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Energy Training Today
A Blog by Enerdynamics

Expanded Learning and Development Offerings Are Required to Meet Employees’ Needs

by Bob Shively, Enerdynamics President and Lead Facilitator

“Only 38% of learning and development (L&D) professionals think they’re ready to meet the needs of tomorrow’s learners. This doesn’t mean traditional approaches to L&D are obsolete. They just aren’t enough anymore.” Degreed, How the Workforce Learns in 2016

The Net Promoter Score is a management tool used to evaluate customer experiences. It can range from -100 (everyone is a detractor) to +100 (everyone is a promoter). According to an upcoming survey by Degreed and Harvard Business Publishing, workers on average give their employers’ training groups a score of -25. Clearly, those of us in the learning and development (L&D) field have some work to do! 

But according to Degreed, what we’ve been doing isn’t obsolete or not valued – it’s just not complete. To better serve employees, we need to consider how the workforce really learns and how to support that. Let’s take a look at Degreed’s work.

Source: Degreed, How the Workforce Learns in 2016

Learning needs to happen all the time

A high percentage of workers surveyed said they need to learn weekly. And while 70% take learning provided by their L&D departments, they only have a chance to do this once every three or four months on average. So clearly employees need short-term informal learning opportunities in addition to the more formal but less frequent sessions. Much short-term learning in today’s world is through informal channels – Googling, peer discussions, and YouTube videos.

Learning happens everywhere

According to Degreed, 85% of workers learn at work, while 67% learn on personal time, and 18% learn during commutes. Learners estimate they spend 70% of their learning time on PCs and 30% on smart phones or tablets. Fellow employees are the primary source of learning, but online informal sources come next, before tools provided by L&D:

Source: Degreed, How the Workforce Learns in 2016

Workers want learning resources to be easy to use

Today’s structured formal learning environment does not work well for primary ways that workers want to learn. Key obstacles include lack of time for learning, not enough guidance or direction, lack of recognition of learning that is done outside formal channels, training that is not engaging, and resources that are too hard to find.

What can be done?

So L&D professionals, you’ve seen the survey results. What can be done to improve customer satisfaction and enhance learning outcomes? Here are four quick suggestions:

1. Create options: Strive for learning options that include formal and informal, micro and macro, individual on-demand and group scheduled, and those available in the classroom or in multiple online platforms.

2.  Feed curiosity and worker desire: Seek to channel workers’ desire to learn by focusing less on tracking training and more on providing resources that match the way workers learn (and try to convince your bosses that they don’t always need trackable statistics!).  

3. Foster simplicity: Workers desire speed, simplicity, and ease of use. Make signing up and attending formal learning as simple as possible, and develop curated self-learning resources and tools that give employees an alternative to time-consuming Google searches.  

 4. Strive for engagement: Refuse to tolerate learning tools that don’t engage today’s workers, whether these are traditional classroom opportunities or various online resources.  

Will these be easy to implement?  No, but getting started will ultimately result in more satisfied learners who hopefully will push your satisfaction score above zero!


Enerdynamics provides a range of tools for electric and natural gas L&D professionals to satisfy today’s employees. View our library of online and classroom learning at  And coming soon is our new product Energy Knowledgebase – an easy-to-use online resource designed for the instant, on-demand learning that employees crave. For more info, contact us at or 866-765-5432 ext. 700.

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