Global Mobility Guide | Online Learning: A key resource in the evolving world of work

Online Learning: A key resource in the evolving world of work
Promoted by Online Learning: A key resource in the evolving world of work

Karen Cygal

Karen Cygal

Vice President of Product Development

Converging trends of disruptive technology, shifting demographics, fluid labor markets and demands for new skills are radically reshaping the world of work. Competition for talent continues to heat up and learning and development (L&D) opportunities are high on employees’ “must-have” lists. In turn, organizations are increasingly seeing the value of investing in training. Research from Bersin by Deloitte puts the current global corporate training market at more than US$ 200 billion. With technology increasingly automating or augmenting our work, the need to develop new skills continues to grow.

Accenture and the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (G20 YEA) published a 2018 collaborative report entitled “It’s Learning. Just Not as We Know It.” Among its key findings was the potential for the G20 economies to lose up to US$ 11.5 trillion in cumulative GDP growth in the next ten years if skill-building doesn’t catch up with the rate of technological progress. It recommends a three-step approach, including: Speeding up experiential learning; shifting the focus from institutions to individuals, incentivizing them to develop a broader blend of skills; and empowering more vulnerable learners by giving them greater access to modular training. The report also recommends the use of technology “to make learning more immersive, engaging and personalized.”


While there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for employee training, there is ample evidence to support that the use of a blended, multimedia approach is one of the most effective ways to learn and retain information. Looking more closely at how we learn, most of us can identify with the key characteristics of the modern learner, defined by Bersin/Deloitte in 2014 and still relevant today. We are:

Overwhelmed, distracted and impatient. 
Elucidat’s take on the leaner profile reports that today’s worker typically spends 33 percent of an average week in meetings, 25 percent on email, 5 percent being interrupted, and only one percent on training and development. We typically decide if content is right for us in an average of about seven seconds, so clearly learning content has to be accessible, relevant and efficient.

Eager to learn – and highly mobile.
We seek personalized, timely content and are ready to learn as needed, anywhere, anytime – increasingly from our mobile devices. Again, citing Elucidat’s data: 96 percent of us will turn to our phones first for information, and the average worker today checks a phone ten times an hour.

Seeking and benefitting from collaboration.
With the growing success of gamification, badges, friendly competition and social sharing embedded into so many of our online experiences, we clearly crave community. Not only do we want high quality and relevant content, we also want it to be collaborative. We turn to trusted personal and professional networks and learn through interactions with peers, teammates and managers, asking others for information and eager to share what we know, too. With a blend of text, video, checklists, podcasts, and interactive engagement, we’re much more likely to learn, retain and share new information.

Common characteristics of highly effective online courses include things like clear takeaways explained up front; material developed by instructors with real-world experience in what they’re teaching; an emphasis on both developer and student accountability; the strength of a community of fellow learners to engage with; and material that presents multiple points of view. With all of this in mind, Worldwide ERC® is an ideal source for the development of a new online learning platform to meet the needs of global HR practitioners. Bringing together voices and perspectives from all sides of the mobile talent journey, we draw on decades of objective research, and global event and regional one-day program development. We have observed and measured the learning and information sharing that occurs through regularly hosted webinars and the discussions and benchmarking within our community. And we have considerable experience with developing professional certification programs.

The first phase of our new platform (expected this summer) will refresh and enhance such core content as the principles of global and U.S. domestic employee mobility, strategic talent mobility, U.S. tax policy, and data analytics. In addition, we’re helping HR practitioners build the broader business skills they need to grow their professional development and enhance their strategic business value – from agile workflows, to design thinking, to principles of advanced finance. Phase two will involve partnering with additional course providers and sources of information to bring our customers options in such areas as enhancing cross-cultural competence; market-leading data on short term and permanent relocation; mobility and the full employment model: how HR leaders are reacting to the tightening talent landscape; and perspectives and insights on how mobility professionals can have a more strategic impact on their organizations.

Understanding the importance of continuous learning and skill building, we are eager to bring HR professionals new ways to learn, grow, and demonstrate expertise.

Karen Cygal is Vice President, Product Development with Worldwide ERC®, the association for global workforce mobility, empowering mobile people through meaningful connections, unbiased information, inspired ideas and solutions.

Learn more at www.worldwideerc.org


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