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Is L&D a ‘waste of money’?

Helen Mayson

New research out today suggests investment in L&D in inadequate – and where there is investment, it’s in the wrong places. Helen Mayson reports

Research out today from Profitability suggests that many organisations are unsatisfied with their L&D provision, and two thirds of large organisations feel their L&D isn’t having a lasting impact on their organisations.

The research, Learning with Impact – challenges and opportunities for L&D, found that nearly half of L&D practitioners thought organisations could do more to improve its effectiveness and 29% felt they lacked real investment in getting it right from organisations.

L&D falling short

“L&D has a vital role to play for organisations, whether they are facing growth or reinvention, in equipping leaders and managers with the skills to deliver change,” says Brian Helweg-Larson, founder of Profitability. “However, the stark conclusion we come to in our report is that for many organisations, L&D activity is falling short of what it needs to deliver.”

Lack of faith in e-learning

While many organisations are investing in e-learning, L&D professionals in the survey were less sure about how effective it really is. Less than one in 10 rated webinars, audio learning or online virtual learning as effective and only 12% said mobile learning packages for smartphones or tablets were effective.

Action learning was rated as the most effective L&D practice whether this was through on- the-job training (69%) coaching-based learning (57%) business simulations (43%) or computer-based games (38%).

“While it is good that organisations say they will refocus their L&D activity in the year ahead to improve business focus, unless the new activities are aligned to the needs of the business and designed with L&D tactics which can deliver lasting impact on behaviour, knowledge or skills, then they are unlikely to deliver value.”

You can download the full report here

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