Economic climate focusing learning and development on business efficiencies

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A new survey from GoodPractice highlights key industry changes during past 12 months

Supporting stability and growth is the main priority for learning and development professionals in UK organisations, according to the results of the fourth UK Learning Trends Index. 250 respondents recently completed the survey conducted by GoodPractice in conjunction with Reed Learning and INL Consultancy. The aim of the research is to highlight key industry issues and provide insights into the training and skills agenda within UK organisations.


Maintaining organisational efficiency and execution remains the key driver for organisations (67%). The impact of the turbulent economy has put pressure on learning and development to provide value, be cost effective and support their organisations through this period of uncertainty. This has resulted in an increased focus on organisational efficiencies and also demonstrates the emergence of a more commercial, results-driven approach to learning and skills provision. 


The results also highlight the continued emphasis by UK organisations on leadership development, with 45% citing it as a priority. However, the gap between leadership development and other priorities appears to be closing. Talent management, performance management and the development of middle managers have all experienced a renewed focus. Organisations have always targeted activity towards the groups most critical to its success, which includes the senior leadership group. But the development of other high potential people within the management population seems to be growing in importance.


GoodPractice CEO Peter Casebow comments, ‘In addition to the continuing priority of organisational efficiencies and the growing importance of activities like talent management, the responses also showed a renewed support for informal learning and signs that social learning is raising its game. These results mirror a general trend towards working informally and finding information at the point of need, whether that’s on Google or asking a colleague. It also indicates that we are beginning to harness the tools and technologies needed to facilitate informal and social learning in the workplace.’


In fact, the Index shows a shift towards a greater use of technology in training and development, with 70% of respondents predicting an increase in adoption. Casebow continues, ‘Technology plays such a huge part in our everyday lives now that it is not surprising to see this shift towards its use in supporting UK leaders. Our mobile app aimed at providing frontline support for leaders and managers now has over 10,000 users and is accessed on average 1.5 times per week. This is all part of progressing learning and development and we expect to see this trend continue when we conduct the next survey in six months time.’


For a full copy of the report or for further information about the UK Learning Trends Index contact  or call 0131 221 3113.


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