The expectations of today’s learner have changed, and corporations must keep pace with those expectations to keep employees happy and attract new talent. But that’s not the only thing driving change in the corporate training landscape. Employers have finally recognised that an organisation with a strong learning culture, one that is aligned with business strategies and goals, will outperform its competition.
With the rapid pace of technological development, most employees have realised that they will need to become lifelong learners to remain competitive in today’s workplace. With the continuous emergence of new technologies and new business practices, the skills that were required to succeed yesterday are not the same as those required to succeed today or tomorrow.
If employers want to fill skills gaps with appropriately skilled workers, they need to provide employees with the development opportunities to meet the demands of their current as well as future roles. One effective way to address the skills gap is the use of eLearning and m-learning (mobile learning). Employees can learn new skills, or refine and update current skills using these highly interactive and agile technologies. Additionally, since they are online and mobile, learners can accomplish their learning objectives more quickly and conveniently.
Millennials grew up with mobile phones, laptops, and social media, so they have come to expect the same type of access to technology at work. Also, they don’t expect to be in a classroom to learn something. They can tap into training and information when they need it, not based on a published class schedule.
In our “24/7” world, all learners (not just Millennials) are increasingly demanding training that is immediately accessible. They expect learning to happen whenever and wherever they happen to have the time. Since more and more people are constantly connected to a mobile device, they are always close to a point of access. This means never having to wait for training. Plus mobile training can merge social, video, and gamification aspects of training, making it attractive to Millennials and Generation Z employees.
Telecommuting is here to stay This makes the use of distance learning imperative, not only for the individual learner, but for the distributed work team as well. In this model, Human Resources provides the resources, and team members take responsibility for connecting with fellow learners in a virtual setting. Corporations are increasingly connecting and empowering their employees to take charge of their own learning.
Distance learning is particularly important for Millennials, who value work-life balance and flexibility to spend more time with family. Telecommuting, and therefore distance learning, is an excellent way to attract and retain Millennials, keeping them motivated and productive.
Individual Needs and Expectations
Training programs should be accessible on demand and curated carefully. Employees expect training to be relevant to their own unique situation. With eLearning and rapidly advancing technologies, there is cause for optimism and excitement that customised training will become the norm. And when learning improves, a company improves. A shift in the individual needs and goals of learners is the focus of corporate training this 2020.
This solution not only combats the problem of low learner engagement, but also ensures that learning resources and materials are job-specific and industry-specific. This makes learning more relevant to the first-hand experiences of employees in the workplace. Also, since people have different learning types implementing personalisation in corporate training is one key step to boosting workplace productivity.
If employers wish to attract and retain top talent for their organisations, then they will need to pay more attention to their learning and development activities. Continuous technological developments have made lifelong learning a necessity. In this environment, employees expect a learner-centric experience, with access to training anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Businesses are increasingly turning to eLearning and m-learning to help their employees keep pace in this highly dynamic world of work.
Online and virtual learning solutions
As more companies shift from an in-house workforce to a largely remote one, virtual training and online learning solutions have become an essential part of the corporate toolbox.
The increase in remote work teams calls for web-based training programmes that can ensure that every employee gets exactly the same training, regardless of where they are located. With access to learning content from anywhere, employees can learn about new products or company policies from their own desks or even from home, enabling you to train everyone at once without having to host multiple events or coordinate travel schedules. In cases when hands-on training is necessary, the industry will also likely see a large increase in the use of cloud based virtual learning labs
One of the greatest challenges in corporate training is ensuring that all learners receive an equally effective training experience. Every employee has his or her own learning style, and effectively communicating with everyone at once is not always easy. Unlike passive virtual training, hybrid learning better engages trainees by allowing them to use virtual methods to interact and engage with their instructors. These can take many forms – two-way video communication between remote attendees and classroom participants, interactive elements of presentations, or even just a simple chat function alongside a webinar screen. A participative approach overwhelmingly increases knowledge retention and understanding.
Whether a company opts for an independent online learning programme, hybrid learning, or a little of each, there is one tool they will always need: effective video meeting technology. As the corporate world becomes more spread out, digital meetings are a highly effective way to bring everyone together quickly and more personally.
This is true for both brainstorming meetings and training sessions for one simple reason – when your team members can connect with one another, they are more likely to connect with the material they are learning.
Microlearning is a system that offers employees small bits of information (usually two to three minutes’ long) that can be immediately incorporated into one’s work habits.
This can be as simple as a handout placed on an employee’s desk or a short video explaining how to use a new app. Through microlearning, your employees can continuously improve in their work without sacrificing too much of their time each day.
It’s no secret that or AI, or artificial intelligence, is likely to become a large part of the corporate training environment in the coming years. With the help of robust analytics, AI gathers insights about the learning behavior of users. This helps in the creation of individual learning paths, best suited to the knowledge and skill level of the learner.
AI can mimic the positive qualities of humans in corporate training, without including the negatives. One such positive is that AI doesn’t get tired of being asked the same question repeatedly! Corporate training can be a long process, leading to a dip in energy. But with an AI-driven chatbot, no such problem exists.
With AI, the need for a supervisor is eliminated too. Instead, an AI chatbot can be used to answer all questions, in real-time, anywhere and at any time. The bot keeps track of the employee’s progress and suggests the best course of action. It also reminds learners regarding modules they need to complete, while recommending content most relevant for them. Employees can learn at their own pace and style, on the device of their preference and at a convenient time, without impacting productivity.
Succession planning is one of the biggest challenges faced by organizations worldwide. In the future a powerful AI-driven corporate training platform will be to engage employees and enhance their experience of learning and development at your organization.
Learning in the flow of work
In order to achieve learning in the flow of work, your training program should be accessible on demand and curated carefully This means that learning resources must be available in the time of need of the learner, and that these resources should also be relevant to whatever her/his needs are.
This 2020, there will be further blurring of lines between workalike and social life. The “work-life balance” will be less of a thing in the coming of the new decade especially now that people are expected to integrate the personal to the professional and vice versa.
Working learning culture
One of the top and most important corporate training trends this 2020 is the demand for a thriving learning culture in organisations globally. By inculcating the value of continuous learning as early as on boarding you’ll be able to easily integrate learning in the work of your employees. And with the continued learning initiatives by employees, a culture of social learning can therefore thrive. Since learning is now becoming more self-directed, encourage your learners to take their own training paths, and monitor their progress regularly.