Boston — April 3
Corporate trainers are being pressed to minimize employee time off the job, and as a result, development professionals report reduced classroom hours, more training done on the job and greater reliance on e-learning, according to findings of a survey of 2,000 human resources and training and development executives by Novations Group, a global consulting firm based in Boston.
The study reflects growing demand for accountability, said Novations Senior Vice President Rebecca Hefter.
“Corporate training always evolves and adapts and right now, the challenge is to justify what we do in terms of quantifiable outcomes and contribution to the bottom line,” Hefter said. “Nevertheless, this isn’t a matter of senior management not valuing leadership or employee development.
“In fact, our study suggests the investment in training continues to rise. But the trend is away from the classroom and a greater effort to tie learning to day-to-day challenges in the workplace.”
In response to the question, “Are you experiencing any of the following trends within your organization?” this is what respondents had to say:
- More online/e-learning: 57 percent
- Greater effort to quantify results of training/development: 42 percent
- Increased on-the-job training: 41 percent
- Personal coaching: 35 percent
- Fewer classroom hours/more condensed classroom time: 30 percent
- Outsourcing of trainers/facilitation resources: 25 percent
- More podcasting: 10 percent
To limit employee time off the job, trainers are integrating classroom learning with follow-up methods such as conference calls and net meetings, Hefter said.
“We want to extend the learning experience beyond the classroom, so we’re using learning logs, job aids, action plans and even printed reminders,” she said.
Although instructor-led training is still the No. 1 method, others seem to be gaining ground.
In response to the question, “With respect to training delivery methods, which of the following will your organization utilize in the year ahead?” this is what respondents had to say:
- Classroom training (instructor-led): 87 percent
- On-the-job (OTJ) training: 79 percent
- Seminars/webinars: 78 percent
- Coaching/mentoring: 66 percent
- e-learning/self-paced study: 64 percent
- University programs: 33 percent
- Simulations: 22 percent
At the same time, trainers are seeking to bring the workplace into the classroom, Hefter said.
“Companies want training that’s relevant and with exercises that closely simulate the way work is conducted on the job,” she said. “Case studies where teams solve real work problems are very popular.”
The Novations Group Internet survey of 2,046 senior HR and development executives was completed in December 2006 by Equation Research.