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Too much fire-fighting stops L&D teams being strategic

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17th Aug 2011
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Seven out of ten learning and development teams are too busy fire-fighting and dealing with day-to-day challenges to focus on strategic talent and learning issues, our sister site www.trainingzone.co.uk reports.

The survey of 104 L&D managers, carried out by managed learning company KnowledgePool, asked respondents about their perceptions of training in their organisations. Key findings include: 

  • 69 percent claim their training department is under-resourced.
  • 42 percent say that training receives inadequate support from senior managers.
  • Only 56 percent feel that the training activities in their organisation add value.

Al Bird, learning consultancy director at KnowledgePool, said: "Lack of resources and lack of support are a reality for today’s L&D practitioners. Constant fire-fighting means that L&D teams don’t have the time to be strategic. This means that organisations are missing an opportunity to vastly improve performance at every level."  The survey also showed that that 80 percent of L&D managers believe that they could improve their organisation’s return on investment from training, while 82 percent would like to develop a closer working relationship with line managers, to enable them to plan ahead more.  Three-quarters of respondents said that new opportunities for improvement could be identified through a more rigorous analysis of their training spend and evaluation data and that improvements could be made by using more informal and on-the-job learning methods.  Bird added: "There is a strong belief that informal learning with better collaboration and on-the-job learning opportunities for staff could be the way forward, but many seem unsure of how to achieve this."

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