top of page
  • Karen Boylston recommends

ARTICLE: New Research Shows Explosive Growth in Corporate Learning: Our Biggest Challenge? Time.

Updated: May 1, 2020


Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte, studies corporate HR, talent, leadership, recruitment, and all aspects of HR and workplace technology. In a recent LinkedIn article, he discusses an important find in a study in the 2019 LinkedIn Learning Report—that the #1 thing holding people back from learning is time. And it is the job of the business or HR leader to give people more time.

A few important findings of the report:

  1. The L&D market is growing explosively. Now over a $240 billion market (over $1,200 per employee per year), it grew by 7% this year. 87% of organizations are growing or flat, only 13% reducing cost.

  2. Digital learning has won us over. After 20 years of evolution (from e-learning to blended learning to continuous learning to digital learning), 59% of companies are increasing spending on digital learning and 39% are reducing instructor-led training. Digital learning works—give people lots of online experiences.

  3. Training by internal experts is overtaking vendor content. 83% of L&D managers now use internal content (higher than the 73% who use external content). At Deloitte, almost all training that consultants receive comes from other consultants. Remember, the best way to learn is to teach.

  4. Soft Skills matter more than tech skills. The most in-demand skills today are in creativity, persuasion (selling), analytic reasoning, collaboration, and adaptability. Research by Bloomberg and Workday prove that employers feel soft skills are harder to find than tech skills.

  5. Leadership Development remains a challenge. Rather than "buy a bunch of courses in leadership," solve this problem by sitting down with your own leaders and build a custom "leadership academy." This is what companies like Cisco and IBM have done for years, and it's what any small or large business can do. This costs far less than outsourcing the problem, and your leaders can share their own expertise and experience.

  6. People really want social learning. Even online. 71% of Gen-Z, 69% of Millennials, 56% of Gen-X, and 54% of Boomers want more collaborative learning experiences. LinkedIn Learning now has social learning built in, with a platform built around cohort-based learning.

  7. Spaced Learning with practice is key. The best learning experiences force people to think, retrieve, and use the information they learned. When you are forced to revisit content after a time ("spaced"), you remember it far better. The research proves it, and we can now deliver "practice-based" learning experiences online.

  8. Employees want more time. 28% of employees spend a day or more a week on emails that are irrelevant to their jobs. Research also shows that "heavy learners" are really seeing huge benefits. Make sure your company values learning: give them easy-to-use tools, buy a Learning Experience Platform to make content easy to find; make sure leaders value and reward people for learning; and start thinking about Learning in the Flow of Work (links to video of Josh explaining this in more detail). Consider part of your job in HR as being the "Marie Kondo" of the company eliminate clutter).

We have entered the "golden days of learning" in business today. The #1 issue on the minds of CEOs is attracting, retaining, and continuously growing the workforce. If you aren't investing in modern learning solutions today you're falling behind. Make learning a part of everyday work, and your organization will thrive.

bottom of page