Over half (56%) of UK businesses report improving their learning and development (L&D) processes as their top business goal over the next three years, compared to just 32% who cited increasing the number of employees.
The findings come from Go1, the world’s learning content expert, who surveyed over 1,000 L&D decision-makers in the UK on their approach towards workforce skills and training programmes. Improving L&D processes was also seen as more important as a business goal in the next three years than both improving profitability and growing revenue (both 55%).
When thinking specifically about L&D goals in the next 12 months, enhancing employee capability, and encouraging employees to learn a new skill are both the equal top priority for 47% of L&D decision-makers. This was closely followed by improving L&D to both increase employee retention and satisfaction (44%).
The research also found that L&D leaders are exploring new ways to upskill and reskill their teams, with around four in five (79%) using an online-based platform for their L&D programmes. Some industries have been slow to adapt however, with 31% of those in retail trade still using paper-based forms for their employee training and development.
While businesses are making L&D investments, many are facing barriers to scale these initiatives across the organisation, with almost a third (30%) citing training employees in a hybrid workplace as the top concern. Helping employees adapt to new L&D platforms (29%) and catering to different needs across the organisation (29%) are also seen as top barriers to achieving L&D objectives.
Employees not having time to learn is also a key inhibitor to L&D initiatives for companies in the retail trade and healthcare industries (46% and 45%). Whereas businesses in the rental, hiring and real estate services are most likely (44%) to cite constantly changing industry regulations in relation to compliance as a barrier to their L&D goals compared to other businesses in other industries.
“Of the companies we spoke to, many said persuading employees to embark on a reskilling program is a top challenge they face. This is understandable, as these initiatives require learners to make a major time investment. To increase uptake, it’s crucial to communicate a clear strategy on the benefits of these learning and development programmes for employees and managers, and to design a learning experience that employees actually enjoy and is integrated into their workflows so it's easy to access.” said Andrew Barnes, co-CEO and co-founder of Go1.
Research was conducted by Perceptive Research from March to July 2023 across 2860 total L&D leaders in Australia (845 leaders), the U.K. (1015 leaders) and the U.S. (1000 leaders). The survey was conducted among businesses with more than 100 employees and with decision-makers for content providers or technology.
Go1 is the world’s content expert and largest learning ecosystem powering the pursuit of potential. With expertly curated content spanning more than 80,000 courses from hundreds of industry-leading providers, Go1 delivers a seamless experience for both L&D leaders and employees in a single, easy-to-use platform. The company has raised over $400 million in funding from investors AirTree Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Five Sigma, Insight Partners, Madrona, Salesforce Ventures, SEEK Investments, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Y Combinator. Go1 is a Y Combinator 2023 Top Company and an SAP Partner with an SAP Endorsed App. To learn more, visit go1.com.