Like most things in our ever-changing world, the Learning and Development sector is constantly moving forward. You can either jump on the train bound for change or get left behind, because like most trains, it’s not waiting – or stopping – for anyone.
In our continuously evolving business sector if success is your priority, it’s simply not an option to put employee development and skills acquisition on the back-burner. Trends that I am seeing at the forefront of L&D this year are being influenced by advances in technology, including AI-powered systems, shifting workforce demands, and the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
It’s important that we are always looking for new ways to integrate developing trends into our L&D initiatives. Whether you’re responsible for designing training programs, managing teams, or overseeing the performance of your organisation, an innovative and relevant approach to learning will benefit both your employees and your entire company’s bottom line.
Let’s explore the top L&D trends we are seeing in 2023:
2023 Learning and Development Trends
I’d say that the most significant development in the realm of tech has undeniably been the introduction of the latest GPT-3 AI tools. With the world buzzing about the major impact AI is having on their processes and productivity, naturally I have also been intrigued, along with the rest of the L&D sector.
As you may have seen in my previous articles, it has been top of mind for Summit to incorporate AI communication into our future solutions, and ChatGPT has only fast-tracked our roll-out plans. Our goal is to provide a support-based chat tool that collaborates with a hybrid approach to training. The AI would function as an online tutor built into our platform, and would be available to learners whenever they need information. This would elaborate on the content we already provide them with.
Here’s a simple example to show the positive effect this technology could have on our training:
You are learning to bake a cake. The instructions you’ve been provided with tell you to bake your mixture at 180 degrees for 30 minutes in a baking tin. However, you are in a unique situation where you only have a glass dish to utilise. This is where you would need extra support. With AI chat on standby, you can turn to support at any time to discover that if you only have a glass dish at your disposal, you will need to lower your temperature by about 5 degrees celsius, and bake your mixture for 10 minutes longer.
This kind of extra support will effectively promote a sense of holistic value where work compliments employees’ personal life structures and commitments. It will work hand-in-hand with our desire to provide personalised learning experiences, with a customised learning journey. AI chat support will allow employees to curate what they want to learn on top of what you’ve delivered.
With more and more elements of the digital world competing for the attention of our employees, we need to accept that we will constantly be fighting for their time. How do we overcome this? Instead of competing for their time, we need to attempt to fit within it. We’ve found that the best way to do this is by delivering bite-sized solutions that learners can easily and conveniently access when it suits them best. Adapting into the schedule of each individual learner not only promotes an achievable work-life balance, but benefits your organisation’s overall productivity, eliminating the disruption of classroom training.
You may be wondering how we practically break down lessons that would otherwise extend for many hours, into micro lessons that add just as much value to skills development, if not more. Let me demonstrate with an example:
You need to give your team an intermediate crash-course on Excel Spreadsheets that would typically take up three days of training. In those three days, your learners are highly unlikely to receive and digest all the content you’ve delivered to them all in one go. Furthermore, because you’ve given them a considerable amount of information, they will not likely master any of the skills you’ve touched on. At best, their performance will be average.
What’s the solution? Let’s hone in on the essential topics, stripping away the “fluff”. Condense those three days of classroom training into two hours of rich, valuable content that can be broken up into 15, 12-minute long lessons. In this example, the VLOOKUP formula on Excel might be the most powerful and fundamental element of your training. Focus your lessons on teaching your employees to become experts with this tool, which stands to add high value to your business. My advice would be to try and identify a maximum of three topics that would make the most significant impact on your team when practically applied.
Most of what we consume on a day-to-day basis is on our mobile devices. Take shopping for example. It’s become simpler and more convenient for our lifestyles to handle all of our shopping needs using our cell phones.
It’s becoming obvious to me why a mobile learning experience is critical when delivering content. If you don’t take these learning behaviours into consideration, you’re on a collision course that could lead to your inability to deliver to the new generation. My advice is to ensure that your online content is not only adaptable to a mobile interface, but is optimised for it.
Wellbeing training is an umbrella term that encompasses mental, physical, financial, and personal productive growth.
Although this has always been important for health and happiness in the workplace, Covid shone a very bright light on the significance of wellbeing training, and consequently, the glaring lack of it. It is clear now that employee wellbeing is not just a nice-to-have, but is critical to business growth. It’s intrinsically linked to people’s ability to be productive and function at their best. As yet another result of the pandemic, it has become more acceptable for workers to speak up and communicate their concerns. Businesses cannot disregard the personal wellbeing of their staff. Providing support will naturally translate to team productivity.
Ensuring the wellbeing of your employees will take a combination of individuals asking for help, and employers realising that there are ways to help. Take medical aid, for instance: this is a low-cost that can yield high reward, in the form of healthy and present workers.
To stay ahead of the curve in the L&D space, organisations should continue to integrate new trends into their training programs. Send me a DM to learn more about how Summit can help you implement these trends.
About the Author
Matt Lambert, Managing Director
Matt has a passion for innovation and doing things differently, which comes from his broad experience in front line and management roles within Business Intelligence, Sales, New Business Development and Commercial Finance held within blue chip companies. Matt has worked across five continents and 19 countries to launch new products, establish sales operations and lead strategic projects.
His passion for education comes from a desire to address fundamental structural issues within Africa. Matt has extensive experience within International Hotel School heading up its Durban Campus before taking over the online business, and then moving to Operations Director, before taking over and growing Summit since the beginning of 2018.