Ongoing coaching and mentoring will continue to grow in importance because, quite simply, it’s really hard to remember something after only being told once in, say, a classroom or guided online learning session. More complex topics, especially so-called “soft skills” like negotiation, presentation and other management skills require a campaign approach using ongoing interventions to revisit complex topics and refine or refresh key learnings in order to drive them home.
Other trends I see include the shift toward self-skilling, or taking responsibility for one’s own learning and growth, as well as activity-based working, and continued rising interest in blended leadership programs. I also see a growing “Google-isation” inside corporations—that is, how workers will locate an expert within the enterprise or an answer they need as readily as they would Google something outside the office.
Another major trend I see, and this is as much about the impact of technology as it is about flexible work arrangements, work/life balance or employee satisfaction, is how to manage a remote workforce.
Whether it’s allowing employees to telecommute from home or having teams of employees working across time zones or even around the world, remote working is a growing trend that brings with it real and unique challenges that learning professionals and managers need to overcome.
For example, communication. Getting in touch and staying connected with employees who work from home or in another country, expecting to find them at their desks if needed, isn’t simple. Add to this the need to keep employees engaged, motivated, learning, developing, productive, heading in the same direction and all this while building and strengthening a unified organisational culture, and you can see we’re dealing with a whole new magnitude of learning and management complexity.
Beyond these trends, I see more of those we saw in 2014, like webinars, self-paced and self-directed learning and more of the “70” in 70-20-10.
For further reading, Mike Magee continues this discussion with Chloe Taylor of Human Resources Director Magazine (HRD) in Learning and Development: 2015’s trends and avoiding ‘one-size-fits-all’.