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Satisfaction with current pro-

grammes is strongest in China (72%), Spain (64%) and Germany (57%). Senior professionals believe that

learning and development programmes must be flexible, practical and relevant. Not meeting these criteria are the key reasons for dissatisfaction with corporate learning programmes. Only 47% of respondents (46% in

2016) say that senior leaders in their organisation believe past investments have added value to the organisation. Respondents from China (69%), Spain (60%) and Germany (60%) were the most positive on this point. Being unable to measure the effects

and, therefore, the value of these pro- grammes is the main reason for people feeling that senior leaders don’t believe past investments in learning and development programmes have added value to their organisation. Tis helps to explain why 49% of those surveyed agree that their current approach to executive education and leadership development needs to improve. It also accounts for why only 44% believe that executives in their organisation are satisfied with their current approach to learning and development. Despite this somewhat pessi-

mistic view of senior leadership’s perceptions of executive education and leadership development, 53% of respondents say that senior leaders believe future investments will add value to their organisation. Tis view of senior leadership’s perception of future investments is especially strong among respondents in China (84%), Spain (60%) and Germany (59%). Interestingly, regardless of their

perceptions of how current and past learning and development programmes have performed, senior professionals still expect them to deliver results in future.

Organisational change

Senior professionals expect pro- grammes to have a positive impact on organisational change (48% say so), understanding of their company’s strategy and vision (48%) and improve employee engagement (42%). In terms of the business outcomes

they expect, the majority belief is that programmes should have a positive impact on revenue, profit and margins

Top Learning Priorities

Strategy and planning Customer engagement Strategy execution

2017 2016 58% 58% 57% 58% 58% 54%

Leadership capabilities 56% 55% Successful innovation

56% 55%

have had an impact on their organisation, only 37% of respondents can report seeing a tangible impact on employee engagement. Just 34% report seeing an impact on customer satisfaction, and 32% can attribute a positive impact from programmes on revenue, profit and margins, as well as on employee satisfaction. Senior professionals see room

(58% say so), improve customer engagement and satisfaction (55%) and attract top talent (51%). Respondents from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of the Middle East felt most strongly about achieving these outcomes through learning and development programmes. Silveira says, “Tis expectation

of improved business outcomes through learning programmes indicates a strong desire among senior professionals to shift the learning model from the academic and abstract to the practical and focused. “Tere’s a disconnect between

senior leaders and other senior professionals on overall performance of learning and leadership devel- opment programmes,” he adds. “Senior leaders tend to rate past programmes more positively than other members of their organisation.” While 47% of senior professionals

are satisfied with current investments, the C-suite (60%) and presidents/ MDs (75%) are most satisfied. Senior managers, who are often the ones engaging in programmes, are the least satisfied (39%).


As in 2016, organisations appear to be still searching for a reliable approach to measuring the impact of learning and development programmes across their business. In 2017, 72% of senior professionals said their organisation has tried to make a link between programmes and employee satisfaction (in 2016, this figure was 74%), custom- er satisfaction (72%, compared with 69% in 2016), employee engagement (72%, compared with 73% in 2016), and revenue, profit and margins (68%, compared with 64% in 2016). Interestingly, while 51% of senior professionals report that programmes

for improvement on how executive education and leadership development are delivered in their organisation. For example, 41% want better alignment with business goals, 40% want more engagement from employees, and 37% want better long-term planning of programmes.

Selecting partners and programmes

Te survey showed that 42% of senior professionals select learning and development partners and providers on the results they’ll bring for the business. Te other two major selection criteria are that the learning content delivered is both current and practical (41%), and the provider’s ranking and reputation (36%). Having selected a provider, that

provider’s programmes must deliver measurable outcomes (say 27% of the respondents), take a customised approach to meet their needs (27%), be rooted in an understanding of their organisation (26%), and be aligned with their organisation’s strategy and vision (25%). A customised approach is most important for senior professionals in the Nordics, GCC and China. “Overall,” says Silveira, “expec-

tations for how corporate learning and development programmes are planned, delivered and evaluated are high and continue to evolve. Ultimately, closing the perception and reality gap will bring organisations a step closer to realising what they believe: that learning and development programmes can transform their business and deliver tangible value.”

The 2017 Corporate Learning Pulse global survey report is available to download from: http://resources. A video summary of the 2017 report findings can be viewed at https://

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