Important learning and development statistics (and what they tell us)
Recent employee training statistics reveal some insightful learning trends that every L&D professional—and every manager—should know. Workplace learning has undergone some major shifts in recent years with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation and the evolving demands of the workplace. Unfortunately, not all employee training programs are keeping pace with the changes. If you want to know how to adapt your training moving forward, you have to follow the data.
Workplace training benefits your bottom line
Companies that invest in employee development report 11% greater profitability.
Maybe you want to invest more in L&D but you’re concerned about the costs involved. When you consider the cost of the training tools, L&D personnel and time required for training, the dollar amount certainly adds up. But when it’s done right, an investment in training can more than pay for itself—in the form of increased revenue, better customer loyalty, improved productivity and lower employee turnover. That’s why it should be viewed as an investment and not a burden.
Onboarding must be a priority
Gallup research reveals that 88% of employees believe their company does a poor job of onboarding.
This is very bad news, as insufficient onboarding leaves employees ill-prepared, frustrated and more likely to jump ship within their first few months of employment. If you want to achieve an easy edge over the competition, invest the time and effort necessary for effective onboarding. Check out our complete guide to the benefits of onboarding and how to do it better. Be sure to also check out these eye-opening onboarding statistics if you’re still not convinced of its importance.
Employees need post-onboarding support
Only 29% of new hires believe they are fully prepared and supported after the onboarding experience ends, according to the same Gallup research noted above.
It’s no longer enough to simply onboard employees and push them into the deep end. You need to oversee their growth, make their learning continuous and help them every step of the way. Make sure you’re checking in with your new hires regularly, and provide coaching and personal support wherever you can.
Employees want learning opportunities
62% of employees believe that learning is instrumental to success in their career, according to one global survey.
Far too many companies are still making the mistake of training employees on an as-needed basis (e.g. during onboarding and to fulfill a formal compliance training plan each year). But the majority of employees see learning as a priority. It should be a continuous—and not an intermittent—process. This is achievable using a microlearning tool that provides daily training in short, information-packed sessions.
Upskilling is also important
Nearly half of employees would switch to a new job if it offered upskilling opportunities.
If continuous learning is part of your process, you’re already halfway there. However, it’s not enough to teach and reinforce the fundamentals of the job. Employees crave professional development, personal growth and upward mobility. An effective learning strategy should include opportunities for upskilling, reskilling and cross-training. This helps employees to expand their skills beyond the basics, take on new roles and prepare for leadership positions down the line. Consider that LinkedIn Learning identified “upskilling and reskilling” as the #1 L&D priority in 2021, and it remains at #2 on their list in 2022 (right behind leadership training).
Internal mobility is becoming increasingly important
54% of learning and development professionals agree that internal mobility has become a higher priority at their organization since COVID-19, according to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report.
This is at the heart of why upskilling and reskilling are so important for organizations. When you’re facing hiring challenges, fluctuating employee retention and other personnel issues, you need an agile team that you can move between roles without much notice. You also need skilled, reliable team members that you can promote from within. Continuous training brings internal mobility within reach.
Strength-based learning is critical
Strength-based learning can increase employee engagement by as much as 23% and reduce attrition by as much as 73%.
As Gallup notes, workplace learning tends to focus on identifying and fixing people’s weaknesses. And while it’s definitely important to close skills gaps and address shortcomings, it’s also important to discover and build on people’s strengths. If you take the time to learn where your employees excel, you can help them to hone those skills even more. This can be very motivating because you’re catering to their passions and reinforcing skills that already provide a source of confidence and pride. Employees feel good about the learning, and the organization benefits as well.
Social learning is on the rise
Learners who use social features watch 30 times more hours of learning content than learners who don’t.
More and more frontline LMS technologies are embedding social features into the learning. Some modern learning management systems allow learners to communicate with one another in the app, compete against each other on the leaderboard, provide encouragement and even engage in friendly ribbing. This brings teams together, makes the learning more engaging and encourages much higher participation.
How to prioritize learning and development moving forward
These learning and development statistics should hopefully provide simple but important takeaways. Workplace learning must be a priority and it needs to be engaging, relevant and delivered on a continuous basis.
To meet the demands of the evolving frontline workforce, you need a training tool that’s equipped to address today’s challenges: limited time, limited engagement, limited L&D personnel.
Our own research confirms that a majority of frontline organizations still use old-school training systems designed for employees who sit at a desk; only 44% of corporate respondents and 35% of frontline respondents use a learning management system for training (for more details, refer to our Deskless Report).
If you want your training to make an impact, it all starts with the right training system. That means offering something that’s engaging, mobile-friendly, personalized and designed for continuous learning with material that’s highly relevant. For many jobs, instructor-led training is also important.
The fundamentals of training haven’t changed, but the needs of organizations are constantly evolving. If you’re able to keep pace with those changes, you’ll be well ahead of the curve.