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Trend Watch 2023: Education and Training


Before the advent of a network of remote storage servers located on the internet, corporations could only save crucial papers in actual file cabinets. Yet in the distant past, office meetings could only be held in actual offices rather than utilizing technology that could link people who were thousands of miles apart. 

It takes a dedication to higher efficiency and a duty to discover and hone the abilities that enable innovation to get from there to now.

The learning process applies to all organizations. But, companies that regularly upskill their employees will be able to overcome any obstacles that arise.

The top learning and development (L&D) trends that will affect HR this year are listed below.

Creating a culture of learning is a key trend. 

Incorporating L&D into a company's culture will undoubtedly improve employee engagement, skill development, and other factors. This approach automates upskilling and provides workers with the tools they need in the dynamic workplace and global economy of the modern era. 

Companies must collect data to precisely determine where to begin when curating an effective program to achieve this. For Maggie Smith, senior vice president of human resources at Traliant, recognizing learning gaps—what is lacking, what is required now and in the future—is the first step in developing an effective L&D culture. Then, it's crucial to guarantee that employees have a vote in their learning trajectory.

Every company that is genuinely L&D-driven would purposefully upskill its staff. In fact, according to Udemy's 2023 Workplace Learning Trends Report, when learning and culture are tightly correlated, they mutually reinforce one another, strengthening both individuals inside the organization as well as the firm as a whole. According to Jeff Schwartz, vice president of insights and impact at Gloat, "learning and development have become part of both employees' desires for growth and opportunity in their work and careers and the need for companies to continually improve and expand the skills and experiences of their workforces. "The employee experience is critically dependent on this focus on growth and opportunity, coupled with flexibility, wellness, purpose, and of course, compensation."

The embedded learning initiative at Genpact, according to the company's chief human resources officer Piyush Mehta, has made upskilling more than achievable by giving employees access to new skills on demand. The chief human resources officer explains, "Genome is our online, on-demand learning platform, designed to help our employees gain the skills of the future at scale. "Genome" has already provided more than 10 million learning hours, and on average, 80,000 people utilize the platform each month." 

Employees are more able to shape the course of their careers when learning is central to the company culture. This distinguishes between businesses with contented and connected workers and those who struggle with disconnected workers.

According to Nick Day, vice president of sales and marketing at Roundtable Learning, helping employees envision and then actualize their journeys will nearly always produce favorable outcomes. According to him, a culture of learning and growth may be created and maintained by combining career mapping with upskilling learning programs. It provides a significant motivation for your staff to succeed and develop professionally to create a setting where they have a clear understanding of their career outlook and the resources to get there.

Building an effective L&D-based culture requires several different elements, according to Schwartz, including a combination of tactics, resources, programs, values, and incentives. Three components are highlighted by Andrea Lipton, senior director of consultancy and advisory services at NIIT, as a means of integrating L&D into corporate culture. 

1. Take a growth attitude to heart. All employees have potential, and leaders should recognize that potential and work hard to develop it.

2. Consider education an investment. Tracking better performance will help leaders determine the return on investment of successful training. 

3. Adapt to shifting talent and business priorities. Strong learning organizations, according to an NIIT report, operate according to the "Sense, Decide, and Evolve" paradigm; they are perpetually involved in exploratory cycles, recognizing changes both inside and outside of their organizations, quickly formulating and testing hypotheses about how to address these changes, and assiduously putting into practice solutions that prove successful.

Trend 2: fostering career development

Workers want to work in an environment that fosters advancement rather than stifles it. According to Degreed's State of Skills Report, there is a direct correlation between retention and the availability of options for upskilling and reskilling. If their employer doesn't show a commitment to their professional development, 46% of employees say they will quit.

According to Janice Burns, chief people officer of Degreed, employers shouldn't hold back on employee development out of concern that new hires will take those talents with them. Instead, focus on what employees accomplish while they are still on the job. "Considering retention alone is a simplistic picture of what L&D is accomplishing in a business and inside a workforce, during their employment period,” the author claims. "People will eventually depart; your attention should be on the accomplishments they make while working for you. Providing people with the necessary skills and access to learning that continuously improves those talents is what keeps them interested and productive for however long they choose to stay. 

Schwartz also concurs that organizations that support career growth will have the most devoted staff and, as a result, see lower retention rates. According to research by Gloat, people are quitting their employers in greater numbers because other businesses offer better and simpler options for fascinating work and significant career progression.

Additionally, he asserts that genuine opportunity within the organization is the best support for employee progress. "Maybe the most important question is how to enhance significant internal chances for development, and how learning and growth are essential components of the solution. According to Schwartz, internal growth and opportunity, together with flexibility, purpose, and salary, are the main drivers of employee retention and engagement. 

