Employers failing to use technology for workforce development

UK employers are currently failing to realise the potential of technology in developing their workforces and are missing out on the benefits it offers, according to the results of a survey published today.

The research, carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and e-learning provider Cornerstone On-Demand, found that while three-quarters (74%) of employers currently use e-learning in their organisations, only 15% cited it as one of the most effective learning methods available to them.

The survey’s authors said this gap needs to be closed if businesses are to keep up with the impact of globalisation and to enable them to benefit from improved connectivity and flexibility in their staff development.

While employers’ perception of e-learning has improved over the past five years (up from 7% of organisations ranking it as an effective method in 2009), work needs to be done before it is regarded as highly as methods such as coaching by line managers or in-house development programmes, which are cited by 39% and 48% of respondents respectively as being among the most effective training methods available to them.

Dr John McGurk, learning and development adviser at the CIPD and author of the report, said: “The globalisation of many businesses and the need for an agile and highly skilled workforce means that e-learning should be embraced as a vital tool for developing talent and capability across organisations. However, our research data suggests that UK businesses are not taking full advantage of the flexibility of e-learning and the networking opportunities it affords.”

Vincent Belliveau, senior vice president and general manager for EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand, added: “A misconception of e-learning is that it only suits training on compliance issues, such as health and safety regulations, data protection and financial regulations. However, this is not the case. We know it can support much wider forms of learning, such as leadership development and crisis management.

“My advice to HR professionals is to consider how e-learning methods could be exploited to support your employees in terms of engagement, productivity and efficiency. Newer technologies offer a great number of opportunities, so take advantage of these to upskill your workforce.”

For more information on e-learning, see Personnel Today’s free buyers’ guide on the topic.

XpertHR has 2012 survey data on how to measure the success of learning.

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