• Feb 24 2017

How Leading Organizations Are Preparing for L&D’s Future

In today’s competitive market, talent is the top priority for many organizations around the world. L&D professionals must unlock the full potential of their leaders in order to drive business outcomes and reach strategic goals. In its 2017 Workplace Learning Report, LinkedIn surveyed 500 L&D professionals to identify how modern organizations are tackling their top talent challenges.

Talent Development is Top of Mind for Executives, but Demonstrating its Value is a Challenge

Talent is a key differentiator and growth driver for organizations, so it may come as no surprise that executives recognize the importance of developing their employees – especially leaders. In fact, 69% of L&D professionals consider talent the #1 priority at their companies, and 80% say it’s also top-of-mind for the executive team

Only 8% of CEOs currently see the business impact of L&D and only 4% see its ROI, even though these are the top 2 measures most desired by CEOs.

Unfortunately, the benefits of development programs are difficult for L&D to articulate and quantify. In fact, only 8% of CEOs currently see the business impact of L&D and only 4% see its ROI, even though these are the top 2 measures most desired by CEOs. This makes it even more challenging to convince business leaders to invest budget and staffing resources in L&D programs.

Digital Solutions Support Continuous Learning

The average shelf life of a skill today is only 5 years, so today’s leaders must always be learning.  In-house, in-person classes are still the most common type of employee training – 78% of companies reported using them – but leading organizations are trending toward incorporating more digital and online learning into their L&D strategy. In fact, 70% of L&D organizations are now starting to incorporate video-based online training. Technology has enabled modern learners to to use a wide variety of digital tools that evolve alongside their skill demands and allow them to engage when – and where – they need to.

Data from a recent survey of 379 alumni of ExecOnline executive development programs also found many advantages to digital learning. Executives reported many benefits to the flexibility afforded by digital learning, finding it better much better for fitting in with their schedule (88%) as well as for minimizing disruption to their work (72%) and family life (67%). Surprisingly, 55% of executives also said that digital learning was better or much better than in-person learning at motivating them to take the course.

Progressive L&D Teams Use Tightly Executed Communication Plans

In addition to delivering digital learning experiences, L&D leaders must communicate effectively with learners in order to succeed. Employees are more engaged in learning when they understand the benefits to themselves, so articulating the career return on their own investment of precious time and energy is crucial. “Since the focus of L&D is to facilitate change, it’s your role to make sure employees understand how to embrace it,” says Todd Dewett, PhD and LinkedIn Learning author. “You’re not just implementing a new learning tool or delivering a course. You also need to be able to help employees manage the mental process of understanding change.” At ExecOnline, we’ve also found that understanding the benefits of the course and understanding the reasons that executives were personally nominated to participate are significantly correlated with more positive participant experiences and likelihood to apply learning.

To learn more about ExecOnline’s digital learning solutions for talent development, check out our program offerings.


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