Employers urged to move on from outdated training methods

Employers are relying on outdated training methods and techniques when developing their staff, according to research published today by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The research, launched to coincide with HRD, the CIPD’s annual learning and development (L&D) conference, found that “traditional” methods of workplace learning still dominate many L&D programmes, despite being considered to be among the least effective ways of developing employees’ skills.

According to the CIPD, just 16% of L&D professionals identified formal education courses and coaching by external practitioners as the most effective ways of delivering training. Meanwhile, only 11% of respondents identified e-learning as an effective learning method.

Despite doubts about its effectiveness, less than one-fifth (17%) of respondents plan to reduce their reliance on classroom and trainer-led instruction over the next two years.

When asked what methods are most likely to work for them, most respondents identified training that is integrated into the normal course of people’s jobs. Just over half (52%) of respondents said that in-house development programmes were among the most effective ways of delivering training, while almost as many (46%) cited coaching by line managers, and four in 10 (9%) pointed towards on-the-job training.

Dr John McGurk, learning and talent development adviser at the CIPD, said: “Many of the learning approaches used by organisations are legacies of a learning environment where the classroom, courses and ‘sheep-dip’ learning were the order of the day. However, in today’s environment, the skills of continuous collaborative and connective learning are paramount.

“Even compliance learning and advanced skills learning needs to be re-thought with the advent of gaming and simulation. We need to take into account how generations learn and share knowledge and we need to understand anew the process of learning and knowledge. We need to lift our awareness of the emerging science on learning and in some cases we need to slaughter some of the sacred cows which have informed practice.”

If you’re considering new methods of learning and development, see Personnel Today’s Buyers’ Guide on the subject.

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