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The State of Corporate Learning and Development in 2023: Stuck in the middle
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C-suite Given Greater Flexibility Around Training than ‘Regular’ Employees

The cover of the L&D Survey report and two doors, one with Meaningful modern training above the door and the other with Hollow traditional training showing above the door

Greater access to high quality training means leadership enjoys “inspiring” and “enjoyable” opportunities - now learning and development teams are challenged to achieve this for all employees

Plano, TEXAS, - May 23, 2023As organizations tackle skills gaps and relentless competition for improved services and products, new research from modern learning platform provider CYPHER Learning reveals the disparity between employers and employees on workplace development.

The findings show 88% of business owners and C-level execs are given a choice on when, where and how they do training; compared to just 37% of entry level employees. Furthermore, 42% of owners and C-suite executives who had training in the past year said they’d had more training than the previous year – while just 17% of intermediate or entry-level workers said they’d had more training than the previous year.

In addition to the amount of training on offer, business owners and C-level executives are almost three times more likely to call training “enjoyable” compared to junior employees and are at least two times more likely to call training “inspiring.” Conversely, 42% of intermediate and junior staff struggle with “boring and unengaging” training; with more than one third (36%) agreeing that workplace L&D has become “death by PowerPoint.”

“When someone is starting out their career, that’s usually when they’re most in need of training. Too often, they don’t get it, which can keep teams and individuals back from reaching their full potential,” comments Graham Glass, CEO of CYPHER Learning. “For higher performance, businesses can reset the balance by delivering quality, ‘executive-style’ training to staff at all levels.”

Learning and development (L&D) is regarded as a crucial factor in achieving business growth, employee satisfaction and successful recruitment. Analyzing this, the survey of 4000 general workers in US and UK companies with over 500 employees reveals:

  • 98% of all workers believe training is important for their role, with two-thirds (64%) agreeing that professional development has given them a competitive advantage.
  • Over three-quarters (76%) are more likely to stay with an employer that prioritizes training, with 71% agreeing that “a company that doesn’t invest in training doesn’t care about its employees.”
  • Despite this, almost one fifth of all workers (17%) have not received any training at all in the last 12 months. Of those that have had training, some fail to see the benefits:
    • One-in-twenty (5%) say they have received no benefit from training.
    • 31% believe they are not prepared for future skills challenges.
    • A third (34%) forgot their training within a month of completing it.
  • It’s perhaps unsurprising that over a quarter (26%) of respondents see current training as a waste of money, offering no business value.

“Employees clearly place high value on training, which is why it can help to attract top talent. In fact, employees rank training as high a priority as healthcare,” said Glass. “But not all training programs are created equal! A system that delivers forgettable, generalized content, or doesn’t keep workers competitive, is less valuable to them and the organization alike.”

Analyzing what learners want from their training reveals most are focused on using development to improve their job performance. The top three desired outcomes include: improving their skills (45%), increasing their performance at work (45%) and driving up the quality of their work (39%).

When looking at how L&D efforts could support them in these goals, 41% of workers that have received training in the last year call for it to be more tailored to their job roles. Furthermore, 39% believe development should be more fun and engaging, with only 15% of respondents saying training they have received was fun. Introducing gamification elements, as well as technology like AR and VR, would make training more fun, according to two-thirds (67%) of workers.

“It’s crucial that businesses modernize their development programs. But that’s harder with outdated infrastructure, content and resources. Greater personalization at scale takes a more agile platform – something that supports competency-based skills development one employee at a time. Such a platform can foster a culture of habitual reskilling that unlocks more potential organization-wide and keeps the innovation engine purring,” Glass concludes.

The research features within CYPHER’s The State of Corporate Learning and Development in 2023: Stuck in the Middle report, which can be downloaded:

Survey methodology

CYPHER Learning worked with independent surveyor Censuswide to survey 4,000 workers – from owners and C-level executives to entry level employees. Censuswide surveyed 2,000 employees from the United States and 2,000 from the United Kingdom to better understand their attitudes toward workplace training and learning development.

About CYPHER Learning

CYPHER Learning is leading the necessary disruption of learning platforms to unleash human potential with modern learning. The company exists to ignite lifelong passions through personalized, engaging, and limitless learning experiences for all. CYPHER gives learning and development (L&D) professionals and educators more time to teach and train, building human connection into everything they do - delivering tailored learning experiences that are meaningful and measurable. Just the way modern learners expect. The CYPHER platform is easy-to-use, beautifully designed, and built for the modern learner. Every aspect beams thoughtful innovation and engineering that puts people first. Millions of users experience their “just in time, just for me, just the way I want it” approach in 50+ languages with the CYPHER award-winning platform. See the modern learning platform at


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