The future of corporate learning is bright. With advances in technology like augmented reality and artificial intelligence being incorporated into learning management systems, there’s an opportunity for organizations to make training a more relevant, personalized experience. Considering a 2021 employee training statistic from Lorman found that 87% of millennials believe learning and development in the workplace are important, it’s more important than ever for organizations to use the tools available to meet the shifting employee needs. Properly implementing learning and development tools into your business is not only fundamental for employee success, but is a significant factor affecting overall engagement, productivity and retention.
Technology and the future of learning
Leveraging technology for corporate learning is becoming increasingly important, especially when it comes to filling skill gaps in your workforce. Workplace trends such as remote work are also affecting how this technology and employee learning are being viewed. A recent CNBC article reporting on an Upwork survey even predicts that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels. This expansion in remote work opportunities will require companies to adopt new learning and professional development strategies to stay competitive.
Strategies companies are using to improve professional development opportunities for remote workers include:
- Online learning opportunities
- Hybrid workspaces
- Blended learning environments
- Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) training
- Mobile learning
Utilizing new technology for personalized learning
One of the major advantages of companies employing new technology for workplace learning and professional development is the opportunity to personalize the learning experience. This type of learning entails a customized and highly-relevant experience designed to align with an employee’s specific needs, interests and goals. According to HRreview, 77% of learning and development professionals think personalized learning is vital to employee engagement.
While the thought of personalized training for each employee may sound like a lot of work, advances in learning technology have made it simpler than ever. Some of the ways companies are currently personalizing learning include:
- Implementing mobile learning for flexibility and convenience.
- Offering learning materials in engaging, interactive formats.
- Creating microlearning courses by breaking up long form content.
- Supplementing online training with coaching and mentoring programs.
- Utilizing scenario-based training so learners can see the impact of their choices.
- Enrolling learners in training based on their performance, goals and aspirations.
According to a LinkedIn workplace learning report, learning and development professionals spent 57% more time with online learning and 37% less time with instructor-led training than three years ago. As this trend continues, organizations that lean in and effectively adopt customized learning can expect an array of benefits, including:
- Higher employee engagement
- Supported and enhanced skill progression
- Bridged skill gaps
- Higher retention rates
- Boosted employee morale
The increased desire for individualized training and development opportunities have made blended learning environments and hybrid workspaces the new norm, adding flexibility so employees can learn and grow in ways that are best for them. However, it’s important to note that traditional learning isn’t going anywhere. Instead, companies are leveraging new technologies to provide more balanced options, improving the employee experience overall.
Common and growing practices for employee learning
The list of options for employee learning is continuously growing, but finding the practices that will work best for your company depends on your workers’ needs and organizational goals. Here are some of the common ways businesses are currently using to fuel employee success:
In eLearning, microlearning involves breaking training up into smaller, bite-sized pieces that are easier for learners to fit into their day when they need it. It’s been growing in popularity, and because it’s built around an employee’s actual learning cycle, it’s not going anywhere any time soon. The benefits of microlearning go beyond the obvious: because microlearning can easily be revisited, that repetition helps with knowledge retention over time by gradually moving information into the learner’s working memory.
Self-paced learning, also known as asynchronous learning, can include a wide variety of content formats, including text, audio, video, AR, VR and more. This strategy is beneficial for convenience, cost savings and focus, and it fits a variety of learning styles and needs.
This represents the collection and sharing of information learned from peers and has now come to involve online aspects such as through social media. As younger workers continue to join the workforce, utilizing co-workers and social media will become increasingly significant. This is also a great way to enhance company culture and foster a more collaborative workplace.
Gamification involves adding game-like elements to the learning process, such as points or badges, for a more engaging experience. Gamification triggers the brain’s reward and pleasure center while positively adjusting the way workers view and interact with learning. A report from the Academy to Innovate HR even found 83% of employees felt more motivated to learn in the workplace when their training was gamified.
The world of virtual reality is rapidly growing, and employing this advanced technology has proven to be a highly beneficial tool for corporate learning. Enterprise VR solutions offer employees a more immersive and engaging experience, and according to a 2020 report from Perkins Coie, 70% of professionals believe that organizations will focus on adopting these immersive technologies for training and development moving forward.
Implementing learning management systems for corporate training
A learning management system (LMS) refers to a software application or web-based technology used for the administration, tracking, automation and delivery of learning courses or development programs. This technology provides easy access to online materials and courses for developmental purposes, and most corporate software shares common features including:
- Content organization and management
- User-friendly interface
- Feedback systems
- Tracking and reporting capabilities
- Learning paths
- System integration
- Supporting standards
Organizations are progressively implementing LMS for more effective and personalized learning experiences in the workplace. Not to mention, many businesses benefit from cost savings when implementing an LMS versus solely conducting training in-person and/or managing training through manual processes. Talented Learning has a helpful way to calculate the ROI you could see from moving training to an LMS.
Employee learning and professional development are growing requirements for attracting and retaining talent in today’s workforce. However, the strategy that is most effective for your employees depends on your organization’s skill gaps and future goals. Examine your organizational and personnel goals to determine what learning strategies will be most relevant and worthwhile to set your employees up for success.