Learning and development have become an integral part of the workplace. Executives need a skilled workforce that can adapt to the endless stream of uncertainties happening constantly. Employees need the right tools and training to do their jobs and a clear path to learning new skills and advancement.
With the current talent shortage, organizations are on the lookout for the newest training options to keep their workers challenged, engaged, and happy at work. But with so many changes to the way we work, live, and learn, trying to incorporate every new technology is nearly impossible. Instead, let’s look at some overarching ideas within current L&D trends.
Here are eight words that describe what we’re seeing, with some ideas of how to steer the future of learning at your workplace.
1. BlendedIf the pandemic taught us anything, it is that learning does not only happen in physical rooms. While many people are anxious to return to in-person experiences and collaboration, for some teams, either a shift to remote work or a geographic spread means that this is no longer feasible. Fully virtual may not be the answer, but increasingly, a hybrid approach is.
Employees want options. This means training that can be completed at different paces and that accommodates varying schedules, but it also means that information is delivered in ways that individual learners respond to. Video coaching, gamification, live lectures, adaptive learning (the option to skip ahead by passing an assessment), and other creative options help workers have the experience they need to learn and retain knowledge.
In the past, stiff training videos or extremely formal instructor-led lectures were staples in corporate training. Today’s workers do not typically respond well to this kind of rigid structure in their learning. People want to learn as they go and on demand.
To achieve this, a more flexible and informal approach is showing up in training in a variety of delivery methods with more humor, empathy, camaraderie, and openness.
Active learning is always superior to passive learning. With new innovations in technology-based learning happening every day, finding ways to incorporate interactive experiences is easier and less expensive than it has ever been. Interactivity puts learners in the driver’s seat with the chance to choose what they do next and learn through natural consequences. If you would like help designing effective training with interactive experiences, bringing in a professional team to custom design something for you will pay off huge dividends in this area.
5. EmotionalFor a long time, emotions were shied away from at work. However, emotions actually help with memory recall, so injecting feelings into training is completely logical. Excitement, surprise, and empathy are all easy to evoke with good storytelling.
Organized and complex collaborative and social learning has taken center stage in recent years, and for good reason. Employees are used to having information at their fingertips, and being able to learn anything they need by typing a question. When most people need to learn something new, they don’t turn to a teacher––they watch a video clip or ask an online community. Corporate learning must emulate this by creating a thriving community where colleagues can both share their knowledge and learn from each other. There are tools specifically meant for this purpose, but smaller businesses might consider simply using what already works: things like Slack, Microsoft Teams or Google Workspace to create a library of information and an open learning dialogue.
7. DigestibleMicrolearning, or shorter content delivered in pieces, continues to be a trend in learning. There are so many different avenues to deliver training that fits into an employee’s schedule and attention span. Some companies are using text messages to send out modules that can be read, clicked, and completed within just a few minutes. Others use email courses, smartphone apps, or games to create digestible learning. These brief concepts and daily tips will likely not replace traditional courses, but they are great supplemental tools that keep workers’ attention and meet modern learners where they are.
8. ImmersiveChances are, you have been hearing the buzz around augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) for years. Finally, it is starting to show up in our everyday lives in accessible ways. AR and VR help to engage multiple senses, boost engagement, and dive deeper into complex subjects. Learners have a greater desire to use immersive technologies, and the barriers to making it happen are starting to disappear. You no longer need special equipment or separate software to create AR and VR effects. Use it to create hybrid experiences like scavenger hunts, role-playing, or specialized training that is too dangerous or cost prohibitive to perform in the real world.
Staying ahead in corporate training requires more than expensive software or fancy devices. Incorporate the ideas from this list that align with the goals of your organization, and leave the others for another day. No matter what the trends of the future are, the heart of great learning experiences will always be an authentic message, valuable information, and great storytelling.
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Connect with our custom solutions team to find out how we can help you create training that incorporates these ideas and meets your exact training needs.