Skillsoft Blog

Does Your Organization Have an Informal Learning Strategy?

Does Your Organization Have an Informal Learning Strategy?

Much has been written about the globalization of the workforce, and the significant talent shortage that organizations are facing across the world. How does that translate into action for businesses? As a result of these macro trends, organizations have invested significantly in talent management systems designed to meet the needs of their growing global

L&D support for employees

In addition to building systems to attract, retain and manage a global workforce, companies increasingly need to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to drive workforce development and productivity through learning and development.  And just as the needs of businesses have changed in the wake of globalization, so, too have the needs of the end user/employee.

Skillsoft research shows diversity in end user modalities

In a study of end user preferences conducted in July of 2013, Skillsoft discovered that end users continue to diversify the types of training they consume in the enterprise. While classroom training remains the most heavily used type of training, mindshare is spread across many modalities of learning, both formal and informal.

Note the “consumption to availability” ratio in Figure 1  for Digital Books/e-Reference. While only 28% of organizations offered this type of learning solution, end users consume this solution at a significantly greater rate when offered.  This dynamic is a function of the need to support both formal and informal learning for employees in your organizations. And consider this: the role of learning and development in the enterprise has extended well beyond that of providing formal learning programs.

In the same research study conducted this summer, Skillsoft found that almost 40% of learning in the enterprise was of a voluntary nature.  And the types of training resources workers turned to for this voluntary “up-skilling” were informal learning resources, like digital books and e-reference resources. Figure 2 below highlights this fact:









Given the profile of the learner in today’s workforce, do you have a robust informal learning strategy in place for your organization? If you don’t already do so, have you considered providing performance support and digital reference solutions to your employees, to better help them close knowledge and skill gaps while on the job?  If not, it might be time to act.


By Rob Lawrence, VP,
Strategic Planning & Corp Development, Skillsoft


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