Summary of the New Learner’s 2010 Trends Survey

by Dan Blau on March 2, 2010

After nearly 100 business leaders were surveyed on their thoughts and predictions for the current year, the results of The New Learner’s 2010 Industry Trends Survey are finally in. The goal of the Trends Survey was to be able to understand where industries are headed in the upcoming months and why these strategies are being used. A strong comprehension of where training stands in the business world can be incredibly useful for organizations who need to make quick decisions regarding employee training.

According to a similar study, the ASTD 2009 State of the Industry Report, organizations must contribute to the development of their employees “with more formal learning opportunities while using fewer resources.”[1] This means that companies have to be careful with their decisions and investments made in company learning. One example of this type of substitution is online training in the workplace, which can offer supplemental training in a quick and cost effective delivery. The New Learner Survey explores the importance and differences between online training, instructor-led training, industry conferences, and social media in the work place.

One of the questions asked on The New Learner Survey was on predictions of where traditional instructor-led training will move in 2010 compared to 2009. The majority of the surveyed professionals thought that ILT would either stay the same, decrease, or decrease greatly in the next year. This suggests that with ILT already low in 2009, there will be even less investment in class room training in 2010. This directly correlates to the idea of organizations being able to accomplish more with fewer resources available. The companies that realize the opportunity that online training can bring them will be significantly superior to the ones who don’t search for ways to replace their company training programs. These prepared companies will have a better chance to remain successful throughout the end of recession.

Another question from The New Learner Survey inquired if the recent popularity of social media is here to stay. It appears that business leaders understand how to leverage social media for the benefit of their organization as they believe this trend will remain useful. Although some business leaders consider social media outlets to be useless, others see these tools as new ways to reach their customers and engage conversations between them and the organization.

An article from Chief Learning Officer publication asks the question, “Does Employee Education Build Loyalty?”[2] The article weighs the consequences of turnover rates and the benefits of investing in employee knowledge. The conclusion was that encouraging employees to continue learning can increase confidence and increase employee performance. The cost of investing in these benefits should be clear to employers, but there is always a risk of employees leaving the company after completing their training. Organizations can put contracts in place to reduce this as well as implement incentives for performance to encourage high effort levels in the workplace. There will always be a risk of investment when implementing new training programs, but the potential benefits far outweigh these risks.

The findings of The New Learner’s Trends Survey ultimately suggest that training in the workforce will increase slightly during the 2010 year with the main learning medium straying away from industry-wide conferences and being replaced by alternative online solutions. To see the final results of the survey please see the link below:

[1] ASTD Releases 2009 State of the Industry Report, November 12, 2009; ASTD Research

[2] Does Employee Education Build Loyalty?, Fevruary 2009; Alan A. Malinchak

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