Skillsoft Blog

Does Your Organization Have an Informal Learning Strategy?

We’re pleased to bring
you a short series of posts by Rob Lawrence, VP, Strategic Planning & Corp
Development, Skillsoft, covering trends on informal learning, where learning is
consumed and common frustrations with learning management systems.

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

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

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

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.


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