Towards Maturity Report 2015 – The Top 5 Things We’ve Learned

Someone accessing a computer with graphs

Every year the non-profit organisation Towards Maturity releases their industry benchmark report on the world of Learning and Development in the UK, and this year’s findings make for some fascinating reading, particularly if you’re looking into updating or upgrading your system. Here are our top 5 findings from the report:

1. The Expectations are High

91% of Learning and Development Directors expect to improve their company’s productivity and engagement through their systems and plans. 88% expect to see improved business-responsiveness. These are the key, powerful areas that L&D is funded to improve, and are essentially how these departments justify their budget and resources. The fact that directors are assured they can deliver on these promises is a sign that we clearly have the self-belief within the industry that such improvements are attainable.

2. But we aren’t meeting those expectations yet

Of the 91% of directors who said they would deliver improved productivity and engagement, only 41% are actually doing anything about it. That’s a painfully high failure rate, with over half not being able to improve in the area that matters most to the business’s bottom line. When it comes to business-responsiveness the stats get worse, with only 24% achieving an improvement. We clearly believe that L&D can advance business, but achieving the results has proven to be trickier than simply knowing we can do it. Future L&D projects will need to focus around delivering results, rather than aspiring to them.

3. Those mastering L&D are reaping huge rewards

Looking through the report, you can see a drastic shift in how those considered to be in the top 10% are gaining so much more from their systems compared to the bottom quartile. A few stats show that the top L&D departments are:

  • 3x more likely to say they are improving efficiency within their business.

  • 5x more likely to state they’re improving employee-engagement and business responsiveness.

  • 8x more likely to positively impact learning culture.

It’s plain to see that those ranked highly by Towards Maturity are gaining much from their plans, and should be aspired to by other L&D directors.

4. Some types of elearning are everywhere, but others need more support

90% of business use elearning content in their training which, while a great showing for L&D directors embracing technology, shows some lack of a full commitment to owning their elearning – only 79% are using an LMS. Having content is no match for a full system, and without backing it up with tracking, the weight of elearning’s strength is being lost. With other, more specialist features such as gamification and virtual simulation sitting at 31% adoption, there’s a rift between the things elearning can deliver and those willing to dedicate the resources to getting them in place.

5. The Self-Directed Learner has arrived.

One of the the best aspects of elearning is how individuals can take responsibility for their own learning and lead the way on their personal development. The modern worker is happy to embrace this philosophy too, with 88% wanting to learn at their own pace. Backed up with the finding that 87% know what learning they need to do, and you have a workforce awaiting empowerment – they just need to be told where the learning they need is in order to get it done.