Businesses, government agencies and educators across the country are recalibrating the workforce. To meet the needs of an increasingly digital workspace, upskilling and continuous learning have never been more important. But what’s on the horizon in the learning sphere? We asked experts for their view from the trenches and found some learning trends to watch for in 2019.
#1: Recalibrating learning
Employee education needs a new approach as the market continues to change and the digital revolution squeezes businesses and workers, according to Sarah Franklin, EVP and GM of Trailhead and developer relations at Salesforce. “Traditional corporate learning techniques and tools simply won’t cut it,” she told HR Dive in an email.
“Companies have an opportunity to go one layer deeper and understand the role of new technologies, cultivate the skill sets needed within organizations and introduce new approaches to retraining and re-skilling the existing workforce,” she said. Franklin said she believes continuous learning supported with feedback and motivation is more critical than ever to keep pace with rapid technology changes and movement within businesses.
For Christine Kensey, director of training at Phenom People, this means personalizing learning and training programs to serve employees. “L&D is about evolving training techniques from the one-size-fits-all mold. No two learners are alike,” Kensey told HR Dive via email. “Adaptive learning shatters the old mold by personalizing the experience to the learner’s path and pace.” This makes learning more focused, relevant and effective, she said.
#2: Blending work and learning
“Performance adjacent learning — learning with minimal disruption to the workflow to enable problem solving and learning at the moment of need — will continue to be a huge trend in 2019,” Karen Hebert-Maccaro, chief learning experience officer at O’Reilly Media, said in an email. She suggested this will introduce ubiquitous learning — an emphasis on learning as a part of the process of work.
For this to work, however, tech will need to keep pace, she said: “To enable this type of learning, technologies like natural language processing, precision search and modularized content that will allow the user to hop in, find what they need and hop back out will be key.”
This technology may herald an entirely new learning environment, Kensey said. “We’re moving away from training cultures to learning cultures; two distinctly different methods,” she said. “For me, learning is about developing curious, creative and adaptive professionals who are ready to face the uncertainty the future holds. In today’s knowledge economy, growth and innovation will not and cannot be driven simply by the top.”
#3: On-demand training
As learning integrates itself into the normal flow of work, employees will likely crave flexible professional development options, Cory Eyler, vice president and general manager at ed2go, a Cengage Company, said in an email.