Trends 2019: The Future of Workplace Learning

The world of work is experiencing what looks like a perfect storm of changing forces:

  • Rapid advances in technologies like AI and automation
  • New business models
  • Changing workforce expectation and demographics
  • The rise of a digitally native, globally dispersed workforce

Every year we take a look at the trends that are emerging in the learning industry, what’s in, what’s out, what’s up and what’s down. We look at new trends coming in, and previous trends growing or declining, and at what they mean for how we support our clients in equipping their workforces with the skills they need.

In this perfect storm of change and disruption, predicting what’s coming next becomes particularly challenging. The pace of change is so fast, technological advancements so rapid and the buzz about the latest new thing often so loud that it becomes difficult to separate the noise from the significant news, the fads from the trends that are here to stay. What is clear, however, is that there is one important area of change that is gathering pace like never before, that is: how we go about doing business.  As changes to the way we work gather pace at an unparalleled rate, with them, workplace learning faces an unprecedented level of disruption.

In our new series, Trends 2019: The Future of Workplace Learning, we look at the trends that are driving corporate learning. The key forces of AI, Automation and Analytics continue and indeed up the pace of driving change in how people work, calling for new skillsets, changing the nature of jobs and shaping the nature of learning. Against this backdrop, we cover the most important trends that we see driving the shape of corporate learning in the coming year:

1 Learning Experience

Placing learners – at long last, some might say – at the centre of the learning experience, with new platforms promising a rich learner-driven experience where learners can truly drive and contribute rather than just ‘receiving’ learning, where content comes from many sources and can be created and shaped on the fly, and where learning can become truly integrated with productivity, the evolution of learning experience is one of the most important trends we see in the coming year.

2 Personalization

With learners placed firmly at the centre, the drive to personalization has accelerated in the last year. We look at what’s shaping it, what’s helping it become a reality and the level of expectation.

3 Data and Learning Analytics

Once upon a time, learning professionals spoke of metrics such as learning engagement, impact and, most important of all, measurable ROI. In many ways, these were the grail of learning and, to be blunt, like the grail they often evaded being witnessed. Today, fuelled by AI, analytics have replaced metrics or at least evolved metrics into the nascent trend of Learning Analytics, offering L&D new tools to create measurable, positive business and people outcomes through learning.

4 Social and Collaborative Learning

For years on the periphery in corporate learning, or with successful but niche applications, today’s collaborative tools support true collaboration in the workplace environment and integrate with mainstream productivity tools. Organizations and workers are realising the benefits for sharing, contributing, knowledge exchange and development through channels specially designed for social collaboration and learning in a corporate context.

5 Wired for Speech

Voice is emerging as a new medium, with far-reaching implications for how we engage in and experience work and learning. Increasingly used in a wide array of devices and gadgets, we look at the potential of voice and what the voice experience could bring to workplace learning and performance support.

We also look at trends at the more discrete level, at what learning experiences will look and ‘feel’ like for learners. Some technologies that were young or adolescent last year are starting to move towards maturity. Others may be emerging from a niche application to more mainstream training domains where their potential to improve learning and learning outcomes is being increasingly recognised, and their availability and cost-effectiveness make them more attainable. We take a look at modalities that might be considered ‘established but evolving’, as well as some that are just emerging or in the nascent stages. Amongst them:

  • Video
  • Augmented, immersive and mixed realities
  • Chatbots and digital assistants
  • Webinars and Virtual Classrooms.

Work in the decades ahead may no longer mean what it used to, and learning will no longer be the same either. It is hard to predict what the decade ahead may look like but it is time to kickstart your thinking now.

We believe the future will be customer centred and experience centred. Learning will not just be about learning new things and skills, it will be about learning new ways of thinking, new ways of being and above all of nurturing our ability to learn and re-skill constantly.

L&D in this new, innovative and disruptive workplace, will take on a new and critical role, this role is centre stage and will have a vital impact on what lies ahead for every organization.

In the coming weeks, Intuition will be discussing these trends in more detail and exploring what they mean for anyone involved in delivering or enabling corporate learning. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss any of these areas with our consultants, fill in the form below.