Learning and development (L&D) in the workplace is essential for maintaining a capable workforce. It provides opportunities to enhance the knowledge of employees, as well as upskill them to manage future needs. Plus, training is typically a significant part of the onboarding process, ensuring new hires have sound footing before they begin handling responsibilities associated with their roles.
While training has long been a part of the professional paradigm, there’s a greater emphasis today. The pandemic led to a dramatic increase in remote work, altering how companies could develop their workforces. Additionally, labor shortages and pervasive skill gaps make training critical to ensuring that a company’s employees are ready for tomorrow’s tasks.
As a result, the world of learning and development is changing. Here’s a look at how L&D for the new workplace is evolving.
The Advancement of Virtual Learning
Virtual learning has long been a part of the landscape, but it’s increasingly critical in today’s corporate world. E-learning allows in-office and remote employees to access training opportunities with the same degree of ease, as these web-based platforms are highly available. The browser and app-based solutions also simplify training while on the go, making them popular for more mobile employees.
With virtual learning, there’s also less long-term coordination. While formal training plans are potentially necessary, the course materials are relatively static after creation. Instructors aren’t necessarily required, and updates are only needed when the material loses relevancy, or a new development needs addressing. As a result, it’s more straightforward and more cost-effective.
Many learners also favor virtual options. E-learning can support just-in-time training. Plus, it resonates with younger generations, who prefer technology-based solutions over traditional classroom environments, boosting knowledge retention and learner engagement.
The Rise of Continuous Learning Cultures
In years past, training primarily occurred in fits and spurts. At times, this was due to the highly coordinated nature of in-person training, which required numerous people to gather together to learn new material. Since arranging these events was cumbersome and the time required was high, such activity wasn’t available often.
Today, the landscape is shifting. Companies are increasingly favoring continuous learning cultures since training is more accessible. Virtual learning keeps courses accessible at all times, while social learning involving message boards and social media can remain a part of the workplace permanently.
Similarly, organic learning is increasingly part of the approach. Companies encourage employees to learn from one another through mentorship programs, job shadowing, and similar avenues that promote knowledge sharing through direct connections.
Changing Learner Training Expectations
With technology advancements like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality becoming increasingly available, learners have new expectations about their training experience. As a result, companies are increasingly transitioning to more capable L&D platforms, allowing them to offer more technologically advanced experiences to learners. While some of these technologies are in their infancy, embracing them early lets companies meet today’s learners’ needs while preparing for tomorrow’s expectations.
At Clarity, we have 30 years of experience in L&D, giving us the knowledge and expertise to provide support and guidance to ensure your L&D program is ready for the new workplace and what lies ahead. Clarity can be your candidate search ally if you’re trying to expand your internal L&D team, connecting you with top talent when needed.