In business, knowledge is power. The challenge businesses face is in ensuring that their employees are armed with the latest knowledge to remain competitive. This is particularly true in fast-changing fields like information technology. .
Companies whose employees aren’t continually trained to understand the latest developments in big data, cloud computing, IT architecture, information assurance and systems engineering will experience weaker organizational growth and productivity. Unfortunately, many—if not most—corporations are not effectively responding to this challenge
The 2014 Learning and Development Benchmarking Study
To better assess how effectively business is training its workforce, the Brandon Hall Group conducted a comprehensive benchmarking study of corporate training practices in 2014. What they found was not good news for many of the companies which participated in the study. More than half had assessed the effectiveness of their learning strategy less than twice over the prior 5 years. Less than 1 in 3, although admitting their current strategies were ineffective, planned to increase their budgets for learning and development, and 41% described their corporate culture as “controlling.”
David Wentworth, Brandon Hall’s Senior Learning Analyst, described the urgency of the situation:
“Organizations are facing several critical pressures, including a short supply of leaders, the need to develop and engage employees, and issues with turnover. Finding and keeping talent is no longer an HR challenge but a strategic business priority. Yet, most companies are unable to build lasting relationships with their employees in an effort to overcome these challenges. Instead of empowering employees with the tools they need to succeed, many companies feel threatened by their workforce and fearful of change.”
Recent Technology Advancements Offer Business More Training Options
The learning industry is among the oldest in talent management, but it is also one of the most innovative. New technologies are offering more learning options for businesses to provide effective training. Said differently, the old model in which training meant sending people out of the office for several days is no longer the norm. Forward-leaning enterprise learning organizations can now customize learning solutions to meet the specific needs of individual businesses.
Among the trends dominating enterprise learning in 2017, according to eLearning Magazine, are the following four:
- Microlearning: given the challenge of integrating learning with often busy schedules, many companies (including Uber Technologies and Gap Inc.) are turning to microlearning, the delivery of learning in bite-sized segments. This learning strategy is particularly attractive to Millennials, who will constitute 75% of the workforce by 2025. Research suggests that these younger workers have shorter attention spans and, for this reason, microlearning resonates with them.
- Augmented and virtual reality: augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) learning solutions got a big boost with the rollout of OpenSesame’s enterprise eLearning platform. AR/VR learning solutions offer an immersive experience in which learners directly interact with content. According to OpenSesame, the cost for AR/VR learning is coming down with the ability to offer such programs via smartphones and headsets, perhaps among the reasons General Motors is currently using VR to train its employees.
- Open learning: in “A New World of Corporate Learning Arrives: And It Looks Like TV,” Josh Bersin (founder and principal of Deloitte), writes: “In what I believe is a very significant announcement, Cornerstone OnDemand just launched its new open learning solution.” According to Bersin, open learning offers key benefits, like freeing employees to discover and publish any content they want, and to design custom learning paths. In a related vein, more businesses are moving training into social learning spaces offered through learning management systems.
- The prominence of big data: companies, concerned about the effectiveness (and cost-effectiveness) of their training programs are increasingly looking to big data and analytics for answers. Many companies now routinely collect data about everything from how much time it takes for learners to complete courses to comparing the effectiveness of various learning solutions.
So Many Choices
The increasing number of options for employee training is itself a challenge for businesses, which often need guidance to select the programs best suited for their needs. To learn more about the ways our collaborative learning strategies and customized training programs in information technology, project management, business analysis and managerial development will help you become more productive and grow your business, contact us today.