Development professionals are reporting more reliance on e-learning, shorter classes and on-the-job training, according to a survey by Novations Group. Further, the 2,046 HR and training and development executives surveyed for the Boston-based global consulting firm’s study said these issues are arising because of corporate trainers’ pressure to reduce the amount of time employees are off the job.
“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,” said Novations Senior Vice President Rebecca Hefter. “Nevertheless, this isn’t a matter of senior management not valuing leadership or employee development.”
And although funding for training is not diminishing, Hefter also said there are other changes on the horizon.
“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,” she said.
Respondents were asked, “Are you experiencing any of the following trends within your organization?” Their responses are as follows:
- 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 help reduce the amount of time employees are off the job, Hefter said trainers are relying more on follow-up methods such as integrating classroom learning with conference calls and net meetings, for example.
“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.
Further, although instructor-led training still tops the list in terms of training methods, the popularity of others is increasing, according to the survey.
Respondents also were asked, “With respect to training delivery methods, which of the following will your organization utilize in the year ahead?” They were allowed to select all the applicable options, and their answers are as follows:
- 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
“Companies want training that’s relevant and exercises that closely simulate the way work is conducted on the job,” Hefter said. “Case studies where teams solve real work problems are very popular.”