Throughout 2023, business learning and development (L&D) trends further converged around the outcomes of a bigger digital economy. For starters, we witnessed a continued focus on skill-based hiring. Organisations looked at hiring based on digital skills over educational degrees for a comparative advantage in the market, prompting professionals to invest in learning and upskilling. Another noticeable trend that did rounds this year was the practice of quiet hiring. This is where organisations did not hire but instead looked at upskilling internal talent to meet requirements elsewhere. Finally, the usual suspects still featured prominently: learning around DEI and engaging with digital tools for personalised learning journeys. And as we enter 2024, some of these trends will stay good. They’ll keep businesses and professionals ahead of the curve.
In 2024, organisations and employees will engage more advanced tools and technologies to chart meaningful L&D pathways. The upcoming year will witness various workplace trends along these lines.
Some notable trends of interest to anticipate in 2024 are:
Hyper-personalised learning paths: Personalised learning has been on the rise, thanks to developments in data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). Learning and development (L&D) could go from traditional learning management systems (LMSs) that individuals can simply access to hyper-personalised learning journeys that evaluate each individual’s unique needs and knowledge level. Advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms will provide intelligent data reporting based on learner behaviour. Other things to possibly expect are multimodal learning resources, real-time feedback on assessments and activities, and goal alignment. Additionally, learner autonomy could hand learners more control over their learning journeys and allow them to set goals and closely monitor their progress. And organisations will soon target their workforces with hyper-personalised learning to make more radical internal shifts.
Embracing generative AI: GenAI tools are finding appeal across sectors, and they’re now being utilised in L&D contexts. One, there’s a rush to acquaint employees with these tools (especially the training of nearly seven lakh employees in the technology by India’s IT majors). Next, organisations are increasingly investing in more efficient, personalised L&D systems, which could mean utilising AI-assisted solutions. With these tools becoming more accessible to various industries, generative AI in L&D will take centre stage across organisations by the time the new year rolls in. Equipping a more productive workforce with the proper skills will be the mindset from here on.
AI-assisted coding: AI-assisted coding/software development employs AI to help write and review code. The potential of the technology to assist new developers in improving their code and saving time is valuable. The edtech sector, in particular, will employ AI to create customised learning experiences besides using tools that offer instant feedback on code. We could be looking at automating assessments for unbiased, error-free evaluations. Manually identifying personalised learning journeys for numerous individuals is time-consuming and extremely difficult. AI-assisted coding can help solve this operational challenge. Soon, we’ll give users quick, accurate responses and allow them to accelerate their learning journeys.
Demonstrating ROI of L&D initiatives: Organisations will focus on data-driven, business-aligned learning initiatives for specific job-role competencies. This is to qualify L&D impact by easily tracking employee metrics such as job performance, efficiency, engagement, and employee satisfaction in new ways. When properly implemented, the accumulated data can raise confidence levels among higher-ups and lead to sustained investment in training practices. Organisations also analyse the information to identify areas of positive impact and focus on L&D in those regions for frequently better outcomes. Next, executives will curate their training regimens to find the ones that offer the most value and make the most business sense. Success will depend on personalisation of this nature besides adopting tools that address individual concerns. Defining L&D in organisations in more personal, tangible terms will allow management to oversee its outcomes in equally discernible terms.
Sustainability and environmental training: Organisations are investing massive resources into corporate sustainability and its three pillars for better long-term cost benefits and value with shareholders. With customers primarily pushing for cleaner operations, organisations are positioning their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals to optimise spending amid global economic disruption. Chief sustainability officers (CSOs) are now critical fixtures in boardrooms, tasked with directing employee engagement towards corporate sustainability. In the future, even more organisations will sensitise and train their workforce on ESG curriculums. This will involve acquainting workforces with learning material describing an organisation’s future goals and highlighting the need for personal impact. And with the mentioned shift towards AI-powered L&D, sustainability training needn’t be about drawn-out seminars or boring tutorials.
With a landscape indistinguishable from a few years ago, the L&D space is poised for tectonic shifts and strategic upheaval. Amid these sweeping changes, organisations will be looking to profit from small, measurable actions. 2024’s workplaces will embrace technology tightly, investing in innovative learning solutions that aid productivity and employee growth. L&D will no longer be about pushing digital learning alone but about transforming people into efficient and mindful elements of businesses.