24 minutes a week

Marc Zao-Sanders Apr 28, 2016

Watch.jpgResearch we conducted last year showed that inadequate training leads to skills gaps, reducing company profitability and wider economic growth. Over 2,000 UK workers contributed to that research. 60% claimed they need key workplace skills to perform in their jobs successfully, however only 25% received training on the skills they need. 41% never received any form of training from their employers at all. 85% admitted there is no compulsory training offered at work. (Source: UK workforce 2015: skills gaps and training habits - Filtered).

The data suggested that the biggest factor here is workers not having or feeling they don’t have enough time for training. And plenty of studies confirm this view that the modern worker spends less than half an hour a week on learning and development. That’s 20 hours a year dedicated to training, just 1% of the total time spent at work. (Sources: Meet the modern learner - Bersin by DeloitteHow the workforce learns in 2016 - Degreed)

It also resonates with what most of us knowledge workers feel - that there’s never enough time for anything, let alone optional training with its long-term (i.e. more-than-a-month-away) benefits.

It’s therefore vital that businesses find a way to make the most of this precious half an hour. What we do - algorithmic, data-driven granular training recommendations - address that. But there are other means of achieving this goal too such as coaching from the right mentor or enhancing employee curiosity. Whatever it is, make the 24 minutes count.

Personalization decreases time-to-performance for learners, reducing the opportunity cost of training and maximising the impact of time spent learning. We conducted a study of 3,000 users and measured 26% greater improvement in proficiency in learners on filtered courses compared to those studying one-size-fits-all syllabi.

Research we published early this year in partnership with benchmarking specialists Towards Maturity proved there’s high demand for customized training. 88% of workers know what learning they need, 50% want a personalized learning experience, and 25% find it essential. Unfortunately there’s a gap to fill here. The same study also showed that only 26% of formal learning has a technology element to it (which is fundamental in adaptive/machine learning) and that 50% of L&D leaders still look at standard courses as the only option. (Source: The consumer learner at work - Filtered & Towards Maturity)

There’s more to successful training than smart usage of technology. Part of the solution could be simpler: let’s listen to our workforce more. From the same report it emerged that 80% of L&D leaders struggle to engage their staff, and only 1 in 5 admit they support career aspirations or personal job goals. Equally worrying, 50% of businesses feel held back by staff reluctance to engage with new technology (whilst the vast majority of workers show great confidence with new devices and apps), and only 20% of L&D leaders equip line managers with the tools to support their teams (certainly not enough, as 1 in 3 workers consider training support from their managers critical).

So what’s the right mix? How do we make the most of that 1%? And increase it to 2, 3, 5%? There’s no magic one-size-fits-all recipe, silver bullet or rainbow unicorn, but smarter, sensible benchmarking, more collaboration between L&D managers and trainees, and better use of technology all impact training outcomes and lead to more productive and happier workplaces.


Filtered is an online education platform which customises learning material for each user. By asking trainees questions at the outset, our platform’s algorithm filters out anything a user doesn’t need, or already knows.



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