Companies are wary of e-learning formats

Despite digitization: In the areas of education and training, companies still prefer analog formats—and thus waste opportunities.

Regarding their competitiveness, 57 percent of all companies rate continued training of their experts and managers as top priority. They expect more efficiency and innovative strength and increased global growth opportunities. But in the St. Gallen Executive Education Report 2016 from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland it was shown that this conclusion is only true to a limited degree.

Just 12 percent of the 350 board members, managers, and HR managers from 13 countries who were surveyed believe that their company utilizes the full potentials for training and advanced training. Only a fifth of those asked regard themselves as pioneers in the field of qualification and are happy with the current situation. Although they are aware of the strategic importance, just 17 percent of the companies have Chief Learning Officers (CLO). But where the qualification strategy is embedded on a managerial level success and satisfaction are significantly higher. These companies are also more prepared to use e-learning tools.

Most of the companies use the opportunities of digitization but then fail to follow this through to the strategically important area of qualification. Online courses, mobile and social learning, or also playful learning in simulations offer the opportunity of individualizing the learning content and tailoring it to the company’s current development plans. However, more than two thirds of the respondents admitted to using none of these options. A further 20 percent have used only one digital format to date. Conventional courses and coaching are the preferred options.

The survey showed that this is mostly due to unjustified reservations. The more experience companies have with digital formats, the more positive they assess the benefits. On the other hand, skepticism among managers is greatest where e-learning has not played any role to date Researchers do not extol digital learning as a universal solution, but they do advise companies to plan qualification more strategically and to use the opportunities offered by the new methods. All the more so since an increasing number of digital natives are now in management positions.

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