Learning cements its strategic position in the workplace, with 70% of CEOs championing its value

Survey of hundreds of Learning & Development pros and thousands of workplace learners reveals insights and advice about the new state of L&D

Today, LinkedIn Learning released its Leading with Learning report, highlighting how our new reality has cemented workplace learning’s strategic position within an organization, both functionally and culturally.

To help leaders navigate the new world of work, we surveyed 900 L&D pros and 3,000 learners and looked at behavioral insights on how people use LinkedIn Learning We also conducted interviews with best-in-class leaders to gain insight into how the state of L&D is changing within their organizations and how they plan to approach learning strategies in the year ahead. 


Report highlights include: 

  • Organizations are leading with learning in a crisis.

    • Employees are spending 130% more time on learning since the pandemic 

    • 66% of L&D pros agree that their function has become a much more strategic part of their organizations

    • 68% of of L&D pros said that the level of urgency around launching learning programs has risen significantly

    • 56% of L&D pros agreed that their culture of learning is stronger now than before COVID-19

  • Leadership sees learning as a tool for navigating crisis and change.

    • 70% say their CEOs are active champions of learning, up from 27% in March-- a 159% increase in CEO championship

    • And that goes beyond just executives-- 68% of L&D pros said that managers are actively promoting more learning resources to their teams than before COVID-19, and managers have spend 2X more time learning in March/April compared to January/February

    • 60% of L&D pros said they expect to spend more on online learning than they did in 2019

  • Employee mental health and wellbeing has entered the spotlight.

    • 69% said that supporting the mental health and wellbeing of employees is a new part of their role since COVID-19

    • 10X as many learners watched courses on mindfulness and stress management in April compared to February

  • In response to social distancing, social learning has arrived.

    • 75% of L&D pros expect an increase in social learning, where learners engage with colleagues, instructors and fellow learners around topics and course content 

    • 301% increase in professionals joining learning groups, 153% increase in courses shared, 111% increase in contributions to LiL Q&A

  • The role of L&D is expanding in the pandemic, and will be critical as organizations look to fill skills gaps internally.

    • 64% of L&D pros said that reskilling the current workforce to fill skills gaps is more of a priority now than ever before

    • 74% of L&D pros agree their focus is on rebuilding or reshaping their organizations for a post COVID-19 world

    • 62% of L&D pros agree that internal mobility is a priority for them 


These trends show us that L&D is in a unique position to create a strong culture of learning that will make an even greater impact on organizations, building resilience amongst their workforce so they can adapt and thrive as business evolves.



For the Leading with Learning Report, we surveyed 3,155 learners in 31 countries and 864 L&D professionals (L&D and HR professionals with L&D responsibilities who have some influence on budget decisions at organizations with over 200 employees) in May 2020 and analyzed data from enterprise learner activity on the LinkedIn Learning platform from the “pre-COVID” period of January and February compared to “the COVID-19 starting point” period of March and April. (WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. We use March as COVID-19 starting point for simplicity). 

Download the full report here.