Hottest digital L&D trends 2020 


The world of work is changing so L&D will have to follow – but what direction should it take? HR Grapevine asks the experts to find out more…

Words by Dan Cave | Design by Matt Bonnar

 

For an article such as this, HR Grapevine would usually start by stating that the world of work is changing. The truth of the matter is that, by proxy of the last few months, the world of work has changed. There are countless things that HR could mention that have been quickly spun out of their usual kilter – working structures, employee wellbeing, business plans, engagement, reliance on technology – as a result of the unprecedented shifts sparked by the pandemic. Yet, one of the work aspects at the centre of this will have been skills, and whether organisation’s have the right skills in order to get them through this moment – with this moment, perhaps, showcasing areas that they particularly need talent in.

Learning is becoming the adaptability accelerator

 

Even before coronavirus hit, getting the right skills was a top priority. A 2019 PwC survey of CEOs found that eight in ten were either extremely or somewhat concerned about getting access to the skills their business needs. That number might be higher now. Top commentators are adamant that it is people that will help organisations to navigate this moment. Josh Bersin was on record, in his blog, during the early moments of the unfolding crisis arguing that “what we need is a focus on people” in order to get through this moment.

Usually, this goes two ways: talent acquisition or internal upskilling. Although the jobs market is rebounding somewhat, recent CV-Library statistics found that opportunities are still down more than 50% on this time last year. Suggesting both reticence to move and to hire. The spotlight is therefore on internal development channels to gild the workforce with the skills needed. Yet, that is a challenge in itself – especially with many staff now remote and executive attention, perhaps, on issues it considers more pressing than L&D.

There is a massive focus on helping employees to reskill or upskill

To help ensure that L&D is delivering when it gets the chance to, HR Grapevine spoke to the experts to help understand what staff and businesses needed when it comes to L&D in 2020.

Read on below to find out more.

Siri Wikander

Speaker and expert in digital collaboration and learning
Former People Director

Wikander said: “Due to the on-going technical revolution, there is a massive focus on helping employees to reskill or upskill. Organisations are trying to activate leaders to drive engagement and to create a feedback and collaboration culture where it is okay to try and learn. However, whilst most companies have increased their budget for digital training the C-Suite are not yet actively sponsoring learning. Instead, the focus is on increasing engagement and figuring out how to measure success to build business cases to get more active buy-in from the C-Suite. There will also be a focus on team members driving their own learning and trying to learn something new every day (the five-minutes-a-day-rule) and make sure to share what they learned with their co-workers.”


Issy Homan

ex-HR Director

“From an L&D perspective – and this links to companies restructuring and changing – I think the level of change and investment that companies will need to make will change based on their technology investments. I imagine with this happening and with enormous pressure on companies moving from homeworking, learning will have to be accessible and move online, so they can have just-in-time learning, five-minute videos, YouTube etc. It was already going that way.

“We set up digital assets so people could cope with being remote. That movement of learning towards bitesize and just-in-time is where companies will need to invest. The sense I’m getting from different people is that people don’t want to go back to office work, they don’t want to get back on a train, concerned for health etc, so what companies will have to do is pivot the learning agenda with what people want and it has to go on online. There is a place for face-to-face learning but there are definitely theoretical things you need from that, but it will have to come together.”

Issy Homan

ex-HR Director

 

Jeff Uden

Head of Talent

“[It has to be] highly personalised. I think if it’s online learning it absolutely has the opportunity to become very personalised. Whereas if you’re in a workshop and dealing with ten or 15 people in front of you, it has to be generic because it has to cover off everyone that’s sitting in the room. It’s also got to be more on demand. So where people are working more on their own, we need to understand that the COVID-19 crisis has forced so many businesses into a way of operating and probably, as you know, so many of those businesses are [saying] 'why don’t we remain operating in this way?’ for whatever reason it actually is.

“The individual’s ability to be able to just ask somebody a quick question isn’t going to be as simple as reaching over a desk or tapping somebody on the shoulder and asking if you can show me this please, therefore, the way in which we do learning has to enable the learning to learn on demand. So, what is it they need to know? They need to know it right then in the moment.”


Geoffroy de Lestrange

Product Marketing & Communication Director EMEA

“This year, workplaces have faced continuous change and to keep up there must be continuous adaptation. This means workers must be equipped with the right skills, at the right time, or even ahead of time. This isn’t upskilling and reskilling in a classroom-based environment a handful of times a year, this is a hyper-personalised learning approach that presents workers with content based on their skills, experience, aspirations and preferences. Learning is becoming the adaptability accelerator.

“When it comes to development, workers want to feel a sense of purpose more than ever. This means managers need to become coaches, by being equipped with a good understanding of skills profiles, interests, ambitions and the emotional wellbeing of their team in order to have meaningful conversations about development and progression. And all the while supported by AI tools to digitally enhance the coaching approach – notably to analyse employees’ skillsets and suggest new learning courses or career opportunities.”

Geoffroy de Lestrange

Product Marketing & Communication Director EMEA


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