In our recent HCMx Radio Show, I interviewed Bryan Austin, VP of Learning Innovation at mLevel, a SaaS-based micro-learning platform that allows users to quickly create and deliver interactive games. Bryan shared his point of view on the behaviors, needs and challenges of the modern corporate learner and how the new dynamics of learning impact talent development. shutterstock_376692640

Our world as we see it today will be drastically different in 10 years, or even five, and to some extent even a year from now.  As I write this and reflect on the different ways we use to communicate going back over 10 years or more, I hear my grandmother’s voice in my head asking me, “Do you know what it was like when I was your age?” Let’s recap a little.

  • In 2005 only 2% of Americans had smartphones, and now more than 50% have them and it will jump to 80% by 2020, according to The Economist. When I first started to text on my flip phone I didn’t like it – I had to use the numbers on the phone to spell out the words, which took too long and it was also very expensive. Today an hour doesn’t go by without me communicating through text.
  • When was the last time you used a fax machine? I have the Genius Scan app on my phone where I can easily scan a document and send it. The last time I relied on a fax machine to share important documents was between 3 to 5 years ago.
  • Mobile apps didn’t become apparent until around 2010 and now there are over 1.6 million available to through Android devices and over 1.5 million available through Apple devices, according to Statista.
  • Do you remember the Garmin GPS gadget that you placed on your car dashboard? Google maps is now my go-to resource for directions.
  • Email – there was a time when it was okay to take a few days to respond to an email, and now the expectation is almost immediate.

Our day-to-day interactions in general have evolved tremendously over the years. So what does this mean for our workplace? With the pressures of highly competitive environments due to globalization and an unpredictable economy, friction between employee and employer demands have resulted in unrealistic and unmanageable expectations at times.

Employees demand greater and customized development opportunities, easy and instant access to information, immediate support and continuous training, career mobility, innovative workplaces, flexibility, meaningful work, work-life balance and more.

Employers expect from their employees loyalty, cross-functional and leadership capabilities and skills, increased optimization of resources, longer work hours, greater results with fewer resources, and easy access to them at any given time.

The increasing need to have smarter people who are agile and engaged is paramount to the vitals of an organization. Learning and HR leaders must offer learning and collaboration tools that are user-friendly, where information can be brought to the user at any given time. The creation and delivery of the content must adapt to the learner and environment; even one-hour training sessions are becoming too long to attract a learner’s attention. Chunking content that is more digestible and easy to apply is trending. However there is much consideration that goes into doing this correctly and it does not mean other delivery methods are not effective.

According to Brandon Hall Group’s study 70/20/10 Study, organizations today are using the framework to increase their informal and experiential learning offerings to drive greater individual and organizational performance. And in our 2016 Learning Technology Study, we found that the top learning priorities focus on exploring new learning technologies, which in turn enable exploration of new learning modalities.

Listen to our episode to learn more about Bryan Austin’s perspective on this topic while providing helpful tips to bring back to your organization.

You can download the show here.

                        –Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Hall Group




Rachel Cooke

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke Rachel is responsible for business operations including overseeing client services, research events and project management. Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Rachel was the Chief Operating Officer Co-founder of AC Growth. Rachel has over 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, and sales performance management. Prior to AC Growth, she held several senior management roles and was on the leadership team at Bersin & Associates, a pioneer analyst firm in e-learning and now industry leading HR and talent Research Company. In her Senior Director role, Rachel developed the strategy and led the commercial execution of the solution provider vertical, and grew the vertical into the company’s largest market segment. In her role as Director of Sales, Rachel developed and led a team of senior account executives focused on acquiring global strategic accounts. Rachel was solely responsible for developing key business relationships with over ninety companies including industry icons, such as: Adidas, Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, Oracle, Starbucks, Avnet, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway Inc., Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clorox and Affiliated Computer Services. Rachel began her career in the banking, media and hospitality industries. In these industries, Rachel held several key senior management and executive sales positions. Rachel received a BA in social science and interdisciplinary studies with honors from Florida Atlantic University. Rachel continued her postgraduate education by completing a series of executive management education courses from American Management Association.