TrainingPros is excited to launch our new blog! We look forward to our followers and subscribers chiming in with their opinions, insights, rebuttals, and shared information that will further our efforts to promote the Learning and Development (L&D) industry, help clients procure the expertise they need to deliver the solutions to their business partners, and equip consultants to be prepared to provide their services to our clients.
As President and founder of TrainingPros, I am in a unique position to share what our Relationship Managers observed in the L&D industry based on working with clients across the U.S. Further, based on what our clients are asking of us, we also feel that we are well positioned to anticipate the direction the industry is going in 2014 and beyond.
Over the last 12 – 18 months, we have observed three trends:
- Mobile is Mobilizing: Companies had been talking about implementing mobile learning solutions in 2012-13. They are now equipping their employees who are tablet-enabled with mobile learning that is accessible at their point of need. The questions companies have answered include whether to buy iPads and whether to build learning apps or HTML5-based learning solutions. Pssst – most of our clients are building mobile learning in HTML5 using Storyline.
- YouTube at Work: Companies recognize that there are a lot of great learning solutions on the World Wide Web. When was the last time you watched a YouTube video to learn how to program your garage door opener? Employees are also watching YouTube videos to learn how to create a pivot table in Excel or how to provide performance feedback to a subordinate. Companies recognize the learning is out there (and it is free) and are now working on how to identify valid content, provide access to it, and, possibly, how to build it into an employee’s learning curriculum.
- Integrated Talent Management: Companies are doing a better job of defining an end-to-end talent management process and are integrating the L&D function into that process more effectively. The approach ensures that not only are companies doing a better job of hiring employees with the right skills and experience but that they are also receiving learning that is tied to where they are in their careers and on-the-competencies that have been defined for their jobs. This approach is reducing the amount of training organizations are producing that just sits on the shelf because it was built in response to some organization’s problem instead of it being tied to the role-based competencies of employees.
Whew! Interesting things have been going on in the field of L&D the last couple of years. Based on what we’re hearing from our clients and what we’ve seen in 2012-13, we anticipate a number of big trends emerging in the next 18 – 24 months:
- Create it Once: Companies are now realize that with PCs, tablets, smartphones, and Google Glass, they need to figure out how to create learning solutions once that can be consumed through any information-delivery device. Companies like Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta have already figured out that they can leverage a content management system (instead of an LMS) to deploy learning to the various devices used by nurses, doctors, administrators, and clerical staff. But most companies are just now realizing that they have courses sitting in their LMS (or LMSs) that cannot be accessed by non-PC devices.
- Small Sound Bites: With learning being pushed out onto mobile devices, there is also the realization that content must be digestible in spoonfuls and not platefuls. In other words, learners expect to access small bits of learning from their mobile devices at the point of need. Instead of sitting through a 4-hour eLearning course on how to document and deliver a performance review, learners need access to 5 – 10 minute chunks of training that can be consumed when they need it, i.e., when they are filling out the online performance review form or a few hours before they have to deliver the performance review.
Finally, what does this mean for TrainingPros?
TrainingPros will continue to seek consulting talent that is current with the latest authoring tools (e.g., Storyline). Often times, our clients do not have the internal expertise to develop learning solutions in HTML5 or to create learning apps with Apple’s development tools.
Second, we will be recruiting talent who have experience designing learning that is designed in a way that it can be accessed in small topics or subtopics as well as aggregated for consumption (like from a PC sitting at your desk for four hours) as a full-length movie through an LMS.
Third, we will continue to connect our clients together so that they can share best practices and their learnings as they implement the learning solutions that are demanded by their organizations.