Skillsoft Blog

Learning and Development Trends in 2016

By Sue Rodeman

Though the landscape of HR continues to evolve in 2016, learning and development will play an increasingly important role in organizational success. By partnering with organizations of all sizes across many industries, we’ve identified the major trends in learning and development that HR leaders can expect to see in the coming months.

Self-Developing organizations:

Culture and engagement continues to be one of the top priorities for executives across industries. As business challenges evolve at a rapid pace, decision makers are making talent development a major priority to continue to enable innovation and growth.

Next-generation HR technology is helping companies build cultures and capabilities that foster agility through the delivery of personalized, content-infused processes that allow learning to occur naturally and contextually as part of the daily flow of work. This approach to training encourages employees to drive their own development and gives managers the actionable information required for strategic succession planning, which creates a highly-skilled workforce and an evergreen source of talent.

Changing of the guard

As millennials graduate from being the up-and-coming generation to the new foundation of the workforce, there is a dynamic shift happening to the relationship between employees and their organizations that will positively affect employees across the board, regardless of their age.

A recent study published by Deloitte showed that 64 percent of the surveyed millennials felt unprepared when entering the leadership role. With this changing of the guard, organizations must invest in continued development of their least-experienced leaders. Although millennials are known for seeking out mentoring and social collaboration in the workforce, the arrival of Generation Z (people born between 1994 and 2010) will foster even more demand for that workplace dynamic.

Enabling diversity in leadership

According to the Pew Research Center, by the year 2020, there will be nearly 33 million retirements in the U.S. alone as the baby boomers exit the workforce. This leaves a sizeable leadership gap for organizations and the opportunity to develop underrepresented demographics in leadership roles.

For example, a recent Skillsoft survey suggests organizations are not doing enough to help women advance in leadership positions. Although many organizations are working towards improved gender diversity in their management positions, most of their learning and development programs are only event-based, like annual conferences or in-class training. Forward-thinking training programs are making learning and development easy and impactful for women by inserting micro learning opportunities into their everyday schedule, in order to accommodate competing priorities outside of work.

IT Security training

The pace of business is quickening – and that’s creating significant challenges and demands for the entire IT ecosystem of every organization. From mobile platforms to Big Data to cloud-based architectures, the changes are fast and furious and have brought IT security to the forefront of organizational priorities. Unfortunately, IT experts are in high demand and short supply. But organizations are changing their approach by developing their existing team’s IT skills so that employees across the board can understand the issues and nuances of securing an organization’s growing mountain of data. As the digital workplace continues to grow, business leaders need to expand training and certifications opportunities to reduce risks for the enterprises. Bonus: Many employees view training as a reward or perk, making it a valuable tool for recruitment and retention.

Sue Rodeman is Vice President of Product Marketing at Skillsoft. 


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