Learning and Development 2014: Highlights and Future Trends

Learning management is an essential component of any talent management strategy. It can help organizations transform HR from a tactical function to a strategic business endeavor by improving the shortage of critical skills, engagement and performance. Learning, like many other areas of HCM, has evolved from a traditional model of instructor-led coursework to a more informal and interactive model where learning content is adapted to the needs of the individual.

In this blog, we take a quick look back at 2014, highlight key research that reveals current trends, and take a stab at predicting new trends for 2015 – or at least the ones we think should evolve.

Looking Back at 2014:

  • Organizations were most concerned with how to tackle social media over how to address the skills shortage or global expansion.
  • Mobile and social are key considerations in any learning technology evaluation and selection.
  • Leading companies are abandoning traditional methods of learning in favor for more effective solutions that engage talent and improve performance.

Key Research:

Social Learning: Gaining Importance

This industry perspective, by Senior Learning Analyst David Wentworth, analyzes the latest data from Brandon Hall Group’s 2014 Social Learning Benchmarking survey. Our prior research shows that organizations are more concerned with how to approach social media over the next 12 months than they are with a shortage of talent, big data, or global expansion. This study dives deep into how organizations view social learning and the different approaches being taken. Responding organizations believe the concept is important and is only going to increase in importance

5 Trends for the Future of Learning and Development

In today’s world, organizations that fail to adjust their learning management practices and solutions often struggle with organizational growth or productivity. So leading companies are choosing more effective solutions – often involving technology innovation – that engage talent and improve performance. This KnowledgeBlast highlights key trends impacting the future of enterprise learning and recommendations for selecting the right provider.

KnowledgeGraphic: Benchmarking Learning Programs

This KnowledgeGraphic, developed from data from Brandon Hall Group’s 2014 Learning and Development Benchmarking Survey, takes a look at key metrics related to learning strategy, funding, delivery, and measurement.

Predictions for 2015:

  • 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% of companies using social for their learning strategies, only 24% say they are effective. One reason is that companies are limited in the social tools they are using. We predict, over the next year, that organizations will need to invest in understanding the various uses of social and select providers that can educate them in this process.
  • Global: As organizations expand globally, they will need to develop a standard approach to learning but also custom learning based on divergent cultures, traditions, and regulations. Organizations will need to consider granularity to address the short-term learning needs of various regions. Learners will want more focused learning content.
  • Adaptive: Adaptive learning is a methodology that breaks traditional models and allows employees to learn at their own pace and we anticipate that this style of learning will continue to gain momentum in 2015. 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 very effective at improving efficiency as well as engagement of employees and retention because it allows employees to build confidence and overall expertise.

David Wentworth, Senior Learning Analyst, and
Madeline Laurano, VP and Principal Analyst for Talent Acquisition,
Brandon Hall Group

David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.

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