You may have noticed some subtle changes in your workplace lately. Perhaps HR have been rolling out some interesting new training initiatives or your manager has been more focused (than usual) on your professional development. That may well be because the modern corporate training program is becoming more people-focused. We’re seeing a shift to a greater focus on the individual. And there’s no sign that this trend will slow down.

After all, people are a company’s biggest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You naturally to want to attract and retain the best talent as well as provide them with a stimulating and rewarding work environment.

With survey after survey showing that training and development are key to employee satisfaction and retention, putting in place a corporate training program that delivers is key for any organization that wishes to stay ahead of the game.

Demystifying the Modern Learner

How technology and new learning preferences are shaping modern-day learning

Here are some of the trends that are shaping the world of corporate training.

1. Training is going digital

Classroom training isn’t a thing of the past. It’s simply moved to the virtual realm.

As technology structures have advanced, a more interactive platform to accommodate more learners has become a reality.

Virtual instructor-led training programs are becoming increasingly popular.

Why is this happening?

Perhaps it’s because virtual classrooms are more affordable, less disruptive, and similarly effective.

Both employers and employees are recognizing the advantages of spending an hour attending a webinar or training session instead of spending valuable time and money traveling to a physical classroom to accomplish the same objective.

2. A bigger focus on the employee experience

In a bid to attract and retain talent, companies are focusing more on the employee experience.

As millennials are increasingly joining the workforce, employees are imagining a more fun and engaging workplace adapted to the needs of the modern learner. The modern corporate training program should use technology not just as a gimmick but as a tool to make employees lives easier.

A recent Forbes article stated: “2018 will finally be a year where leaders start to focus on developing the ‘Employee Experience’, an ecosystem that integrates three core dimensions: engagement, culture and performance management.”

3. The artificial intelligence revolution

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming embedded in today’s workplaces and corporate training programs alike. In a few years’ time almost all our devices and services are likely to encompass AI.

Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple are focusing specifically on making smarter devices which use AI. There are thousands of AI vendors across the globe currently supporting many corporations.

Chatbots are one of the most common example of how AI is pervading the corporate world. These programs are designed to simulate conversation with human users. It is estimated that they save companies around $80 million in wage and training expenses annually.

Nearly 20% of today’s businesses have set up chatbots in their offices and factories. This number is expected to rise to 57% by 2021.

Many businesses use chatbots as private assistants – for customer support, to help to train workers, and to analyze how best to improve business procedures.

For instance, Overstock have a chatbot called Mila working in their Human Resources department who informs supervisors when employees are ill.

As more and more HR executives realize the gains in productivity that come with chatbots, and AI generally, these technologies will be increasingly implemented in companies, spanning fields from agriculture to technological consumer goods.

Demystifying the Modern Learner

How technology and new learning preferences are shaping modern-day learning

4. Measuring the effectiveness of training programs

Validating the return on investment (ROI) of corporate training programs remains a tough challenge for HR departments across the globe.

Though determining the efficacy of training programs is essential, it’s also quite a complex metric to track in definite terms.

We advise you to take advantage of the resources we already have access to today. A real quantitative return on investment calculation is still a distant dream, unfortunately. Qualitative statistics, on the other hand, are freely accessible today.

The high cost of worker turnover alone is a strong argument for qualitative return on investment tracking of your company’s training budget.

5. The business revolution will be video-ed

Integrating video into your company’s work environment doesn’t sound very radical, but in terms of the corporate training program, this is not widely utilized.

With the ever-increasing availability of cheap, high-bandwidth Internet, the possibilities for utilizing video conferencing are infinite. Video training is not only cost effective but improves learner engagement by making content easier to digest.

Further reading

Implementing Video-Based Training – The Definitive Guide

6. Microlearning

Microlearning is a training process which is broken up into bite-size content. Learners can achieve specific learning objectives without the need for an enormous investment of their time.

It is a perfect method for the distracted modern learner and keeps employees engaged with your corporate training program long-term.

Microlearning is gaining popularity, and there has been a notable shift from utilizing microlearning as a supplemental program to a stand-alone corporate eLearning strategy.

There are several microlearning methods being used currently, so there are many ways to utilize them in your company. Video, podcasts and online quizzes are just some of the formats used in microlearning courses.

Work is where the internet is

Whether you choose a digital classroom, a focused approach to employee engagement, a microlearning platform, or a video-centric learning approach, or some combination of them all, 2018 is a year marked by an even more connected workplace, where the lines between work and home life are blurred.

Embrace the change and ride the wave into the modern workplace that is no longer confined to an office but exists anywhere with a device and an internet connection.