Senior managers are missing a trick when it comes to using online research as a tool in their work.
A survey of 1,000 managers conducted by the Chartered Management Institute found that technological and cultural “barriers” have prevented large scale uptake of online learning at senior level in UK companies.
Despite having unlimited access to the internet, two-thirds of respondents admitted spending a paltry 30 minutes or less online in order to solve a particular problem.
About half of those questioned said they had too many distractions to use the internet for work or training purposes, while one in four admitted they lacked the motivation to complete an online learning course.
Nearly half of respondents say they have “too many distractions” to use the internet for work or training, while one in five argue the content fails to engage them.
More than seven in 10 still prefer face-to-face conversations, while nearly half claim resistance to e-learning is caused by the ‘loss of the human touch’.
Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at CMI, said: “There are clear business benefits to adopting e-learning models, but until organisations provide engaging development tools and support alongside these, uptake will continue to be slow.
“However, the integration of social networking with other online routes is likely to help this process, particularly as personal development will go beyond the boundaries of organisations.”
Penny de Valk, chief executive at the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), said: “E-learning is just one of a range of development tools available to managers, and although not a direct substitute for face-to-face contact with a tutor or trainer, it can be a powerful cost and time-effective means of supplementing and enhancing a learning experience, as part of a blended learning approach.
“The challenge for e-learning providers is to make the online experience as engaging and relevant as a more traditional learning environment,” she added.
The Public Sector People Managers’ Association (PPMA) said: “E-learning allows people to study at their own pace, at a time that suits them. By not needing a building based training centre, reduced travel and wider audiences all tick the plus box.”