Companies Need to Completely Rethink Approach to Learning

As organizations face unprecedented change and volatility, the need to quickly and effectively reskill and upskill their workforce to meet new demands has dramatically increased. However, most companies remain challenged by just how to accomplish this. Brandon Hall Group Research found that only half of companies believe their learning approach is positioning them to meet future work requirements. 

Boca Raton, FL, June 22, 2021 — Organizations should completely rethink their approach to learning if they want to prepare for future work requirements, according to Brandon Hall Group’s 2021 Upskilling/Reskilling Study.

This environment of unprecedented change and volatility requires a much more agile learning environment aligned with the goals of the business and the learners. Learning must become much more personalized and contextual if companies want to engage their learners and drive real impact on behaviors and performance.

Brandon Hall Group’s 2021 Upskilling/Reskilling Survey shows that organizations find themselves in a challenging spot when it comes to learning’s strategic role in the business. On one hand, more than three-quarters of companies say that business leaders rate learning as highly important to the organization. This makes it clear that learning is a priority and a critical success lever. However, only 45% of companies rate themselves highly on how integral learning is to the organization’s culture.

“This is driven by learning’s seeming disconnect with the business. Learning strategies are not properly aligned with  business outcomes and the actual process of learning with many employees seems completely divorced from their jobs,” said David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst at Brandon Hall Group. “Ensuring learning is personal, relatable and easy to access within the flow of work will make it more impactful and sustainable.”

As part of its 2021 Upskilling/Reskilling Survey, Brandon Hall Group offers six strategies to drive personalized learning at scale.

  • Ensure close alignment between business goals and learning outcomes. 
  • Leverage the right technology. 
  • Employ neuro- and cognitive-science principles. 
  • Adopt more agile learning development processes.
  • Reward and recognize learning.
  • Managers and supervisors need to play a critical role. 

“Even companies where personalized learning is a priority, and time money and resources are available, they face many challenges with personalized learning at scale,” said Brandon Hall Group CEO Mike Cooke. “The thing that companies said was challenging most often was that their managers don’t have insights into what their employees are learning. This element is often overlooked and managers can play a huge role in contextual, flow-of-work learning.” 

As with many initiatives, a lack of technology plays a big role in personalized learning. Delivering learning at scale requires a technology ecosystem to develop and deliver personalized learning, Brandon Hall Group research reveals. For many companies, this is an entirely new endeavor and it can seem overwhelming. Nearly half say that it is too difficult to administer and maintain, and 47% say the organization’s staff are not properly trained to design and deliver personalized learning.

To preview the evidence-based insights Brandon Hall Group publishes for the most forward-looking corporate organizations, download the research summary, Upskilling and Reskilling: Delivering Personalized Learning at Scale, here.

—About Brandon Hall Group Inc. 

Brandon Hall Group is the only professional development company that offers data, research, insights and certification to Learning and Talent executives and organizations. The best minds in Human Capital Management (HCM) choose Brandon Hall Group to help them create future-proof employee development plans for the new era.

For over 27 years, we have empowered, recognized and certified excellence in organizations around the world influencing the development of over 10,000,000 employees and executives. Our HCM Excellence Awards was the first to recognize organizations for learning and talent and is the gold standard, known as the “Academy Awards of Human Capital Management.”

Our cloud-based platform delivers evidence-based insights in the areas of Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management for corporate organizations and HCM solution providers.

To learn more visit

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.