The next generation of L&D means rethinking how organizations approach workforce skills and talent management. With the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), new learning needs have emerged, and the way we consume content has changed dramatically. We now have access to any learning at the click of a button.
The smart capabilities derived from embedding AI and ML have permeated into our day-to-day lives, be it shopping online or streaming a movie. A global technology giant has also reimagined learning using AI augmentation to assist differently-abled employees. So, employing similar emerging technologies to curate personalized learning environments would have a striking impact on how L&D is viewed.
Let’s take a look at some key L&D trends that are in store in 2020:
Anytime, anywhere learning model
Today, employees spend a significant amount of time traveling, in transit, or working flexible hours. Many of them embrace the routine of utilizing their journeys by accessing video or audio learning modules on their mobile devices, increasing their productivity at work. As on-demand learning becomes popular, most technology companies are using microlearning for effective training. This efficient delivery of learning is essentially breaking down information as bite-sized learning modules for better long-term retention of skills and knowledge. This method proves useful for acquiring advanced technology skills like data science or DevOps, as grasping concepts becomes easier when employees can follow the momentum on a device of their choice.
To maximize this productivity, AI-backed L&D systems can analyze employee profiles and gather insights from their experience and interests. Since a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to learning and development, these advanced learning systems help curate personalized development programs. They can recommend whether an employee is better suited for technically-advanced courses like Advanced Java Frameworks or ready for a managerial career path with courses for Product or People Management.
Gamification and experiential learning
Keeping a multigenerational workforce engaged is one of the biggest challenges facing organizations today and they are adopting gamified learning in different ways. Some implement partial gamification, which uses game-techniques like certification badges or rewards; whereas, some integrate their Learning Management Systems to personalize learning paths complete with leaderboards and scores. This smart end-to-end solution motivates employees to elevate their skills but also inculcates accountability for their career and learning trajectories. Incorporating a measurement metric into the system also proves to be an effective mechanism to quantify the elusive L&D goals and ROI.
Technology companies are also creating internal technology communities among employees to provide training on emerging technologies like AI, IoT, ML, data science, DevOps, and mobile. Employees are free to opt for a variety of training and webinars provided by domain specialists within the community. The community enables a robust exchange of knowledge and proficiencies, wherein employees learn more from each other’s experiences and expertise as well.
Prioritizing soft skills training
Many organizations overlook the importance of equipping their workforce, especially leaders and potential leaders, with basic, yet necessary, soft skills like communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. As organizations become more data literate, they are using the massive amounts of employee data available to them to enhance learning strategies and training curriculums for soft skill development as well. L&D leaders can understand learner behaviors and personalities to identify prospective leaders and fast-track their leadership development by filling these skill gaps required for the job.
Trends in L&D may transform every year; however, with the ongoing digital disruption, it is most important to think about technology-backed learning and development as a business priority to stay ahead in this ever-changing corporate ecosystem. The above-mentioned trends have been gathering pace for some time, and are set to intensify further this year. This creates many challenges and opportunities for L&D professionals to design and shape the future of work.