The way we learn has changed enormously with the digital age. Corporate learning hasn’t been left behind and is also being reinvented. Innovations in Learning & Development was one of the Top 10 Human Capital Trends in 2017 and is now the #2 topic on the minds of CEO and HR Leaders.
Before this, the L&D function hadn’t been changed in a long time and corporate training wasn’t something employees looked forward to. However, with the change of employees’ expectations, L&D providers have to find a way to fulfill these new needs. According to Gallup, 87% of Millennials say that development is one of the most important parts of a job.
We had the opportunity to discuss and brainstorm on this topic with a fantastic panel, six experts with different backgrounds and expertise:
- Shelley Osborne, Head of L&D at Udemy
- Chris Fleming, Head of Talent Development at Everwise
- Uli Heitzlhofer, Director People Learning, and Development at Lyft
- Martha Hernandez, CEO, and founder at madeBOS, Inc.
- Daniel Sonsino, Founder of Guia Consulting
- Kelly Palmer, Chief Learning and Talent Officer at Degreed
Each of the six panelists has a vision of how L&D is redefining the future of work and what new trends are beginning to take place in this field.
1. Designing L&D programs that will create a more inclusive workplace
Diversity and Inclusion is a recurring topic in today’s workplace; it should be included in all parts of a business. Companies can create a learning environment that not only embraces it but is also fuelled by it Diversity and Inclusion.
One of the main drivers of motivation is social interaction and the feeling of belonging. What keeps Millennials in organizations is the feeling of being part of something bigger. Uli talked about the role of managers and how they can create an inclusive environment to drive performance and increase retention.
“We shouldn’t be talking about Diversity and Inclusion, we should always start with Inclusion.” –Uli Heitzlhofer
2. Eliminating obstacles to learning
One of learning biggest obstacles is time. Today, employees want more than never a good work/life balance. However, they often feel overwhelmed and are struggling to find that balance. According to Udemy, 54% of employees feel they need more time to learn at work. This gets reaffirmed by 73% of L&D managers who say that finding the time to learn is one of their employees top challenges.
Shelley recommended to always get senior leadership really involved in learning initiatives to give permission for learning to happen. This will create an organic learning culture in the organization.
“Something we implemented at Udemy to make time to learn is the DEAL hours (Drop Everything And Learn)” — Shelley Osborne
3. Innovating how content is created and who creates it
Diversity and quantity of content is not a problem anymore. We can learn from experts, topic savvy, and almost from anyone who posts a Youtube video or writes a blog. In a world in which everyone can be a subject matter expert and — most importantly — easily publish their own content, how can we find the right content?
Daniel talked about this new employee-generated content marketplace, and how designing corporate learning programs should be based on what employees need right now to perform better at their jobs. Content curation is becoming a new trend in this field and finding the right content is key to having a successful result.
4. Facilitating different ways of learning
It’s no secret everyone has a preferred way of learning. With technology, we can now access many different types of learning tools. The company Everwise provides their customers with different types of learning programs as mentorship, experiential learning, and feedback tools.
However, Chris also emphasized on how even if you identify employees preferred way of learning, for a learning culture to be created barriers need to be turned around and become facilitators.
5. Tracking employees learning journeys
As previously mentioned we have now many possibilities and choices for learning sources. We have Youtube Videos, articles, mentors, conferences and others. People have the power and freedom to choose when and what they want to learn.
But with all these learning providers how do companies keep track of employees learning journeys? The ultimate goal of learning is self-development, professional or personal. Companies and managers need to find a way to monitor their employees learning to support them on a fulfilling career path.
6. Closing the skill gap for career development
The end goal of investing resources in learning is to advance support employees on their journey of professional. Most of the time corporate learning has two purposes, to support employees to get better at their job and to train employees for their next step in their career.
One of the main elements of good performance and high motivation is redefining employees tasks to match their level of skills. When a task becomes too easy, employees get bored and their performance drops. This transition can be hard, especially if it’s not driven by a manager. Martha gave us some tips on how to use storytelling to help employees get their next promotion.
“Storytelling allows for instant connection with others, it develops an automatic audience and credibility.” — Martha Hernandez
Keeping track of employees skill set and needs is a complex task. Development has become one of the most desired aspects of a job. Companies and managers are actively looking for an innovative way to bring learning to their employees.
When employees feel that they successfully worked on their skills and now see a better version of themselves, they acknowledge their work and get more motivated to improve other aspects of their self. The sense of improvement will make these employees not only master their current tasks but also look for new challenges to grow as an individual.
Therefore, companies should find a way to identify which skills do their employees need to develop to take the next step in their career. Additionally, with an extensive portfolio of L&D initiatives options companies have to find a way to measure and prove if the right one is being used.