Learning and Development Trends to Look Out for in 2020

Nearly every client we speak to has the same request – we want to get our employees productive and adding value in the shortest possible time.

Implementing effective learning and development (L&D) programmes within your business is key to making this happen.

Increasing research into L&D and advancements in the industry mean that approaches are always evolving, we’ve witnessed it first-hand ourselves over recent years! That’s why we’ve pulled together the top 7 trends we expect to see in 2020, so you’re always one step ahead!

So what are the latest trends?

Trend #1: Learning on the go

We all know that thanks to tech, employees don’t have to all work from the same location anymore. Naturally, workforces have become more dispersed, and in some cases teams work remotely from all over the world. As a result, learning on the go is becoming more and more common.

This type of self-led learning has proven very popular, with research conducted by LinkedIn finding that 58% of learners prefer to learn at their own pace.

Video content supports learning anytime, anywhere, so we think video learning technologies will help to facilitate the increase in learning on the go.

Trend #2: An increased use of tech

As with every industry, we’re seeing an increased use of tech within L&D.

Artificial intelligence (AI) coaching and training is being used to improve performance across many organisations. According to People Management, Microsoft are working on releasing an AI coach that integrates with PowerPoint to improve presentations skills and AI coaching services like Cognito are coming to the fore.

We look forward to seeing how that one develops.

Trend #3: Embedding training into the everyday

More informal training is being embedded into everyday work practices, and we see this on the ground too. Although valuable, it’s not all about going on week-long training courses – people learn a lot from each other on a daily basis.

We’re seeing more companies embed shorter workshops and training into the workplace as well. This saves time and means that the right content can be delivered to the right people when they need it. It can also feel like a less ‘forced’ and more flexible experience for learners.

Trend #4: Driven by data

Utilising data can help to personalise L&D provisions and allow training to be tailored to individual user needs and preferences. Companies are often required to hold an abundance of data on their people. This means you can really enhance the learning experience in your organisation by creating a plan based on the strengths and weaknesses across teams.

Trend #5: A focus on soft skills

Despite soft skills being key in the success of a business, traditionally they’ve been overlooked by employers as it’s assumed, or perhaps hoped, that they’re already present.

However, we predict a larger focus on soft skills in 2020, after research has linked this to increased productivity. Some employers are already developing formalised training for soft skills, often incorporating some of the AI tech we mentioned earlier to create ‘real-life’ scenarios to practice in.

Trend #6: Mixing up the content

Using different types of content in your L&D programme helps to keep things interesting for your learners and can add value too.

Incorporating user-generated content, for example, increases the volume of information and allows learners to gain knowledge from one-another, rather than always using a top-down approach. Why not get teams to share key learnings in the form of a podcast or blog? Or encourage them to stay on top of the latest trends and take advantage of information outside of your organisation to broaden their field of knowledge. However, it’s important to identify the relevant information that you want your learners to absorb.

Trend #7: Using emotion

According to Alex Rivas, the Marketing Manager at Learning Tribes, emotions develop memorisation. Therefore, using emotion in L&D is likely to make it stick.

You can add more emotion into your training in various ways, but we’d recommend telling a relatable story – it makes an impact!

Improving Your Own Training

Unfortunately, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to L&D. So instead, we recommend taking a blended approach and consider which, if any, of these trends would add value to your existing L&D programmes.

And let’s not forget, we’re dealing with people and when dealing with people, there will always be a place for face-to-face development.

If you’re interested in learning how you can implement these innovative learning and development trends into your own organisation, check out our training programmes.