Mid-sized businesses are failing modern learners, finds Towards Maturity report

Mid-sized businesses are struggling to support the needs of today’s self-driven learners, reveals new research from Towards Maturity.

The data shows companies must modernise their learning strategies if they want to achieve the same business benefits as top learning organisations.  

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Launched today, Towards Maturity’s latest Sector Benchmark Report, Embracing Change in Mid-Sized Businesses, shows that mid-sized organisations (employing between 250 and 1,000 staff) only invest 14% of their available L&D budget in learning technologies, compared with top performing learning companies who dedicate a quarter (25%) of their budget to technologies that will help staff learn and support their performance.

Today’s employees want an on-demand learning experience, yet only 29 per cent of mid-sized businesses support learning directly in the flow of work, with just 20 per cent enabling employees to access job aids online or via mobile devices (compared with 68 per cent and 59 per cent of top learning organisations respectively).

The majority of mid-sized businesses are also failing to embrace informal learning, realising the power of social media for enabling learners to collaborate and solve problems together, despite 64 per cent of L&D professionals in the sample saying their appeal to the millennial learner is a key driver for their use of learning technologies.

Commenting on the findings, Laura Overton, Managing Director of Towards Maturity said: Despite having modern business structures and increasingly multi-national operations, mid-sized businesses continue to lag behind their peers in e-enabling formal learning and embracing a truly blended approach to learning. However, this research highlights the opportunities to learn from others, exploring how they can take advantage of new learning approaches and tools.”

There is plenty of opportunity ahead as the survey found that 45 per cent of respondents expect their overall training budget to increase in the next two years – the organisations that are successfully adopting learning technologies are reaping tangible benefits. While 24 per cent of respondents reported improvements in their ability to change procedures or products and 12 per cent reported improvements in customer satisfaction. In addition, 11 per cent improvements in productivity and 13 per cent have achieved savings in training programme costs.

Rob Caul, CEO of Kallidus which has a strong track record in providing learning and talent solutions to the mid-market added: “Mid-sized businesses are the powerhouse of our economy and they need to ensure they are doing enough to support their own growth. Now is the time to be investing in new learning technologies and systems that today’s tech-savvy, self-driven learners need and want. Larger organisations have a much higher cost-of-entry point and more complex deployments, so mid-sized organisations stand to gain a big advantage by evolving their learning beyond the classroom now, even on a smaller scale.”


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