As anyone who has been around the OD, L&D, and HR space in recent years will have noticed, the L&D space is changing rapidly. The needs (including time demands) of employees have changed dramatically, as has learning accessibility and reach, enabled by modern L&D technology and platforms.
A recent article in Forbes highlights the central role that L&D plays in organizations, especially now that we are working in a hybrid world. In our many interactions with customers working at the cutting edge of the L&D revolution, the article’s key lessons resonated with what is happening across HR and OD.
As the workplace continues to evolve, Learning and Development (L&D) finally has access to the tools and technologies to deliver the training needs of a demanding and changing workforce. It’s not just about L&D and what is centrally designed and delivered. Learning is now a business-as-usual activity owned and distributed at the team and individual level, with “learning on the go” in increasing demand.
Evolution of L&D:
The last five years have witnessed a profound transformation in the L&D domain, moving away from traditional in-person sessions led by external trainers to a more hybrid approach that incorporates digital and interactive elements. Traditionally, L&D teams developed programs that were delivered in person, whether online or physically together at the same time. L&D has had to adapt its approach and adjust to advances in technology and limited capacity among learners to meet the changing needs of its customers. The clear paradox of increasing need and decreasing capacity is a real one that needs to be creatively navigated.
Importance of Personalization:
One of the key trends across all of the L&D sphere is the requirement for personalization. This has been noted well beyond the organizational context. Only in recent months has British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoken about “personalised Teaching”for school kids who have different learning styles and needs. Similarly, in organizations, there is no one-size-fits-all for employees, and with hybrid working becoming the new normal, traditional delivery methods no longer meet the diverse needs of the modern workforce. The future of L&D involves a more personalized approach, recognizing that one-track careers are no longer the norm. As such, training and the training ‘ecosystem’ developed by L&D must enable a tailored approach, including self-service, to meet the unique needs and career trajectories of employees.
Shift to Digital and Interactive Learning:
Although Learning Management Systems are by no means a new idea, the pivot to digital-first delivery has meant that L&D teams are challenged to deliver high-value digital training for employees on demand. Advanced LMS systems like CiphHR have added a raft of new automation technologies to streamline admin but also gamification modules to make learning more fun and engaging. The advent of easily accessible, relevant digital courseware and microlearning provides an agile learning experience for users, allowing them to absorb big ideas in small chunks. We have also found that such microlearning is most effective when integrated or “tagged” to a day-to-day work event or practice where there is a clear short-term benefit to undertaking the learning. For example, get your team to take a 10-15 minute online learning module on team productivity or effective team charters before going to the team meeting where team ways of working are on the agenda.
Modern Tools and AI:
The value of digital and interactive learning experiences, especially in the context of remote work, has grown rapidly, and L&D teams are rapidly upskilling in digital learning skills, AI software, and remote delivery tools. Learning platforms such as Whatfix and Edapp are making the development of microlearning more straightforward for L&D teams. These online tools infuse learning with videos and quizzes. Moreover, L&D is helping to create the infrastructure for vibrant communities of practice that allow upskilling across teams with an interest in a particular area of expertise. Tools like Open Social allow interested groups within organizations to self-organize and create online communities, helping teams leverage peer-to-peer learning via group chat, online events, and co-creation areas.
Profitability through Learning and Employee Focus:
Training and development are particularly important, growing, and attractive to potential employees as part of your overall employer brand and employee experience. To attract and retain talent in a competitive job market, organizations must recognize employees’ growth goals and demonstrate company investment in their development. According to an HBR/Gallup research study, companies that invest intelligently in L&D are 11% more profitable. The connections are very clear, particularly where the development can be visibly seen on the job, e.g., in the hospitality industry, where employee training can positively improve customer retention and return.
In this rapidly evolving landscape of professional development and growth, the emphasis on learning has shifted towards on-the-go, bite-sized formats, facilitated by the integration of cutting-edge tools and technologies. WorkMatters Solutions help you navigate these changing trends in Learning and Development (L&D), ensuring that your organization stays ahead of the curve. For example, as teams increasingly embrace remote and mobile-optimized learning, we recognize the importance of fostering effective communication and collaboration through combining online learning modules with evolving and dynamic ways of working.
Such a current business scenario (i.e., the shift to and continuous improvement of blended working) provides both a current business need and a great opportunity to experiment and test new approaches before extending lessons learned to other areas and business applications. Talk to us today about the solutions we use to meet the business requirements for development with new training approaches – while also acknowledging the capacity demands for L&D and learners alike.