“Are Search and Social ousting L&D?”

Although the Learning and Workplace Survey is still open, the results of 3,500 people* who rated the importance (value/usefulness) of 10 different ways of learning in the workplace are shown below –  ranked by their combined Very Important + Essential scores with the red shaded areas and red figures highlighting where the most responses have been received.

Rank Results of the Learning in the Workplace survey
at C4LPT.co.uk
Essential VIP +
 1 Knowledge sharing within your team  2%  11% 30%  57% 87% 
 2 Web search for resources (eg Google) 3% 18% 32% 47% 79% 
 3 General conversations and meetings  2% 19% 39% 40% 79% 
 4 Personal & professional networks and communities 3%  22% 38% 37% 75%
 5 External blogS and news feeds 11%  27%  37% 25% 62%
6 Content curated from external sources  10% 32% 38% 20% 58%
 7 Self-directed study of external courses  13% 34% 35% 18% 53%
 8 Internal company documents  14% 39% 30% 17% 47%
 9 Internal job aids  20%  36% 29% 15% 44%
 10 Company training/e-learning 24%  39% 22% 15% 37%

As you can see the results show that company training/e-learning is the lowest rated way to learn at work, whilst knowledge sharing within teams, web search, conversations and professional networking are the most valued.

These results have already led to someone asking me the question “Are Search and Social ousting L&D?” I certainly think it is a strong indicator that the function needs to change, and the results suggest the focus of work should be in the areas that are seen as high value, e.g.

  1. supporting knowledge sharing in work and project teams across the organisation
  2. building the new personal and social learning skills that will ensure all employees can thrive in today’s workplace.
  3. developing self-service resources in more usable and popular formats

I’m currently carrying out some finer analysis on the results focusing on different types of users (using the categories below), which is already highlighting some interesting information about specific user preferences. Once completed, I will share further details in another post.

* Who took the survey?

  • Sex: Male: 40%; Female : 60%
  • Age: <30 : 7%, 31-40 : 27%,  41-50: 33%, 51-60 : 26%; >60 : 7%
  • Job type: Non-managerial+other: 54%, line managers: 8%; middle: 19%, senior: 19%
  • Function: 50% HR/L&D, 50% from all other functions (incl 9% IT, 5% Sales & Marketing)
  • Industry: 36% edu-related; 64% non-edu related (incl 10% technology, 10% Government, 9% financial services, 5% healthcare, 4% retail)
  • Organisation size: 64% from orgs with more than 250 people, evenly split between other org sizes
  • Location: In 54 countries incl USA (32%), Australia (12%), Canada (7%), UK (18%) and other countries in Europe, South America & Asia

7 thoughts on ““Are Search and Social ousting L&D?”

  1. Pingback: Education News / “Are Search and Social ousting L&D?”

  2. John Laskaris @ Talent LMS

    Jane, this is a solid piece of work and data. Thanks for sharing it!
    Team sharing and web search being on top is not a big surprise in my opinion.
    Training/eLearning being the last is however thought-provoking..

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  6. Kim Maston

    I love what you’re doing, and I really look forward to the lens of finer analysis.

    Some anecdotal experience to share in response to the above results:

    I work in an Operations environment. The past few years has seen a drastic reduction in budget for training and personal development (e.g. nil funds for courses). Consequently Operations personnel are banding together in peer-drive development projects, using their lunch hour to facilitate progress.

    Repeated requests made to the business to provision some form of company training has been met with resistance, with only the simplest of ‘training’ programs being offered (i.e. powerpoint presentation).

    I know this experience would flavour my estimation of importance for company training. On a positive note, the collaboration and sharing of knowledge among peers has contributed to significant individual and organisational development opportunities, particularly as it is nil cost to the business.

    1. Jane Hart Post author

      Kim, thanks for sharing your experience – I’m seeing similar things happen in many other organisations. Would be interested to hear what kinds of projects you are are coming up with.

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