Corporate learning is at a crossroad. The realities of today’s business world demand the ability to manage many moving parts at a rapidly increasing pace of change. An effective learning strategy has proven to be key to overcoming these challenges and creating an adaptable, healthy and sustainable business. We’ve seen that organizations that know how to not only survive, but thrive have embraced these 5 learning trends.
1. Corporate learning outcomes need to be tied to measurable business drivers.
While we know investments in learning and development have numerous intangible benefits for business, learning without measurable results or hard data will no longer cut it. Learning professionals need to shift focus from a general concept of learning to one which focuses on the way learning impacts business performance. Learning outcomes must align with specific business drivers that can be tracked and measured to illustrate ROI.
2. Learning must result in actionable behaviors.
Knowledge gained but not used provides zero value to a business. Employee learning needs to be translated into action and used to help achieve strategic goals. It is now essential that learning does more than just educate an employee. Learning needs to engage and inspire behaviors that drive workplace performance. We’ve seen learning professionals drive effective and relevant performance through partnering with the C-suite to tie learning outcomes in with their business strategy.
3. Learning needs to evolve with the ever-increasing complexities and differences in the ways people learn.
The distribution of the workforce will continue to become more and more global and unpredictable in structure. Challenges of multigenerational teams are compounded by the rise of the remote worker and the complexities that come along with working across multiple time zones and continents. Employees are craving opportunities to learn on the job, but they want their learning to be more personal and cater to their unique needs and circumstances. Innovations in learning, more specifically elearning, afford us the opportunity to individualize learning experiences and move beyond limitations of formal training and classroom based learning. To be successful, organizations need to adapt organizational learning to individual and group needs. This means learning needs to tailor to different proficiency levels, different work situations, different learning styles and different stages in development.
4. The workforce demands continuous learning opportunities more than ever before.
There is an epic shift from the traditional classroom style training, where workers often traveled to attend a course, to learning programs that are delivered into the workplace. Learning is no longer seen as something separate from work and your organization needs to find ways to embed learning into the workday. Successful organizations are leveraging innovations in learning solutions to reduce work disruptions, minimize the need for workers to leave work in order to learn and place more learning opportunities directly into the flow of the work.
5. To develop corporate learning at the pace of business needs, high-performing organizations are partnering with external learning agencies.
Employees are required to develop new and different skills and competencies on a regular basis, which means they need agile learning support. Most organizations do not have the internal headcount, resources and specialized skills to quickly produce engaging learning at the speed the business demands. High performing organizations, realizing the strategic value of effective learning, are increasing their spend on external learning agencies — and are seeing a tremendous return on their learning investments. This movement towards learning development agency partnerships is accredited to the vast benefits brought on by leveraging the specialized expertise and best practices gained through their experience across multiple clients. Additionally, learning agencies are able to fully maximize advances in technology and rapidly produce innovative and impactful learning at a lower cost and faster delivery rate than utilizing internal teams.
Forward-thinking organizations have embraced innovations in learning theory to create a competitive edge for their business. How are you leveraging learning to create a sustainable advantage in your organization? Share your tips and predictions for the future of learning in the comments below, or engage with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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