Careers are no longer what they used to be. Their longevity has increased and people now enjoy even six-decade long professional journeys. This means that the skills and dexterity they posses to perform at work, are also changing rapidly. In this scenario, companies are being forced to go the whole nine yards of career development while delivering superlative learning and development opportunities for their employees.
A recent report and survey by Deloitte on Global Human Capital Trends that looks at challenges ahead for business and HR leaders throws light on the dynamic element known as ‘corporate learning’ that is forcing companies to introspect. Most are now refurbishing their L&D infrastructure to suit the digital age because the evolving idea of ‘corporate learning’ is prompting them to do so.
The report maps several trends that come to the fore with respect to careers and the constituent of learning attached to them. Here’s a look at 7 robust trends that have marked the recent developments in the citadel of L&D.
# Trend 1: Learning is Always On and Available on a Range Of Mobile Platforms
The report points out that with companies showing great alacrity in building organisations of the future, business success largely depends upon continuous learning. It’s important to note here that this learning is the one that is ‘always on’ and is available on a range of mobile platforms. L&D departments now need to pull up their sleeves and do justice to the omnipresent learning needs of people. People are learning all the time and training programmes have to be agile leading to learning that can be delivered any time, any place, at the user’s convenience.
In fact, it is clear that companies have to embrace JLT or Just In Time Learning to remain relevant to the modern leaner’s needs. Also, since people now use myriad devices on any given day, learning should also work across multiple devices and a responsive LMS that provides learners a seamless, flexible learning experience on any device and at any time is the best bet.
# Trend 2: Learning Technology Provides a Collaborative Learning Experience
As mentioned above, modern learning is all about anytime, anywhere, any device learning. This is also connected to the fact that learning is no more something to be done in isolation. Since it happens all the time, learning is now largely collaborative – a group effort. In today’s world, where life is reflected predominantly in timelines and status updates, Social Learning is one of the most crucial components of the learning ecosystem.
Any learning technology deployed by a company necessarily has to provide a unique way for people to learn from one another via Social Media and Knowledge Collaboration tools.
Also, learning is no more restricted to a single team putting its heads together to create a learning environment. It is now about multi-functional teams coming together, connecting and collaborating to experience learning in its true form.
# Trend 3: Lifetime Learning for Longer Careers
As the span of careers is increasing, the competitive quotient too is scaling up. Companies need to constantly take care of their employees’ CPD or Continuing Professional Development, which is basically efforts undertaken to maintain, update and nurture the latter’s knowledge and skills required for their professional role. Employees too need to be particular about their own CPD in order to remain competitive with their peers, and to stand out from the pack, whenever needed. Another important aspect that comes into picture thanks to longer careers is competency.
Competency Management is the pulse of performance improvement—at the individual as well as organisational levels. Competencies are abilities, behaviours, knowledge, and skills that impact the success of employees and organisations. When L&D departments assume a competency-based approach, it can provide the base for great learning programmes.
# Trend 4: New Tools are Leaving Behind the Traditional LMS
As learning requirements are changing, the tools that unleash learning are also experiencing a revamp. Earlier, traditional LMSs, offering only content delivery and tracking capabilities, may have been the road to providing eclectic learning experiences to users. But with changing times, these LMSs no longer solely rule the roost. Newer and advanced learning platforms are leaving traditional LMSs behind to carve their own space. An exciting and effective aspect of today’s tech-friendly world is the fact that companies have access to a wide range of media tools.
From interactive HTML courses to powerpoint presentations, PDFs and beyond, L&D has the power to create training programmes that are highly engaging for the learner with the help of multi-media tools. Through multi-media support for learning content, it is now possible to cater to different learning needs. Media like YouTube videos are ideal addition to the learning multimedia strategy.
Learning also forges a strong connection with the idea of content sharing and UGC or User Generated Content. UGC in context of learning is any type of content that has been created and contributed by learners and can refer to pictures, videos, discussions, and everything in between. UGC has immense power when it comes to learning especially in the fast-paced Internet world.
