The barriers to learning that “squander” L&D experiences

by Chloe Taylor09 Apr 2015
DDI recently released a report which outlined the biggest barriers to L&D’s implementation.

The report, Top Barriers to Learning, flagged up six issues which hinder the learning process; but their influence varied between on-the-job learning and formal learning.

Top barriers to on-the-job learning (in order of relevance)
  1. Poor post-learning feedback from manager
  2. Not enough opportunities to apply the learning
  3. Weak connection to personal development plans
  4. Not being held accountable for using the learning
  5. Low relevance to business challenges
  6. Low relevance to the job
Top barriers to formal learning (in order of relevance)
  1. Low relevance to the job
  2. Low relevance to business challenges
  3. Not enough opportunities to apply the learning
  4. Weak connection to personal development plans
  5. Not being held accountable for using the learning
  6. Poor post-learning feedback from manager
“What’s missing is the application of [new] knowledge across the range of learning methods,” the report said. “As a result, learning experiences are too often squandered and considered only in isolation rather than as a planned sequence integrating on-the-job and formal learning opportunities.”

DDI also suggested that organisations should view on-the-job learning more like formal learning and formal learning more like on-the-job.

“Organizations will be better able to leverage the distinct strengths of both forms, generating stronger development outcomes for leaders and value for the business,” the report suggested.

DDI also had three key suggestions for employers based on their findings:
  1. Managers of learners are key to converting learning to behaviour change, which can be achieved by connecting learning to job and business needs – and by reinforcing learning after it occurs. Hold managers accountable for this reinforcement.
  2. For formal learning, stay vigilant for how changes in organisational strategy should dictate changes in L&D’s focus – but don’t assume leaders will spot this automatically. Clarify these links with both the learner and their manager and quickly address any lack of understanding.
  3. Stop viewing—and allowing leaders to view—on-the-job and formal learning as distinct events. See them as counterparts in an integrated learning journey, using formal learning to build structure, planning, and reinforcement around on-the-job learning to better convert informal learning experiences into long-term changes.

COMMENTS

Most Read