The more organisations focus on the learning and development (L&D) of their employees, the more they stand to benefit in the long run.
As per the laws of human life, people enter the workforce once they complete their education. As a result, it is only natural for them to think that their education is over but they are mistaken; their real education, in fact, is just starting. Theoretical knowledge just helps to get one started. Real-life ground experience is what true learning is. Organisations, in addition to being productive places of work, are the real-life B-Schools.
The more organisations focus on the learning and development (L&D) of their employees, the more they stand to benefit in the long run. It’s an investment that would pay off when the workers know they craft better than anyone and contribute their honed talents to better the bottom lines. Plus, if you’re worried about your employee retention, rest assured once you put an effective learning roadmap in place the retention rate is going to improve drastically. Employees know that they add immense value to the output of their organisation; it is only fair that the workplace contributes towards their learning and development.
In light of this, we have seen investment in leadership development, and L&D as a whole has grown over the last two or three years. While this is a good head start, organisations still have a long way to go in terms of L&D. Currently, the major challenge facing L&D service providers comes in the form of business metrics. Organisations need to see return on investments and hence they are constantly asking to show impact of L&D programs and how it changes the business outcomes. The need of the hour is for L&D service providers to step up their game to show the impact their programmes will have on the overall business.
As reiterated above, we now see a change in organisations’ mind-sets towards L&D programmes, which are slowly gaining momentum. Back in the day, organisations preferred investing in short- term training programmes, which did not yield maximum dividends. Over time, organisations now see the importance of investing right from the time an employee comes on board till they are in the organisation. After all, the key to success lies in constant learning. This is just the tip of the iceberg and a lot more changes are being seen at the grassroots level, especially with the emergence of newer technologies.
Below are some of the latest trends in L&D, which will transform organisations in the coming days:
The Internet revolution in the early 2000s has resulted in organisations using technology and social media. This results in new ways of learning and collaboration. These technologies are transforming our workplace, and more so, appeal to the younger generation who have grown up on these technologies. Thereby, giving an added advantage to businesses since they do not need to invest much time and resources in training employees in these technologies.
Mobile is becoming the new learning medium
The emergence of newer devices, such as mobiles and tablets is changing the way we learn in the 21st century. This has given rise to M-learning which is a convenient method of learning and at the same time is accessible from virtually anywhere. Sharing is almost instantaneous among everyone using the same content, which leads to the reception of instant feedback and tips. Further, as employees become increasingly time-poor, it’s no wonder they are after L&D content that is more accessible—learning that embraces technology, curates content and places the power of learning into the employee’s hands.
The role of Big Data
It is surprising to note that from the dawn of civilisation until the Internet boom in the early 2000s, mankind generated X amount of data. Post the Internet revolution and emergence of trends, such as BYOD and the e-commerce boom, we are generating 2X data almost every other day and this number is only accelerating. Almost every organisation across sectors is undergoing this digital revolution. As a result, Big Data is no longer a buzzword in the IT circles. IT leaders already realise the significant business value one can gain by tapping into large, complex data sets. Therefore, organisations will truly start to embrace big data and predictive analytics as the forefront of L&D. Through Big Data, organisations will be able to provide learners with personalised and prescriptive learning options based on their past behaviours and preferences.
Security is still a key concern
Just like every coin has two sides, this too has its pros and cons. The major challenge would be security. To tackle this issue, IT will need to quickly develop and execute a strategy, which will be able to take care of this issue. Security should never be reactive but proactive. If not done properly, organisations stand to lose a lot and saving face will be the least of their priorities.
L&D professionals key to organisational success
With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), employees will be able to access information on the go. However, the need of the hour is to filter this information and ensure that the right content is processed. This is where L&D professionals come into play. They ensure that employees access content which aligns with the overall business goals.
While organisations might see many other trends in the coming days, only those organisations will thrive which will place learning at the centre of their existence.
(The author is Country Manager- India, Skillsoft)
If your organization uses learning as a lever to achieve business advantage, read this whitepaper to see how Skillsoft helps in moving the needle.