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The future of workplace learning


The future of workplace learning
LEARNING TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION IN EUROPEAN BUSINESSES 2011, the Europe-wide study carried out by Towards Maturity in partnership with ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, has found that a growing number of organisations are turning to new learning technologies to help them increase their business agility.

ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, the largest global e-learning conference for the corporate, education and public service sectors, will take place from November 30th to December 2nd 2011 at the Hotel InterContinental, Berlin. A series of sessions will be dedicated to workplace learning and provide the ideal platform for discussing the latest in business learning needs and trends.

One technology which is expected to play a greater role in learning and development in the future is social media. There has been a marked shift in attitudes towards social media, with 35% of organisations actively encouraging and making time for social and informal learning, and 52% of organisations now comfortable with unblocking and leveraging third party sites such as Facebook to support learning, a move that is understandable since in-house social networks have registered a decline in popularity. However, 25% of organisations remain unconvinced by the benefits of social networks in workplace learning, and continue not to allow its use.

Nevertheless, the use of social media to support workplace learning is a growing trend, which organisations themselves predict will rise, by 20%, to 73% over the next two years. This review of how e-learning technologies are applied in the workplace also predicts that within the next two years, the workplace culture of learning will see an increased use of cloud-based content, mobile learning technologies and Web 2.0 tools.

This independent study was designed by Towards Maturity, a leading benchmarking company, in collaboration with ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, to understand the challenges and opportunities facing European organisations who are implementing learning technologies within their workplaces. The survey, which was completed by 182 organisations, sought to identify which learning technologies are in use and how, the drivers behind and barriers to their use, their impact, and successful approaches to their implementation. 

Organisations agree that learning technologies are beneficial in increasing the efficiency, quality and adaptability of the workforce. The majority of respondents have reduced their training costs by implementing learning technologies, and 3 out of 5 organisations agree that learning technologies have enabled them to roll out new products and services more quickly than before.

However, despite the widespread use of learning technologies in workforces across Europe, many organisations are not ready to fully embrace new learning technologies just yet. Many organisations are being hindered by a lack of skills and confidence among their trainers, as well as the need to gain senior and line management buy-in.

The report will be discussed in detail at this year's ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN, which will explore what learning and development will look like in the future and how to prepare for success in these new cultures of learning through its Business EDUCA programme. The Business EDUCA sessions will explore the future of learning today, and provide participants with practical insights and tools including using social media to enhance business performance, embracing mobile learning in business, and demonstrating value. The report can be downloaded here: