In this section, we’ll spotlight trends in learning and development globally. This article is from Trainingmag.com, and covers 5 key trends:
- Going Mobile
- Understanding social learning
- Adaptive learning
- Aligning with business objectives
- Measuring effectiveness
Although learning is one of the most mature areas of talent management, it is also one of the most innovative. With recent technology advancements and the rapid adoption of social collaboration, learning and development has come a long way. Yet making a decision to improve a learning management program and invest in a learning management solution is often a daunting challenge. Five key trends and best practices that companies should consider include the use of mobile technology, adoption of social learning tools, alignment with corporate objectives, use of adaptive learning principles, and the ability to measure effectiveness.
- Going Mobile. Mobile has transformed the way companies work, interact, and collaborate. With global penetration rates skyrocketing, organizations that are not considering mobile in all areas of HCM will have a difficult time competing for talent. Despite this reality, companies are still slow to embrace mobile learning solutions. Only 10 percent of companies are using mobile Web-based learning solutions. Some 8 percent are using mobile learning apps, 5 percent mobile performance web-based sites, and 4 percent are using mobile performance apps. Most companies recognize that mobile learning solutions can improve adoption, expand global reach, and engage users better, but do not understand how to execute a mobile strategy. Additionally, some organizations find it challenging to determine what options are available and which providers to consider. Regardless of the barriers they are facing, organizations looking to improve their learning functions will need to make mobile part of the equation and determine what requirements they have in order to select a technology partner.
- Understanding Social. Companies are quickly embracing social media tools, as well as investing in social collaboration tools to better engage employees and foster a learning culture. Although social has become mainstream, companies still lack the knowledge and insight around how to use these tools for learning and development. Of the 59 percent of companies using social for their learning strategies, only 24 percent say they are effective. One reason is that companies are limited in the social tools they are using. Companies are using document sharing, discussion forms, and blogs, but they aren’t generally using video or micro-blogs—which our research shows are more effective—to improve their learning functions. Companies must educate themselves on the value of social learning and invest in providers that offer solutions that drive business outcomes.
- Considering Adaptive Learning. Adaptive learning is a methodology that breaks traditional models and allows employees to learn at their own pace. It has gained popularity with educational institutions, referred to as “adaptive teaching,” where a teacher will gather information on individual students to learn what they need to do to improve their learning. In the workforce, adaptive learning is conducted similarly. Employees can be monitored individually and in real time to determine what learning approach will best suit their needs. It has advantages for younger generations entering the workforce that have expectations around flexibility and interaction. Adaptive learning can be effective at improving efficiency, as well as employee engagement and retention since it allows employees to build confidence and overall expertise. Companies may want to consider breaking traditional learning methods by introducing aspects of adaptive learning.
- Aligning with Business Objectives. The learning of the past operated in silos where learning professionals had little interaction or input from other areas of the business. The learning of the future must be closely aligned to overall corporate strategies in order for companies to achieve results. Any program or technology investment should involve input from business leaders to ensure that learning is driving retention, engagement, and performance. For those companies that did align learning and business priorities (48 percent), more than 70 percent were able to improve company revenue.
- Measuring Effectiveness. To determine if the learning strategy in place is driving business outcomes, companies must find a way to consistently measure its effectiveness. Companies should determine metrics in advance and include both business metrics and learning/HR metrics. Currently, most companies are considering team encouragement, employee engagement, and employee satisfaction over more concrete business metrics such as retention, turnover, and revenue per full-time employee.
In today’s world, organizations that fail to adjust their learning management practices and solutions often struggle with organizational growth or productivity. As a result, leading companies are abandoning traditional methods of learning in favor of more effective solutions—often involving technology innovation—that engage talent and improve performance. This report highlights key trends affecting the future of enterprise learning and recommendations for selecting the right provider.