Digital transformation is a dominant force in nearly every industry. But from a learning and development perspective, it requires far more than upskilling employees' competencies to keep your company competitive. Your approach to L&D has to adapt and fit workers like a glove, as individuals increasingly place value on forward-thinking employers invested in their future. It's therefore fitting that 2019's major learning and development trends meet employees where they're at, conform to how they learn amid competing priorities, immerse them in rich multimedia content, and continually reskill and reinforce lessons learned.
Here are four trends you can't ignore when evaluating your L&D strategy and learning management system in 2019.
1. Mobile learning
When employees aren't tethered to learning at their desks or in the office, they're more likely to complete trainings. And they may do so in less time. In its experimental GoLearn initiative, Merrill Lynch deployed three compliance courses on computers and mobile devices. On average, smartphone users finished the courses 45% faster.
Mobile learning also can help employees with last-second training. An employee preparing for their first big presentation, for example, can view a video on public speaking techniques before they enter the room. A sales team member can review best practices for pitching ahead of a major meeting.
Easy access to mobile learning can make the difference between a lead lost and a sale closed. The proliferation of mobile devices also allows you to create an ecosystem in which all employees and resellers can rapidly learn about new services and products. The faster they learn, the faster they can bring new services and products to market. All of this translates to big wins that expand your bottom line.
Mini-modules aren't new. But like bursts of fireworks, microlearning assets are still on-trend as the use of these short lessons becomes more sophisticated. Standalone modules easily slide into the flow of work to make the content consumed pack more punch. Employees will make time for engaging and relevant five minute lessons when the information adds meaningful value to their work, the moment they need it.
Microlearning's short-time commitment establishes a low barrier to entry that bolsters participation rates. Human resources and L&D professionals can then further elevate engagement by tapping data to personalize curricula for individual learners.
3. Learner engagement
With the rise of the gig economy and remote workforces, customizable learning has become indispensable for keeping end users connected and engaged. Global organizations need an LMS partner that can adapt to multiple languages and cultures and scale with their needs, so workers and partners in each region are exposed to content that's relevant to them. Internal LMS communication tools like email and pop-up notifications, alerts and news can be configured to remind all users of upcoming courses, highlight recommended lessons and call attention to incomplete modules. Integrating key business systems with your LMS delivers learners a more holistic training experience, improving learner engagement and communication.
Active learners also gain more from learning with social and collaborative features like commenting, uploading tools and rating systems, which allow them to share opinions and their own discoveries. They can also determine what courses are available in the future. To fully immerse your staff in peer-to-peer learning and encourage innovation, optional integrations with videoconferencing providers can put them in a virtual room for real-time discussion.
4. Sustained learning
Learning is a marathon and a sprint. With the right LMS, you can achieve quick training wins to boost performance and compliance. From there, you can build toward your longer-term development goals to elevate skills across your entire ecosystem of learners, partners, resellers and more.
Employees need to be able to reinforce existing skills while learning new ones over the course of their careers. The dizzying pace at which technology advances means reskilling is the key to keeping up. Use the reporting features in your LMS, such as assessments, activity, competencies and progress, to identify and enroll students in courses that will create a path for their ongoing development.
An LMS with capabilities that deliver on all of these learning and development trends should be a centerpiece of your L&D strategy. Investing in one that makes your workers more productive and engaged will reap long-term financial benefits and position you as an influential leader that top talent will flock to work with and for.