Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

Employees Take Charge of Their Development

 -  1/7/13

The days of training as something that is done to you are ending. Replacing it is a more employee-driven model that is responsive to changing career paths and organizational priorities.

The business trends of the last few years are pretty clear. Austerity and tepid economic growth left corporate executives less willing — or perhaps unable — to spend. Evolving technology and market disruptions led to a need for rapid change. What’s less clear is what it means for employee development.

More employee-driven development is one potential implication, according to Bill Sebra, North America president for Futurestep, a talent management consultancy and division of Korn/Ferry International.

With a rich set of tools and learning opportunities for employees outside the corporate realm, workers now have the ability to set their own course and pace of study — whether it happens through a tablet, smartphone or other electronic device.

This is especially true for younger generations, whose time is fragmented and who have expectations that steer toward interactivity and visual stimulation. Yet while learner expectations are becoming more nontraditional, corporate learning and development remains overwhelmingly formal and structured.

According to an analysis of 2012 survey data from the Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Board (BIB), a group of 1,500 learning and development professionals, roughly 68 percent of learning still happens either through classroom training or formally on-the-job. Another 14 percent is conducted through instructor-led e-learning. In all, about 82 percent of learning is delivered by an instructor in a formal or structured setting.

Given the reality of business today, the traditional approach may need a rethink.

Boom, Bust and the Changing Pace of Learning
Economic recessions used to follow a fairly predictable pattern that played well to a formalized structure of instructor-led learning. The typical recession lasted about two to three years; the boom that followed lasted anywhere from seven to 10 years, Sebra said.

In the last couple of decades, however, that cycle has changed. Organizations don’t have the kind of time they’ve grown accustomed to for training and development during better economic periods.

“Today, the bust is lasting much longer … and the boom times are shorter,” Sebra said. “They’re not nearly as long as they were. So therefore people have to get trained and get trained fast.”

Article Keywords:   development   training  


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