Chief Learning Officer magazine hosted a “Bring Your Own Learning” webinar, today. In it, Todd Tauber, Vice President of Product Marketing of Degreed, started by sharing some interesting statistics regarding BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) technology programs:

  • 95% of the workforce use at least one personal device at work (e.g. smartphone, tablet, laptop)
  • 50% of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes by 2017
  • BYOD has shown to:
    • increase productivity
    • increase employee morale
    • make employers more attractive to recruits

He used these statistics to tee-up another burgeoning BYO trend: BYOL – Bring Your Own Learning. (I think it should be called GYOL – GET Your Own Learning – but more on that, later.)

What’s at Issue

The showcase statistic from the recently-completed research conducted by Tauber’s firm is this: Up  to 65% of employees are now bypassing Human Resources, Organizational Development, and Learning and Development when getting their learning needs met.

But that’s not all.

When those surveyed were asked, “When you need to learn something to be successful at your job, which of the following are you most likely to do?” only 12% said, “Go to HR and ask for resources.” Only 6% said, “Go to HR and ask for a course.” The vast majority, go elsewhere.


People Want More Leaning Than Their Employers Provide

Furthermore, there’s a huge mismatch between the amount of learning that employees know they need, and the amount of learning their employers provide:


David Grebow, Founder, IBM Institute for Advanced Learning, explained it this way: “We get only about 25 percent or less of what we use in our jobs through formal learning. Yet… most of today’s investments in corporate education are on the formal side. The net result is that we spend the most money on the smallest part of the learning equation.”

And HR, OD, and L&D departments wonder why their credibility is so low?!

People Want Different Leaning Than Their Employers Provide

Also interesting is that when given a choice, non-executives don’t even want their HR, OD, or L&D departments to assist them.

Indeed, when asked which they would rather, almost 9 out of every 10 employees said they’d rather be given credit for their own learning than learn at HR’s direction.

Why? Because their self-directed learning was more 77.7% more effective in helping them be successful in their profession than learning directed by their employer.

GYOL – Get Your Own Learning

The implications of these startling (and not all that surprising) findings are threefold:

  1. Employees want MORE learning than they’re getting from their employer
  2. Employees want DIFFERENT learning than they’re getting from their employer
  3. Employees are taking their learning into their own hands

Face it, if you want to learn, you’re going to have to develop your own Personal Learning Strategy. You’re going to have to GYOL – Get Your Own Learning.

Whether it’s through books, or videos, or certificate programs, or through Google searches, or hiring someone like me to coach you, the cold, hard truth is this: Unless you’re at the highest levels of the organization, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be provided with the type of learning that you truly want or need – especially with respect to your leadership development.

If you’re relying on your company to provide you with the training and development you need,
you’re doing yourself a grave disservice.

So if you want to excel, you really do need to take the initiative. You really do need to develop your own Personal Learning Strategy. And you really do need to GYOL.


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