Are you satisfied with the work of your organization’s learning functions? Surveys have shown that a majority of managers believe corporate learning initiatives result in little change in employee performance. This Idea proposes five important changes to the way corporate learning is approached; changes that organizations need to make to ensure their corporate learning functions work effectively.
In his 2013 book titled The Business of Corporate Learning, Shlomo Ben-Hur writes that over the past 10 years, research has repeatedly shown that the proportion of business leaders who report being satisfied with their learning function’s performance has steadfastly remained as little as 20%. For an industry worth over $200 billion per year globally, that is a bad return on investment. The alarming reality is that often corporate learning does not work as it should, and this has been the case for some time now. So what needs to change, and what can businesses do to turn things around and make learning work?
Based on the findings in his book, Ben-Hur and Kinley lay out five critical changes to the way corporate learning is approached in an article published by the European Business Review:
The five priorities outlined above are, according to Ben-Hur and Kinley, at the heart of what corporate learning needs to do to make learning work. The jump from learning to behaviour change may be bigger for some organization than for others, particularly when not all learning practitioners agree that it is critical the shift takes place.
Businesses cannot afford to ignore how they approach learning. Firstly because downturn-driven budgetary pressures have increased demand for evidence of the impact and value of corporate learning; and secondly because coming out of recession into a rapidly changing business environment companies are entering a highly competitive phase where employee performance will be critical to sustained success.
Learning practitioners have a role to play that perhaps has never before been more prominent; skill shortages and fewer ways to achieve competitive advantage have driven more businesses to look internally, resulting in learning practitioners having the attention of their organizations like never before. By utilizing the five priorities above, they have the stage and the opportunity to put things right.
Making Corporate Learning Work. Shlomo Ben-Hur & Nik Kinley. European Business Review (March 2013).
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