MORRISVILLE, N.C. (SEPTEMBER 16, 2020)—According to a Relias survey of more than 5,000 health care and public safety professionals, 59% of respondents indicated a lack of well-developed methods of evaluating whether training is actually being put into practice on the job. This is down from 74% in 2017; however, it alludes to the prevalent gap in the perceived value and the impact of staff development and training. The study also examined the impact of COVID-19, indicating an increase in the adoption of online training methods.
The third edition of the Relias State of Training and Staff Development Report, which provides a national perspective on five broad staff development and training issues in healthcare and public safety organizations, contains data from two surveys conducted by Hanover Research. The first was deployed in February 2020 to professionals across the continuum of care: acute care, post-acute care, behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and public safety. Due to the major impact COVID-19 has had on the health care industry, Relias deployed a second survey in June to draw insights into the impact the global pandemic has had on the industry.
According to findings, more than 75% of respondents believe that staff development and training notably impacts top business goals, and 63% believe training has at least some effect on financial results. Yet just 21% report that staff development programs have had a significantly positive impact on their financial picture.
“The data indicates that organizations continue to struggle to demonstrate the effectiveness of their training, particularly as it relates to influencing business objectives,” said Natasha Fisher, Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Relias, who led the project. “When executives inform and involve learning and development leaders, they have an opportunity to align strategic goals with their greatest investment: their employees.”
Another key finding in the report was the growth and adoption of online learning and tracking. In health care, 47% reported using a learning management system (LMS) for tracking training early in 2020, compared with 39.7% in 2017. The COVID-19 follow-up survey showed that trend increasing even more, with 24% of respondents noting they had started using an LMS to track training since the pandemic hit.
The COVID-19 survey results also demonstrate an increase in online learning, with 76% of health care and 82% of public safety respondents experiencing major or moderate shifts toward online training. Despite the budget crunch felt by many organizations during the pandemic, the majority of organizations either increased (33%) or maintained (54%) their training spending. Both health care and public safety organizations increased focus on training to help front-line workers respond to the pandemic.
“Relias’ goal for the State of Training and Staff Development Report is to help organizations identify sustainable strategies for continuing to fulfill their mission,” said Fisher. “Based on the data and analysis in this report, healthcare and public safety leaders can benchmark current practices, investments, and beliefs compared with a national sample, as well as identify ways to improve staff development and training opportunities.”
The full report expands on the previous study results and other key findings in specific parts of the healthcare industry: health and human services; acute and pre-acute care; post-acute care; and payers and insurers.