Organisations Invest into L&D to Close Skill Gaps

August 31, 20158:30 am370 views

To address the ever-widening talent gap in a job market where organizations compete heavily for skilled talent, overall spending on learning and development (L&D) by organisations has increased by 10 percent as in comparison to 2014.

According to a new research report from Bersin by Deloitte, many organisations are increasing their investment in internally-developed talent because they realize that they cannot recruit all the talent they need from external sources. Also the roles and capabilities of many L&D practitioners have grown diverse.

Traditionally, L&D practitioners were primarily responsible for creating and disseminating internally-developed content.  These so-called “bedrock” roles of L&D, occupied 50 percent of surveyed practitioners’ time in 2011 and 41 percent of their time in 2014, a difference of nearly 10 percentage points.

Since last year, most organisation have allocated 8 percent of their staff time to curating information, which means the L&D staff now typically spend more time on sourcing and incorporating a variety of externally-produced content into current learning portfolios. Many L&D leaders say such externally-produced content can help them to better address the changing needs of both businesses and learners.

“To compete in the marketplace, organizations should focus on long-term goals and ensure that employee development builds baseline proficiencies. They should also align workers with the needs of the business, training staff to meet present objectives while ensuring that the talent pipeline is equipped to address future challenges,” said Dani Johnson, Vice President – Learning and Development Research, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

See: Training helps staff shortages

Key findings from this research are:

L&D organizations reprioritize responsibilities: Typically, demands on the L&D function have increased at the same time as their availability to address these requests has decreased, forcing them to reprioritize their responsibilities. As a result, surveyed organizations increased their reliance on outside service providers by 4 percentage points in 2014, with external services comprising 13 percent of total L&D spending. Of this, 22 percent went to purchase off-the-shelf content and 15 percent to the development of custom e-learning content.

Mature organizations spent 38 percent more: Surveyed organizations with mature, effective L&D functions spent $1,317 per learner on average, or 38 percent more than the least mature groups. Organizations at this level tend to focus more on professional and industry-specific training to help augment organizational capabilities and strengthen operations, while those at the lowest level often focus more on compliance and meeting individual needs through an ad hoc approach to training.

Instructor-led training drops: While still the top delivery method among those surveyed – instructor-led training dropped 9 percentage points to occupy 35 percent of practitioners’ time. Some of this allotment was reallocated to e-learning, while some went to other up-and-coming and non-traditional method of L&D delivery, such as self-directed studying.

Such investments by organisations into learning and development efforts show positive signs of hope for developing the current talent pipeline within an organisation.

Johnson adds: “The need to develop existing employees is a pressing matter, especially at a time when very few organizations believe their employees possess the skills necessary to perform their roles effectively.”

Also see: Win-win Solution: Mentoring Millennials

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