Not only is it crucial to maintain retention rates, but supporting employee growth also demonstrates a company's dedication to both its employees' well-being and its mission. 


Trend 3: Individualize Learning

According to a Traliant survey, half of the participants thought training that was specifically designed to reflect their workplace was the most effective. Smith concurs that being specific in development initiatives is the greatest approach to promoting solid workplace connections. According to her, personalization works well to boost student engagement and make the course material more pertinent and relatable. 

Mehta believes that personalization is the only way to ensure that content is relevant to each recipient. For training to truly benefit each employee, he asserts, it must be personalized. Businesses must make sure that content is flexible and tailored to certain people or departments to make it more entertaining and relevant. 

Burns believes that since individualization has become so ingrained in daily life, it should also apply to the job. She challenges, "Why aren't you adjusting training to preferences? "Having our music, movies, and even love pairings personalized to our interests based on data is an expectation in our personal life."

While individualized learning has become the norm for many firms, certain workers may become stagnant as a result, according to Dr. Gregg Collins, chief learning scientist for NIIT. The majority of individuals like to remain in their comfort zones, but he claims that this is not where the finest learning takes place. "Thus, we should first consider how to develop training that works before worrying about how to adapt training to employee desire." According to him, the main emphasis should be on what the trainees should know and be able to do after the training. 

What then is the ideal balance? Technology, in the opinion of Day of Roundtable Learning, is essential to delivering the best learning support and supporting a variety of learning styles. "Many organizations find that blended learning is a fantastic way to accommodate all user learning preferences. Some students like to watch someone perform a task; yet, some students learn best by actually performing the work themselves, according to the author. "A learning program that combines instructor-led, eLearning, instructor-led virtual reality, and augmented reality may fit all of your staff and ensure that your L&D is heading in the right direction. 

Trend 4: Increasing Digital Capability

According to the 2023 Workplace Learning Trends Study, up to 70% of employees would need to use data heavily in their employment by 2025, a 30% rise from 2018. The market for new technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), is anticipated to grow from less than 12 billion dollars in 2022 to more than 22 billion dollars by 2025, according to a second analysis. 

Day claims that because technology is generally effective, it is being used at an ever-increasing rate. We are aware that the majority of corporate organizations have integrated immersive learning into their employee development programs or intend to do so within the next year due to its impact on all aspects of their growth objectives, he says. According to studies, early adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) for their learning and development (L&D) programs saw, on average, a 57% improvement in efficiency, a 55% increase in safety, a 52% rise in production, and a 47% reduction in complexity. 

The potential of technology to solve problems is one of the most attractive features of its usefulness. Its ability to spot problems and then fix them is crucial to ensuring that learning is as successful as it should be.

Mehta from Genpact explains how his company's AI-automated chatbot, "Amber," has contributed to a rise in engagement, an indication that employees are learning the skills they need. It has also eliminated the uncertainty involved in figuring out what works and what doesn't. "Leaders can identify employees who feel engaged and unengaged, comprehend the difference in their performance, and establish action plans based on all the data by employing modern technologies, such as AI," he claims. "Amber provides a real-time pulse on mood and morale and assists in obtaining employee feedback on what is effective and what needs to change." Additionally, depending on its analysis, Amber offers live people analytics and actionable insight, empowering HR directors and business executives to proactively address employee input. 

Some ground-breaking technologies have started to make their mark, but their actual influence hasn't even begun to scratch the surface, according to Brandon Dickens, regional vice president of user experience for NIIT. VR is a beautiful illustration. "[VR] will soon become normal practice for most types of training," he predicts. "There are early studies that appear to show disproportionate effects in important areas like empathy and health and safety training. There is still good news, even though the VR revolution hasn't quite arrived: we have started to notice a clear trickle-down effect on training carried out in lower-tech and lower-quality modalities.

The fact that three out of four organizations believe the outcomes of AI must be fair, safe, and trustworthy is a glaring example of how crucial technology has become in educating the workforce. According to Dr. Collins, the primary use of AI in staff development today is to enable tasks like speech generation, auto-translation, and content curation. "The real long-term potential of AI, however, lies in building AI tutoring systems that can do the kinds of things a great teacher does: Generate example problems to work on, (evaluate) learner solution, provide individualized explanatory feedback, generate Socratic questions to guide learning, and so on," he claims. 

Technological use is increasing, therefore any business planning for the future will set up the necessary infrastructure to continuously learn, develop, and succeed. The future generation of talent engagement, workforce management, and employee experience will be driven by data and AI, claims Mehta. 

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