With the dawn of a new year, what best practices are there in the learning space HR leaders should know and follow in 2019?

 

For many companies, human capital is their most valuable asset and the key to achieving business goals. But with constantly changing times, HR leaders are always on the lookout for ways they can stay up to date with the best training practices for their organization’s workforce. The ideal is no longer providing good training, but one that is better.

With skills gaps to be filled, needs to be solved and a variety of resources to choose from, it may seem overwhelming to equip your employees with the right skills and prepare them with the outstanding performance needed to succeed in a highly competitive and global business environment. So, we listed key learning and development trends HR professionals should look into for their corporate training plans. Below are 6 valuable L&D trends you should follow this 2019:

 

(You can also view our 2019 L&D Trends infographic here)

 

#1: Digital and mobile delivery

As our roles become more complex and the way we work more dynamic, L&D needs to provide access to training “anytime, anywhere, on any device.” In an increasingly connected world, what better way to respond to that need by taking learning methods to digital platforms? With smartphones becoming more powerful, this front-end of personalized learning gives greater control to employees, making their L&D journey self-paced. Structuring your learning that way will not just free the learner from the constraints of time, place and materials, but will also benefit him by increasing productivity, efficiency, and retention.

 

#2: Aligning goals, for greater ROI

Aside from aiding to the individual employee’s career growth, organizations support training departments so that they may help the company achieve their business goals and objectives. Why is this so? When everyone’s work is oriented toward the same set of goals, the more efficient, profitable, and cohesive the organization as a whole will be. Thus, management and HR should work together to define the values, processes, and practices used in the company’s learning culture to increase performance and competencies and to avoid wasting resources.

 

#3: Increased robust training measurement

Analytics has grown more vital than ever, as they are essential building blocks of measuring the impact of training at all levels. Learning has been integrated more cleverly with data diagnostic systems to create measurable and meaningful data. As talent management analyst Josh Bersin says, “feedback, engagement and analytics tools reign.”

Now that digital platforms are providing HR leaders with meaningful data, these can be used to assess the effectiveness and value of L&D efforts for the learner and the organization as a whole. Creating and designing better training programs and aligning them with larger business goals will be easier and more effective with newfound data analytics.

 

#4: Personalized for the individual learner

Gone are the days of “one-size-fits-all” content. Just as businesses are personalizing their products and services for clients and consumers, so should they for their corporate training methods. Especially now that learners are requiring more adapted content based on identifiers like their experience, performance, company background, work environment, country of origin, or culture.

Providing your employees with unique and customized content that responds to their individual preferences and is relevant to their roles, makes learning all the more beneficial for the employee and the company. Not only does it attract and retain top talent, but it also helps close the skills gap and help in organizational success. And with today’s blend of technology and data, your personalized learning program addresses each learners’ trouble spots by providing individual support; thereby making learning more effective and also great for ROI.

 

#5: Stressing the need for communication and soft skills

The world of business is getting more globalized by the minute. Organizations are becoming more diverse, broadening their reach and going across borders. That is why soft skills such as emotional intelligence, language skills, collaboration, and negotiation, have become increasingly ‘critical’, as revealed by a 2016 Deloitte survey. As much as role-specific skills are still being sought for, HR leaders have realized the value of soft skills in the workplace. So, be sure to implement a program that refines your people’s soft skills as this improves their leadership and builds a meaningful culture.

 

#6: Leverage training as an employee incentive

Making your learning and development program learner-centric is one thing, but getting them to view training as an opportunity for growth and investment for knowledge and skills honing is another. L&D programs have become a key differentiator between companies competing for talent. It also plays an active role in engaging, motivating, retaining and empowering your best talent; decreasing employee turnover and unproductivity.

 

So, as you provide your workforce with the necessary training, make it a point to build a workplace culture that values career advancement through L&D. Get everyone — even management — involved, as well. Not only does this take pressure off your L&D and HR departments, but it also helps to ensure a healthy and open relationship regarding learning and development between employees of every level and their management.

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