitioner Survey Results: What Are the Biggest L&D Challenges?

Matthew Hughes 

March 6, 2019

In October 2018 we surveyed over 400 learning and development (L&D) practitioners. We wanted to find out what organizations think about L&D, what their top challenges are, and what role technology plays in creating learning strategies. In this blog we explore some of the surprising results revealed by our survey.

For even more survey insights, you can download our Corporate L&D Practitioner Survey infographic.

First of all, our survey showed that 91 percent of respondents are increasing or retaining their L&D budget, meaning that organizations do in fact see the advantages of L&D and are willing to invest in it.

We also learned that 73 percent of L&D professionals believe that the role of online learning is increasing. Organizations are now redirecting their investments toward online learning, as opposed to classroom-based learning.

However, one of the big challenges that L&D practitioners face in delivering effective learning is the lack of learner engagement. Our respondents highlighted three main issues: 36 percent cited “not enough time”; 29 percent signaled that some believe “development is not a priority”; and 17 percent blamed “a lack of resources.”

So how do we get people more engaged in online learning?

We discovered that organizations are trying out new approaches to reinvent their learning strategies and drive engagement. The top three were social learning (at 26 percent), personalization (at 24 percent), and the use of marketing techniques (at 14 percent).

After finding the right approach, the next stage is to measure the success of learning investments. The top three metrics that L&D professionals are using to assess their success are the application of knowledge/new skills (at 30 percent), behavior change in the workplace (at 29 percent), and the impact on key performance indicators such as revenue, cost and customer satisfaction (at 16 percent).

To measure the success of their investments, it’s important for organizations to identify their learning goals and to set key objectives. When asked for the primary business purpose of their investments in L&D, 29 percent of practitioners cited a desire to increase their organizational agility.

To benefit from this agility, organizations must above all focus on reinforcing and sustaining their available learning resources. When asked how successful their organization is in reinforcing and sustaining learning, respondents gave an average star rating of 3.1 stars out of 5, with only 32 percent rating their organization as “good” or “excellent.”

Check out our recent blog on the subject to find out what kind of learning your people need.

Is your organization thinking about investing more in L&D? What do you think about these results? Do they match your own experience? Join in the discussion below and share your thoughts!

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