By Jessica Genereaux
The corporate training environment is evolving as today’s workers continue to reflect a greater world of diversity — and a broader spectrum of learning styles. Likewise, today’s employees also require a wider range of training options. Here are five emerging trends in 2017, paving the way for more diversity in corporate training in 2018.
1.) More Experiential Learning
While there has been a shift away from training based heavily upon theory, feedback from today’s adult learners show a need for Interactive experiential training programs with a proven track record for success. That is, employees want to see proof that their training can develop skills to be applied for results in real life. Augmenting experiential learning programs with visual simulations and case studies are effective ways to motivate learners to engage and maximize the success of the training program.
2.) More User-Friendly Learning Software
Learning management systems are typically considered dry and boring. So it is no surprise that a trend is now moving to user-friendlier environments that are more engaging, or dare I say “fun”? User-friendly interfaces are designed to be more interesting, with content to engage learners and encourage them via special access to go deeper to get more information. If learners see similarities to how a video game draws them in, they are not too far off as to what new training programs are trying to accomplish. Just as sales and marketing experts trigger the Reward System to get results, professional development programs are tapping into the basics of human motivation.
3.) Recognized Need for Learning Specialists
Highly qualified and experienced corporate learning professionals that focus on specific areas are in demand. Human resources departments are outsourcing for such experts to emphasize the importance and impact of their in-house training programs. The generalists are tasked with maintaining company learning programs in house over time, whereas the specialist may come in for a few hours or a day to reinforce the learning experience.
4.) More Variety in Accepted Learning Tools
Effective training requires tools to address the wide ranging learning styles of today’s diverse work force. Corporate training environments are forced to expand, the more diverse they become. Just as diversity is the name of the game for developing the most creative work teams, it is also the key to keeping learning options open for effective training. The need is ever-expanding for innovative, adaptive training tools.
5.) Encouraging Learning Methods
Continuous improvement is the mark of any successful organization. Learning methods that incorporate incentives for individuals to learn more and improve skills, not only advance the company but can lead to career advancement. The value of the teamwork that drives an organization’s success relies on self-directed learning of each team member. Motivated employees help themselves, the team, and the organization. Even companies without specific career-development programs can benefit with better retention when training programs emphasize individual career benefits. Everyone wins.