By Suvendu Dhar
Organizations have realigned their focus towards people and technology, and enabling it as a source of competitive advantage. With constant innovation and change happening in every sector, learning and development methodologies are being upgraded. Following are a few trends that we foresee in 2020 and beyond.
Smart Content & smarter learning platforms
To deal with the skills gap and prepare the workforce, employers need to focus on how employees are hired, retained and retrained. Their performance requirements continuously change, which compels the L&D heads to create smart and personalised content that benefits at an individual level. With on-going knowledge-gap analysis and byte-sized content creation based onto cover the gaps, integrated AI-enabled learning platforms have seen a surge, and 2020 will experience widespread adoption of such smart learning platforms. AI-led coaching is like ’Netflix ‘that has revolutionized content consumption by developing a Learning Experience Network that is user-centric. These intelligent training platforms as a segment are opening more extensive opportunities for a lot of start-ups that are expected to emerge in L&D sector in the coming days.
From virtual learning to Immersive Learning
Digital technologies have enabled virtual Immersive Learning Environments- ILE that is intentionally engineered to mimic physical reality. Focus is on providing a content-rich experience which is not only efficient but has the maximum possibility of retention by the user. ILEs are used for training purposes because digitally immersive environments provide individuals with a dynamic and inclusive way of learning to apply new skills in the real world, thereby enhancing efficacy &higher ROI of training. AR/VR is not new as a concept. Still, their application for L&D will see a massive adoption in 2020, amongst enterprises especially in the retail, automotive, manufacturing, logistics and healthcare sectors opting for it.
More emphasis on Outcome Based Training
We expect increased focus on training that directly impact key business performance indicators. Such training formats will be more result orientated, objective-based, skill-focused, build specific implementation goals, and will be more quantitative and measurable to determine ROI. Overall, the training solution will be evaluated more from a result point of view rather than a requirement point of view. Here learning experience Platforms (LXP) help in higher measurement with real-time analytics that enabled L&D heads to gain insights into the learning curve of employees and make data-backed decisions to ensure the training impact.
Higher focus on today’s ‘soft skills’
Hard skills can get you an interview, but it is the soft skills that will get you the job! Soft skills are universal. According to Future of Jobs report, Skills continuing to grow in prominence by 2022 include Analytical thinking and innovation as well as Active learning and learning strategies. Additionally, creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion, and negotiation and complex problem-solving, among others, will be in much demand, as cited in the report.
Most of these skills have traditionally been labelled as soft skills, but they are set to become the future’s hard skills. 2020 will see more individuals focusing on the soft skills that will help them create better experience at the workplace, ultimately helping them hone these into hard skills.
Rise of Lifelong Learning in India
Learning is a never-ending process. With a surge in technologically complex tasks, the need to upskill in this industry is even more crucial. Individuals will become highly adaptable when presented with opportunities to upskill, which the organizations can harness effectively, leading to growth in all areas of the business. 2020 will see more enterprises leaning towards online learning, Learning experience Platforms (LXP) and MOOCs to help employees drive upskilling as new digital technologies redefine learning in the modern workplace.
Re-skilling & up-skilling the existing workforce
Upskilling is a constant process to remain relevant in today’s fast-changing world. With technology at our fingertips, acquiring personalised training will become easier and cheaper.Over the next five years, about 40% of India’s total workforce must be reskilled to cope with emerging trends such as AI, IoT, machine learning, and blockchain. Every sector has been impacted by technology resulting in significant transformations. The industries that will need more technologically equipped workforce are BFSI, manufacturing, IT/ITeS, ecommerce, retail, wholesale trade, logistics, healthcare, telecommunications and education. The rate at which new technologies and inventions occur in the industry, it easily outstrips expertise and skills. So keeping up with the speed of change is critical for employees.
Although for past few years we are seeing that the content is being created by keeping handheld devices in mind. The level on interactivity has been increasing to make the learning content more and more engaging. In 2020, we will see Gamification going to the next level and the adoption increasing. More and more learning will happen through content which is created in a gamified manner as well as interesting simulations powered by the intelligence provided by machine learning.
(The author Head – Corporate Training Solutions at Centum Learning)