Just like multimedia tools and UGC, APIs and Integration are also important pillars on which the edifice of an LMS is built. They enable easy data exchange between the LMS and other 3rd party systems for automating certain tasks.
The success of an LMS depends greatly upon how and how much it is benefitting the end-users and in turn the organisation itself. Tracking the triumphs of an LMS is possible through the MIS & Reporting facet that provides data on desired performance parameters, helping in problem identification and taking intelligent business and training decisions.
# Trend 5: Commodisation of Content
One of the must-haves of an LMS is the ability to centrally administer training and certification processes. An ideal LMS helps in administering training, integrating with existing/new training modules, and tracking progress. This symbiotic identification of need, feeding directly into the practical learning and assessment, and tracking is often facilitated by the versatile SCORM, AICC or TinCan data format. In case of non-standards-compliant, proprietary content too, an LMS needs to support both standards-compliant as well as proprietary content, quite frankly because the latter is as important in the learning mix as the former.
On the same lines, off-the-shelf or OTS courses are popular because they are pre-created and available in the public domain comprising of anything from training videos to eLearning courses that can be purchased as a ready-to-use solution. OTS courses are less costly than customised courses and hence are a popular option.
# Trend 6: From Delivering ‘Learning’ to a World-Class ‘Learning Experience’
While everything else is important, the main focus of an LMS has to be the users and their learning requirements. Users need to know what they should be doing when entering an LMS for the first time. There should not be a struggle because of a poor visual design and User Interface (UI) to guide them to the right resources. After all, User Experience (UX) is of utmost importance since a good UX entails giving learners the opportunity to tailor their journey to their needs and taste.
An LMS should also essentially aim at creating an entire learning ecosystem that involves providing both formal and informal learning and utilising both these techniques to ensure that content is delivered along the spectrum of the employees’ learning needs. Also, the best L&D functions are all about meeting the new learning needs of employees through different mediums and platforms. The focus should be ‘WWW’ which means learners need to have access to whomever they need to learn from, whenever they want, and wherever it is convenient.
# Trend 7 – The Changing Role of L&D Leadership
L&D leadership has undergone changes like never before and, today, a strong contemporary L&D relies heavily on Internet-based learning options and technology, such as webinars, learning management systems, online presentations and courses, instructional videos, social media forums, performance support aids, and more. L&D is now looked at increasingly as a long-term, continuous event.
The Deloitte report goes on to say that ‘the impact of the fourth industrial revolution is fundamentally changing the nature of work and the meaning of career, and making it imperative to constantly refresh one’s skills.’ It points out that when it comes to learning, an organisation’s responsibility is to create an environment and systems to facilitate learning and unlearning for employees. Happy learning to you!
To ensure your ‘corporate learning’ continues to ride the tides of change, get in touch with us today.
Amit has played a key role in bringing an innovative approach to the traditional Learning Management System (LMS) and has been instrumental in putting UpsideLMS on the global map.With over two decades of work
experience across IT and eLearning, Amit has a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in start-up management, project management, technology solutions consulting, and technology solutions architecting and development. At UpsideLMS too, Amit continues to wear multiple hats as the key idea generator for UpsideLMS' tech-ops team, a Sales and Marketing orchestrator, a learning technology solutions consultant for his clients and prospects, a sounding board of ideas for his team of experts and a mentor for all the function heads. All product offerings birthed and led by Amit, be it the Learning Management System or the Mobile Learning Apps, have been disruptors in the eLearning industry and ahead of their times.
Amit is an active contributor to the company's blog and many eLearning forums. He has been profiled by Learning Solutions, a leading industry publication and the official online publication of the eLearning Guild, for its 'Leaders in the Limelight' series. He distils his expertise and experience into articles, which are regularly published in leading L&D and HR publications across the world.
Amit has spoken at various L&D events in the US, has co-hosted webinars alongside leading industry experts and has authored eBooks on Learning Management Systems. He has served as a judge for the Brandon Hall awards in 2002 and 2004. Amit holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science (NIT–Kurukshetra) and a Masters in Business Administration (IIM – Lucknow).
Connect with him on LinkedIn.