Learning systems that can offer opportunities for first-time managers at their initial stages and provide early warning signals will be in demand
The learning and development (L&D) space in India is witnessing three key trends which are redefining the shape and nature of L&D delivery. These trends are driven by several factors. First among them is the growing realization that L&D delivery is only effective when the lessons stick. Second, it is important that learning is delivered in a form or shape that can get people hooked. Finally, an effective L&D delivery system also depends on the most efficient utilization of technology resources. Accordingly, most of the movements in the L&D space in the coming months will be around the following three areas.
Gamification. Gamification has become an important way of thinking for L&D delivery in organizations owing to the rapidly changing nature of the workforce. The new-age workforce has a short attention span. Therefore, engaging its members is a challenge for any organization. Gamification provides the answer by offering a schematic that holds an individual’s interest for a longer period of time.
Anytime-anywhere learning. It has its roots in the fact that 90 per cent of anybody’s learning happens on the job. Action learning, therefore, has become much more important that event-based learning. L&D organizations across all industries are exploring the concept of anytime-anywhere learning.
Skill analytics. Most L&D interventions appear to function like a black box from where participants emerge without the organization having the faintest clue about the actual impact of these interventions. An organization, however, wants to know the exact nature of impact an L&D investment makes on its workforce. Skill analytics make calculating and understanding this impact possible. Not only does the organization track the movements in skills, but also finds the capability to make future plans based on skills through solid skill analytics.
The space of learning and development can be viewed through the 3Ps — products, programs and platforms. The trend of opting for simulationbased products will become big over the coming days as more and more organizations realize the need to build more engaging L&D content for their employees. At the same time, workshops and similar interventions are built around products to enhance their impact on the participants, a major step in customization. Lastly, learning platforms are increasingly becoming gamified so that learning itself becomes a habit.
The trends in the learning market reflect some distinct needs that organizations have at present and will continue to have in future. First, learning is necessary at both the individual and group level. Second, accurate insights have become a necessity. Third, organizations also need insights about their leadership and its style of functioning. Learning services, therefore, are moving toward meeting these demands. For example, gamified platforms have a greater ability to provider true insights about employee engagement or leadership response to specific situations compared to surveys. In addition, the increasing depth of analytical products are allowing companies to mine progressively deeper insights from ever larger data sets, making predictions such as a leader’s response to a situation more accurate.
Learning products are becoming much more aligned to real-life situations. For example, people who become first-time managers face several challenges both from the teams as well as a radical shift in the job design. Consequently, first-time managers need attention and learning at the very early stages of their taking up a function. Unfortunately, companies typically move very late in their response to training first-time managers. Learning systems which can offer opportunities for first-time managers to learn at their initial stages and provide early warning signals for the organization to grasp will be in demand going forward.
Finally, mobile learning will really pick up in 2015. A big part of the buying decision-making process will involve the ability of the vendor to offer mobile capabilities. Besides that the buying decision will depend on the ability of the service provider to demonstrate impact. In fact, in the coming months more organizations will select L&D service provider based on their ability to show business impact.