For those of us in learning and development, we've got an exciting year ahead. The workforce is changing, and so are their expectations. And to meet those new expectations, the technology we use on a daily basis is evolving.
The eLearning sector has already seen rapid growth and radical improvements – and it looks like it's showing no signs of slowing down in 2020.
So to help you get your business prepared, we've put together our three biggest predictions for L&D in the year ahead:
1. Remote workers will expect remote learning
If you thought the growing trend of remote workers was a short-term fad, you were wrong.
According to the Office of National Statistics, more than 1.5 million people currently work from home for their main job – a number that's almost twice as high as ten years ago.
By 2020, it's predicted that 50% of the UK workforce will be working remotely. And that's not a sign of complacency or unsociability. In fact, studies show that remote working leads to increased productivity, reduced costs, and better access to a wider pool of talent.
So what does this mean for your L&D teams in 2020?
It means that online learning will be more important than ever before.
Remote workers need exactly the same support and development as their office-based counterparts. They need to be able to learn and progress, interact with their colleagues, and keep up to date on the latest regulations and compliance.
They won't be able to do it with traditional, on-site learning courses. And with such a huge chunk of the workforce moving to remote working, any business that ignores online learning is a business that's at risk of neglecting some of its most important people.
2. Learning will become more flexible – and more inclusive
For the most part, the L&D industry is already far past the point of using static course catalogues and rigid learning pathways.
And that's a very good thing.
But the next big step (and it's one that we expect to see much more of in 2020) is a move towards a more holistic approach. It's a move towards what's called a Learning Experience Platform (LXP).
By bringing together different types of content from different sources – a healthy mix of employer training, user-generated content, and third-party content – L&D teams can create a learning experience that's more engaging and inclusive.
Employees won't just be the subjects of their training. They'll also be the creators and curators of their own learning content for their peers and colleagues, using their personal experience and lessons to focus on the most essential topics and types of training for their area of expertise.
But with so much new learning content from all kinds of sources, how will learners be able to pinpoint what's really relevant to them?
Here's the answer:
3. AI will make learning personalised (and create new demand)
We get it – you're probably tired of hearing about AI.
Just about every industry is talking about how AI is set to revolutionise their sector. But in the case of the L&D industry, there's a double effect at play:
In the most direct sense, AI will become an essential feature of any modern learning system. With the growth of new learning content coming from various sources (think LXP and its user-generated content), L&D teams will need to find a way to get the right training to the right people at the right time – without spending huge resources on doing so.
That's where data-driven AI comes in. By collecting data around a learning platform's users – their behaviour, their performance, and their learning history and progress – an artificial intelligence engine will be able to assess each individual user, and recommend or assign the next few steps in their learning pathway.
In the most advanced scenario, an AI could even watch out for potential performance issues, and assign relevant training with the aim of preventing any further mistakes or problems with that person at the earliest possible stage.
But there's a broader effect on the L&D industry here, and it's something that's the culmination of every business's move towards AI-based technology.
In a recent survey from Udemy for Business, 39% of L&D leaders said that current jobs are being altered or replaced by new technologies like AI or automation. And 59% of L&D leaders have already reskilled as much as 20% of their workers in the last year alone.
So what does that mean?
It means that new technologies are changing the jobs we have. They're changing the skills our workers need – and that means there's going to be a massive demand placed on L&D teams in companies across every sector.
Is your L&D team ready for the new decade?
There are big changes for L&D just over the horizon. And if you want your learning to stay relevant and up to date, you need to get prepared now.
We've been guiding all sorts of businesses through the steps they need to take to bring their L&D teams into the modern age – with fast, affordable, and scalable open-source learning solutions.
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