Let’s welcome 2020 on a good note. Watch out for these top corporate training trends this year:
In 2019, we’ve seen the tremendous growth of workplace learning technologies. Some trends that training managers tried to follow are self-directed learning, mobile learning, and microlearning. And some of them have been proven helpful in increasing learner engagement and overall workplace productivity.
But in 2020, L&D and HR professionals are once again tasked to elevate their strategies in order to keep up with the growing L&D trends. We can agree that workplace learning is now one of the non-negotiables and necessities when it comes to global organizations. And certainly, challenges will still be there. A great example is the task for organizations to grow its internal talent pool which has now become a competitive advantage.
Sometimes, we tend to get lost in all of these advancements and trends. This 2020, we give you the top corporate training trends you need to watch out for:
1. Growing focus on soft skills training
With the rise of AI and automation in 2020, organizations are tasked to harness the full potential of human beings. While machines are assigned to accomplish more mundane tasks, companies are looking into how specialized “human” skills like creativity, communication, and innovation can be maximized in order to make employees more productive at work.
In the current global and multicultural workplace environment, this problem can be addressed through providing your learners with the necessary soft skills training, all of which depend on the needs and goals of both the employees and the organization. It’s going to be a challenge for training managers to bring relevant training programs to enhance their employees’ soft skills, but it’s always something that can be done.
With this, it’s important to first look into the top in-demand soft skills this 2020 — growth mindset, creativity, innovation, communication skills and storytelling, to name a few. And keep in mind that soft skills aren’t just learned in one go. Learners need to undergo various soft skills training sessions and be able to apply it through continuous learning experiences.
After all, learning is a continuous process. And unlike technical skills, soft skills require more experiential learning and on-the-job application before you can realize its effectivity.
2. Rise of user-generated content (UGC)
In workplace learning, user-generated content (UGC) refers to the informal spreading of information and knowledge about a certain topic or subject to a colleague or peer. Docebo reported that some common forms of UGC in learning are Q&A discussion with experts, short videos, and blog or written insights.
And with a majority of Millennials and Gen Z-ers valuing collaboration with instructors and other learners through forums and group discussion while taking a course, this goes to show how optimistic learners are towards UGC in learning. Usually, UGC is done during informal interactions and less professional situations which serves as a supplementary discussion or enrichment of the subject matter after the formal training.
One great benefit of UGC is that learners have the opportunity to take ownership of their own learning as they can produce digestible content based on what they’ve learned about a topic. For example, a learner can write a blog entry regarding her/his insights about effective tips on speaking with clients. And this is made easier by advanced technologies and of course, the Internet.
This means that you can use UGC to drive learner engagement and motivation among your employees. By letting them contribute to the ever-growing pool of learning content, they also get to share their own learning experiences while imparting something to their peers and colleagues. Think of it as a way to build a social learning culture in your organization.
3. Personalization goes mainstream
A shift in the individual needs and goals of learners is the focus of corporate training this 2020. While personalization isn’t entirely a new thing when it comes to workplace learning, 2020 is said to be the year when personalization becomes mainstream because learning initiatives will be primarily driven by the needs of individuals instead of businesses.
This solution not only combats the problem of low learner engagement, but also ensures that learning resources and materials are job-specific and industry-specific. This makes learning more relevant to the first-hand experiences of employees in the workplace. Also, since people have different learning styles, implementing personalization in corporate training is one key step to boosting workplace productivity.
In 2020, it’s also said that learners’ performance and growth will also become more personalized. The responsibility for learning isn’t only given to training managers, but also, employees are now given more control of their own training paths and learning journeys.
4. Learning in the flow of work
“Learning in the flow of work” has become a buzz phrase for quite a while already. And L&D and HR professionals are expected to do just this for their organizations’ workforce. Yet companies are still transitioning from having a separate avenue for employees to learn to incorporating learning in the daily work lives of their employees. This is why the challenge of seamlessly integrating learning in the corporate lives of employees remains.
In order to achieve learning in the flow of work, your training program should be accessible, on-demand, and curated carefully. This means that learning resources must be available in the time of need of the learner, and that these resources should also be relevant to whatever her/his needs are.
This 2020, there will also be further blurring of lines between private and professional lives. The “work-life balance” that once dominated the workplace culture list of buzzwords and phrases may lose its popularity soon as it may be replaced with “work-life harmony.” It seems that compartmentalization will be less of a thing in the coming of the new decade especially now that people are expected to integrate the personal to the professional and vice versa.
5. Building a workplace learning culture
One of the top and most important corporate training trends this 2020 is the demand for a thriving learning culture in organizations globally. While learning in the workplace is not something new, now is the time for organizations to create more relevant training programs and encourage their employees to maximize them.
In short, corporate training is now a necessity. With the past decade treating workplace learning as merely a benefit and a competitive advantage, employees now demand for workplace learning more than ever. This doesn’t only benefit them personally but also the company as a whole.
That’s why you should start encouraging learning in the workplace. By inculcating the value of continuous learning as early as the employee onboarding, you’ll be able to easily integrate learning in the work of your employees. And with the continued learning initiatives by employees, a culture of social learning can therefore thrive.
But this won’t happen if you’re still sticking to the old ways of implementing corporate training programs. Aside from just merely partnering with eLearning providers, you should also collaborate with your learners to determine their needs and goals. Then, since learning is now becoming more self-directed, encourage your learners to take their own training paths, and monitor their progress regularly.
As the scope of L&D becomes broader than ever, you’re once again challenged to level up your strategy and approach corporate training in a different light. More than merely following these trends for the sake of not being left behind, you should also think of your stakeholders. There’s no other way to create a great training program other than knowing and asking the demands and necessities of your learners.