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New research addresses the disconnect between L&D strategy and practice

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The latest Learner Intelligence Report from Emerald Works aims to narrow the gap between L&OD strategy and practice by bringing the voice of the learner to the forefront of the discussion.


With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, L&D professionals must be agile – in their models and frameworks – to cope with the pace of change and meet the needs of learners.

In the report, Emerald Works’ CEO John Yates and Senior Researcher Gent Ahmetaj look at three key areas:

  1. How to close the gap between strategy and practice – top performers use a ‘self-determined’ approach. But what does this mean – and how can you implement it effectively?
  2. The perceived differences between employees and managers – examples of how L&D leaders can successfully change their approach and allow their employees to lead the way.
  3. The change to approaches adopted throughout COVID-19 – the importance of managers and the organization in providing support to their employees.  

The report concludes that:
“During COVID-19, compared with previous years, L&OD leaders have been much more explicit in their approach in supporting individuals to perform better, cope with the shifting landscape of work, and create an environment that fosters self-determined learning. L&OD are moving in the right direction, and employees are feeling positive about the support they are receiving. It is now a matter of understanding and reviewing what has worked well, what is continuing to work well, and what to let go in the future.”
The research draws on insights from the Emerald Works Learning Health Check – the independent and confidential benchmarking tool for L&D professionals.
The new report also pulls data from Emerald Works’ Learner Intelligence research, which has surveyed 18,435 employees from 2017 to 2020. It includes data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic on how learners have adjusted to new learning modalities.

The full report is available to download from the Emerald Works research library