10 Learning and Development Trends for a New Decade

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Feb 19, 2020

In this new decade, millennials and Gen Zs are expected to make up 58% of the workforce. As baby boomers and Gen Xs begin to retire, it is crucial for businesses to focus on what millennials and Gen Zs want out of their future employers. There is no better time for companies to begin reshaping their company culture to appeal to these younger generations than January, one of the busiest hiring months. This is a crucial time for companies to find ways to stand out among their competitors to attract and recruit potential candidates.

In today’s tight labor market, learning and development can play an important role in the recruitment process, as candidates seek places of employment that allow them to evolve and grow.  In terms of a company’s culture – learning, growth, and development rank as number one on what is most important to millennials, therefore it is crucial for businesses to focus on learning and development in 2020. Here are the top ten learning and development trends for 2020:

1. User-Generated Content

User-generated content, content that is created and published by unpaid end users, continues to be one of the most popular trends within the training industry. This type of creation in training accelerates content development, creates personalized content, and guarantees continuous fresh training. Not only does it speed up content creation and respond quickly to real training needs, but user-generated content allows learning and development teams to reduce the overall time spent on training.

2. Content Curation

In this day and age, there is an exorbitant amount of materials available on the web that can be integrated into learning and training plans. This content curation solves the challenge of finding relevant and new content, classifying it, and then making it easily available to end-users. New content curation platforms, combined with AI, allow us to search and select the right content and provide it to learners at the right time.

3. Video Learning

Video learning is becoming a priority medium for training as it is easy to create and use, inexpensive, and allows teams to reach large and diverse audiences. With over 500 hours of video uploaded onto Youtube every minute, training departments must set up a strategy to create and distribute video content. L&D teams must consider the formats, storytelling, and integration with training modules when creating impactful videos.

4. Mobility

The arrival of 5G technology will further improve the user experience for learners by multiplying the performance of networks by 1000x. With this, digital training platforms must adapt content to mobile format to keep it accessible, short, and gamified. Additionally, mobile learning assists with memory anchoring. To put it simply, memory anchoring stops memory from floating away by using your existing knowledge as “anchors” and connecting them with new knowledge over time. Smartphones work well for memory anchoring because they allow people to disseminate and index knowledge with the use of messages and notifications.

5. Learning in the Flow of Work

Learning in the flow refers to informal training that happens while employees are working and can be embedded in everyday work tools. To provide this training and bring corporate learning closer to everyday work life, chief learning officers should promote training around everyday work tools such as Salesforce, Slack, Workplace, and Teams. Couple this with AI, and the most adapted content will be delivered according to employee’s needs, performance, and availability.

6. Influencer Led Learning

As learners wants and needs change, new formats of learning must be adapted in training. This in mind, the sixth trend of this year is training by the influencer. In the same way that we track our favorite artists, journalists, or actors, we can follow experts and mentors within a company. We can use these “influencers” to help us to discover new ways to work, tools, or relevant information to help our daily work life.

7. Deeper Use of Data

Data allows training managers to personalize the training experience for learners. Combining performance data with training outcomes in work situations makes it possible to improve training content, broadcast customized content for any given population, and thus reinforce individual learning.

8. Open Education

The rise of non-salaried jobs makes it necessary to rethink training methods. In 2020, we’re moving full speed ahead into the world of the gig economy. Since more organizations are outsourcing and exploring freelance options, corporate universities are opening their content to even larger populations outside of the organization. Therefore, chief learning officers must rethink content creation to adapt to more remote populations.

9. Embedding Rewards

Progressive organizations are reconsidering training as a reward and benefit, and companies are now ready to pay for training that prepares employees for future jobs and responsibilities. In “rewards training,” we will see a surge of organizations that will offer rewards to employees as a way to incentivize employee learning. Rewards training requires a significantly broad and relevant training catalog and the marketing of training as a career accelerator.

10. Emotion

Emotion continues to be one of the most popular trends in training, as storytelling and the appropriate use of emotions can provide good memorization anchoring. Several training initiatives, like web series at Netflix to virtual reality experiences, have mimicked successful storytelling techniques. With this, the creative skills of instructional engineers will be highly sought after in learning and development departments – such as having the ability to create scenarios, animate a team of actors and rethink the learning environment.