Investing in your workforce has never been more important than it is today. The rapid speed at which organisations are developing will mean it becomes imperative for workers to unlearn and re-learn new skills and behaviours faster than ever before. In fact, millennials state that their own development is their primary area of focus, over increased wages (Bersin 2016).

For years we have focused on getting the right content to the right individual at the right time in order to make them effective. However, this has failed to produce the right results and only around 10%-20% of what is learned actually gets applied in the workplace. This is a huge cause for concern that we can no longer ignore.

The latest research into the area of learning transfer has recently been launched by Lentum Ltd, an innovative company offering a SaaS solution to this decades-old problem. Only a tiny 7.7% of respondents felt their approach to behavioural change was effective post-learning and a huge 76% said that it was non-existent or could be improved.

Worryingly, 46% of managers were not actively engaged in any way to assist their team members to transfer new skills and behaviours back into the organisation. We are simply wasting time, energy, budget and resources if we are not working to develop a learning culture that makes the learner, line manager and business responsible and accountable.

The line manager has been proven time and again to be the single biggest influencer in the whole process, yet as we have highlighted, almost half are doing nothing at all to support their teams’ learning and development. This is where we need to improve line manager processes, and make it far easier for managers to have the correct data in front of them, enabling a more productive and precise performance conversation to take place.

Learning should be seen as a journey, one that has a continuous cycle and no real end point. Once we begin to change our mindset to see learning as more of a journey instead of something we just ‘do’, it will be easier to make everyone more accountable for playing their part. Learning and development departments are under huge pressure from their organisations to keep this cycle of learning going, but are not being asked to report on how effective it is. This is all about to change, and data is going to play a key role. If you don’t start gathering the right data now, how are you going to make critical business decisions on learning in the future?

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