2018 Early Readout: Hot Learning Trends – Bigger than Technology
In our recent blog post, “2018 Early Readout: Learning Technology Trends in Play”, we focused on technology, but this article will focus on real learning trends that will help you stay relevant — regardless of the technology that you use. While this may not be as much of a headline grabber as technology, we’ve seen so many poor implementations of great technology over the years (Second Life, anyone?), that it is sometimes refreshing to NOT lead with technology so we can focus on the business objectives.
Here are some of the trends we are seeing within the market and our clients early in 2018. We believe that these trends will continue and accelerate over the next few years.
Learning that meets learners . . . where they are.
We all recognize that our learners have often gone outside the corporate ‘firewall’ to get their content when they need it using Google, YouTube, and social media sites. The reason is simple – it’s fast, contextual, relevant, and offers a variety of choices. I’m not sure any of us can say that about our LMS or internal learning portals. In most cases, there is too little content, dated content, or it is tagged in such a way that any search term yields an overwhelming amount of useless results.
Meeting your learners where they are means embracing content that was NIH (not invented here, in your own organization). It’s pretty scary at first . . . until you realize that not much will change since getting content from outside of your organization is very common. Know and understand what tools your learners use to increase their skills and talk to them about incorporating some of that internally. For example, YouTube has great content — perhaps you can setup a branded channel with videos that are useful to your audience, or even setup an internal video portal using an enterprise video platform like Vidizmo?
Developing skills for future roles.
In a previous post about automation, we discussed that it is more important to keep our workforce relevant than to worry about which positions will have early obsolescence due to automation. In fact, there will be plenty of opportunities for skill development and relevance over the next several years as automation slowly creeps further into the workplace. As Brynjolfsson and McAfee say in their book, “Second Machine Age”, there’s “never been a better time to be a worker with special technological skills or education. Those people can create and capture value. However, it’s not a great time to have only ordinary skills. Computers and robots are learning many basic skills at an extraordinary pace.” Take a long look at your organization and business objectives and start helping identify skills needed to remain successful and viable not just for the next quarter – but for the next 5 years or more. Make sure you are aligned with your business leadership and you will see great strategic value in what you do.
Learning as a perk.
Do you want to know a key differentiator that can be the difference-maker when attracting and retaining the best talent? Learning that is easy to access, highly personalized, stocked with current and relevant content, shared and transparently reviewed, all within an organization that has placed a strategic value on the continuous skill development of their workforce. Wouldn’t it be amazing if your recruiters and executives tout the L&D capabilities of your organization as a perk? Be proud of what you do and focus on the experience for the learner and you may be surprised at how achievable this will become.
While the blistering pace of tech innovation has no end in sight, we know that there are many things that are shaping the role of L&D within organizations. Pay attention to these trends above to keep your company relevant as we transform from order takers to trusted business advisors to game changers.