IMC (UK) Learning Ltd has revealed research (http://www.im-c.de/uploads/media/IMC-research-SMB-barriers-to-training.pdf) that looks at the barriers organisations encounter when providing training/ learning. It also reveals attitudes towards adopting e-learning tools, as well as organisations’ current use of new and emerging technologies for training. The research shows that 83% of respondents agree that enabling employees to learn is very important and say their organisations have defined training systems in place. Some 32%, however, agree that employees have little, if any, time for organised learning as they are too busy working for the survival of the business.
Other findings are:
- 75% of respondents’ organisations use or plan to use e-learning tools; while 14% stated that they do not use or plan to use them.
- Externally hosted learning management systems (LMS) (21%) and virtual classroom applications (21%) are used significantly less by respondents’ organisations than self hosted LMS (41%), authoring tools (41%), off-the-shelf e-learning content (38%) and discussion forums (45%).
- 42% of respondents highlighted indirect costs of training, such as time off work to train, as a large barrier to increasing training in their organisations; while 30% pointed to the disruption of work patterns.
- Switching from classroom to online learning where appropriate is seen as important for improving training provision by 43% of respondents.
- 46% of respondents believe that online learning helps organisations reduce the overall cost per head of training employees, while 42% agree that online learning introduces flexible learning practices without the loss of employee productivity. Some 42% also believe that appropriate off-the-shelf e-learning content is hard to find.
- 36% of respondents from large organisations agree that employees are too busy working for the survival of the business for organised learning, compared with 14% and 38% from medium-sized and small organisations.
- Significantly fewer small and medium-sized organisations (60% and 77% respectively) use or plan to use e-learning tools than their large (92%) counterparts.
Comment: So, people believe that training/ learning is a good thing but business survival comes first. E-learning is a good option, especially if it can be done with minimum disruption to actual work, but appropriate generic e-learning is hard to find. This is further confirmation that yet another generation of trainers and training technologists have failed to convince those who run the business world that training/ learning has a direct impact on business competitiveness and results. The research merely affirms that old business maxim: ‘Trainers, know your place!’