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Is Learning Broken?

February 17, 2020
Andy Yates

Is there a more damning statistic than this? A 2019 survey by the City & Guilds Group, found that around 7 in every 8 employees believe that their recent learning opportunities have not been effective.

Put another way - companies have been throwing away the vast majority of hard earned training budgets on training and learning that clearly doesn't work.

At the same time there appears to be a real demand for training and support to improve skills. The survey showed that almost four fifths of employees did not felt well equipped to do their job to the best possible standard and a similar percentage have had problems accessing learning and development resources (go figure).

But perhaps the saddest statistic is that over two thirds of respondents said that training content was not always exciting and engaging. Or as the headline in People Management put it: "UK workers ‘bored and disinterested’ with workplace learning".

John Yates, the group director of corporate learning at City & Guilds Group, was quoted as saying: “Our findings clearly show that employees in the UK are crying out for new ways to learn and train...Employers need to deliver training in a way that makes it easier for employees to learn on their own terms, fitting around their schedules..."

Employers need to deliver training in a way that makes it easier for employees to learn on their own terms, fitting around their schedules...

We have no doubt all been bored to 'death by powerpoint presentations' and pointless training 'jollies' out of the office in the past. Where anything we learn is fleeting at best - and rarely used back at work for more than a few days.

But surely the days of old school training methods are numbered. Colleagues want flexible training that doesn't interfere with their day jobs. Better content that is delivered in an engaging (and gamified way) to actually stick in the mind and be used in everyday practice. A measurable, comprehensive and regular programme of training - not just a one off, here today, gone tomorrow hit.

Employees are calling out for this. Let's hope employers are listening.

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