The Top 5 Barriers for Learning and Development Professionals

The Top 5 Barriers for Learning & Development Professionals

Emma Weber

So here we are – 2018.

At the start of a new year, I find reflecting on last year’s journey, and contemplating plans for the new year an imperative. Of course this includes reading up on the latest industry news from Learning & Development.

In doing this I came across the fabulous Towards Maturity and their article “L&D: Where are we now?” featuring their famous annual benchmark.

Towards Maturity found that the top 5 barriers for Learning and Development professionals in 2017 were –

  • Cost of set-up, development and maintenance (66% of the sample)
  • Lack of skills amongst employees to manage their own learning (65%)
  • Reluctance by line managers to encourage new ways of learning (58%)
  • Unreliable ICT (information & communication technologies) infrastructure (52%)
  • Lack of skills amongst L&D staff to implement and manage technology enabled learning (53%)

Talking of technology, it was interesting to read that the number of different technologies in use is growing year on year, although this is not matched by an increasing investment of training budget in technology.

Mobile devices are being used by 74% of organisations, and yet only 16% are using apps to specifically support performance at the point of need. As technology continues to improve and change so quickly I was surprised that TM found only 9% of organisations are starting to look into AI. We too have been experimenting with AI for learning transfer – contact us if you’re interested to learn more.

TM state that the top priorities for organisations in 2018 are to:

  • Improve organisational performance (for over 98% of the sample)
  • Increase productivity (97%)
  • Increase learning access and flexibility (97%)
  • Increase self-directed learning (96%)

TM observe that there is opportunity for change, but a building sense of frustration amongst Learning and Development professionals. L&D need to keep energy high to avoid hitting a wall, and work in partnership with the business towards transformation. They will soon be launching a road map for learning transformation however until then, take time to have a good read of their 2017-18 benchmark findings.

Their benchmark report follows their Australasia specific report. Also well worth a read to find out what is driving change in L&D in Australasia today.

Emma Weber

Emma Weber is a recognized authority on the transfer of learning. As CEO of Lever – Transfer of Learning, she has helped companies such as Telstra, Oracle and BMW deliver and measure tangible business results from learning. Emma has also been a guest speaker at learning effectiveness conferences worldwide and authored the hugely successful book Turning Learning into Action. Much more detail around the issues and solutions examined in this article are available in the book – please feel free to download a free chapter.