Training Zone offers a pretty interesting short article about the results of a survey that show trends in adult education during these tough times. Before you nod off, keep in mind that with increased demands on workers to innovate, the need to learn on the job is growing faster than ever. But here is the situation
Two-thirds of the organisations taking part in the survey have taken steps to cut back on training expenditure in the past year, and among these, 80% have turned to informal learning as a cost-cutting measure.
Wow! So much for classroom based learning! And what is “informal training”?
(this includes) work-shadowing, secondments, mentoring and social networking, (and these) are considered to be the most effective ways to reduce expenditure by the HR professionals taking part.
And how is this working out?
… 31% of employers making cutbacks have actually seen improvements in the effectiveness of L&D, and a further 47% said that efficiency remains unaffected.”
Again wow! That says quite a bit about the inefficiency of in class training.
Do I believe it? Well, yes and no. In class training has one big drawback. Even if it is highly stimulating (which it often is not) it is not “on the job”. So the lessons learned are sometimes not translated into learning how to do one’s job better. But one aspect of in class training is hard to replace. That is gaining vision — the model for how to make sense of complex environments. Without these models, training gets rather ad hoc.
So here is the challenge — how to find ways to get people to take over models with minimal class time. That is a whopper of a soft skills assignment.