If you are re-evaluating your training plan due to COVID-19, what changes should you make? Have learning trends for 2020 shifted at all? Let’s take a look at where training is headed this year and how to maximize your program to the fullest as everyone adapts to changes.Here are our top trends we recommend to maximize your learning program.
1. Start with the top
This year, there is an increased focus on managers. While employee training is always going to be valuable, you shouldn’t forget about more senior staff and leaders. More and more companies are taking a lateral approach to operating their companies and with this trend, managers need training on new skills. Some of this training includes employee engagement, productivity and culture.
2. Use coaching
Another way you can help more senior leaders is through executive coaching. An executive coach is different from taking the necessary training for job success from a facilitator. They provide the tools to help managers learn. Plus, these coaches can pinpoint the best way in which your managers learn. Since every person is different in how they retain and use training on the job, it’s imperative that you figure out what works best for each manager. In addition, since this person is usually not an employee of your company, they can provide an unbiased opinion of your managerial team. And by focusing on management’s leadership style, this will help managers prepare better for their jobs and increase their communication skills.
3. Incorporate AI
With advances in technology, artificial intelligence is also making our list of top learning trends for 2020. While some training does lend itself better in-person, many training modules can be run solely online using AI quite effectively. Take, for example, learning management systems. It’s easier to build in reminders of when to take testing, keep track of who has completed training, and assess how well the training is going via a computer versus a person. Plus, you can run different types of training easier like time modules or incorporate assessments.
4. Personalize it
Employees more than ever see the value in training. However, they don’t always “buy-in” to the process. That’s why one of the learning trends for 2020 is to make it individualized. If an employee sees a learning plan tailored to their specific needs, they understand why they are being given the training assigned. Plus, they understand what they personally gain from taking and using the training.
5. Diversify it
There are a few ways to personalize training. For example, everyone learns differently and everyone has varied development needs. You can offer the same training module in a variety of learning styles like using visual cues or adding audio files. Or you can make training accessible across various devices to accommodate sales teams and other employees who travel or are out of the office frequently. Whatever method you use, by focusing on the individual, the employee will see themselves as a valued team member and not simply a cog in the company wheel.
6. Increase focus on technology training
As more machines, systems and processes become automated, the more the demand for managing these become necessary. So there will be an increased need this year for technology training. As much as people say technology is replacing people, there still needs to be humans managing these behind the scenes. And this includes learning the latest tech trends and skills.
7. Offer up-skilling
The Work Institute in a recent study found that career development, work/life balance and bad managers are consistently the top reasons employees quit versus compensation cited in only nine percent of exit interviews. So with that said, upskilling will be one of the learning trends for 2020 to watch for. With newer generations entering the workforce, they are looking to advance both within the company and with their personal skill development. So by offering learning tracks that build upon previously learned skills, this will help keep your valuable workforce happy.
8. Build up soft skills
While it’s vital employees are training on the latest technology to do their job effectively. It’s equally as important to have skills like good communication and the ability to work within a team. So developing soft skills is becoming more and more important as companies become flatter in structures. In fact, the Stanford Research Institute International and the Carnegie Mellon Foundation found that 75 percent of long-term job success depends upon soft skills mastery and only 25 percent on technical skills.
9. Train with geofencing
A geofence uses a GPS type of function and a cell phone to identify when a person is in a particular area, then a business can send that individual alerts or information. For example, you enter your local grocery store with your grocery store’s app downloaded on your phone. You have enabled location so the app knows when you enter the produce section of the store. It can then send you push notifications of what’s on sale in that particular area.This same technique is being used more and more in training employees. Geofencing is one of the learning trends for 2020 because it can send training to employees right when it’s needed. Take for example, a manager stepping foot into a plant for updates. A notification could be sent about new safety protocol training. This could include a short video of new procedures to be followed. Even though this manager may have already taken this training, it pushes the key points top of mind. Then when the manager goes for a status update with the plant manager, he can run down this new safety checklist.