L&D survey shows optimism in face of global challenges

Christophe PerilhouLearning & Solutions Director at Cegos France

Each year, Cegos conducts a survey, where we take the temperature of the training industry to see what is hot and what is not among the HR and business community.

After all the challenges and difficulties of the pandemic, it seems companies have finally woken up to the need to focus on their people. That said, the survey response demonstrates a greater need for training in the face of rapid transformation and changes in working culture.

Two major themes emerge from the survey results:

1) Skills development is increasingly vital in view of the transformations taking place

The way we work continues to change rapidly, as companies learn from the pandemic experience and shift the move to digital. When asked about the major transformation challenges that will have the greatest impact on the development of their employees' skills over the next two years, international HR directors and managers say above all digital transformation (61%), new ways of working (52%) and cyber security (39%).

Interestingly, there was reduced apprehension about job security, with HR professionals reporting that 20% of the jobs in their organisation are at risk of becoming obsolete in the next three years; 25 percentage points less than in 2021.

Employees' fear of seeing their job disappear was much reduced, too. Only 23% expressed this fear, down 7 percent on 2021.

Another encouraging sign was that 91% of employees say they are ready to train themselves. This interest in self-training, which has been constant for the past three years, could lead Human Resources departments to take on a new role in supporting such initiatives. In the same vein, 54% of employees say they are ready to finance part of their training costs themselves. And 76% would be prepared to undertake training outside of working hours.

Perhaps the most worrying result for employers is that 78% of employees say they would be willing to consider a complete career change if it brought greater meaning.

Faced with the changes underway and the growing interest of employees in developing their skills, organisations must be able to offer a range of dynamic and clear training, mobility and reskilling opportunities. For Learning & Development players, this means anticipating skills needs in order to propose solutions in line with strategic human resources planning.

2) A need for ‘Just in Time’ training to personalise and diversify the learning journey

55% of HR directors and managers have difficulty matching their organisation's skills needs with their training offer. The underlying issue is mainly a technological one. As for employees, 8 out of 10 say their organisation meets their skills development needs. However, only 40% of them consider that it responds "just in time", and 42% believe that the training response comes too late.

So how should training evolve? Two priorities appear for HR directors, managers and employees alike: individualisation of training paths and diversification of training methods. We also note that after two years of the health crisis, distance learning is much less popular.

On the ground, blended and online distance learning are still favoured by HR directors and managers. 60% of them have set up online distance learning courses in the last two years (up 10 percentage points on 2021), 49% blended courses, and 41% classroom-based courses.

“Since employees have a growing interest in training, it would benefit L&D decision-makers to better market their training offer,” says Grégory Gallic, Manager of the "Learning Engineering and Professional Effectiveness" Offering and Expertise, Cegos Group. “They could thus encourage the emergence of 'serial learners' who are able to encourage their other colleagues. The other major challenge concerns the introduction of a genuine culture of measuring the impact of training on operational performance. This requires the use of learning data, which is currently under-exploited.”

Indeed, only 11% of HR directors and managers saying they do not use learning analytics, although 24% plan to use them in the future.

“Behind all of today’s business challenges, the central issue is the employability of individuals and the performance of organisations,” says Benoit Felix, Cegos Group Chairman. “Fortunately, companies are now tackling these issues head-on, sometimes under pressure but often voluntarily. We see this in the support we give them in designing and deploying ambitious programmes for upskilling, professionalisation and reskilling.”

The latest Barometer report suggests some cause for optimism, even as we head into a more difficult economic climate. With people development now taking a more central role than previously, it seems companies will soon be in a better position to tackle the challenges ahead.

Download your free copy of the Cegos Barometer 2022 “Transformation, Skills and Learning” here.

For the 2022 survey, we interviewed 4,005 employees and 377 HR directors and managers across five European countries – France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain, along with Singapore and Brazil.

Written by

Christophe Perilhou

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