Ongoing corporate training and professional development helps keep your employees operating at peak efficiency, heightens company morale, and makes you more competitive in your field. Technology and changing attitudes towards how and why companies provide training have resulted in five emerging trends in coroporate training.

Business-Centric Learning

The ultimate goal of corporate training is to improve your business, by improving productivity and competitiveness within your industry. Business-centric learning makes this goal the bedrock of all employee learning. Put simply, learning must align with business needs. 

Business-centric learning content focuses on individual learning, providing each employer with the training he or she needs to perform tasks effectively in a way that advances business goals. To do this, learning programs must:

·         Clearly define how business goals are improved by training;

·         Have measurable outcomes proving the relationship between business goals and training.

Advanced data collection technology and analytics help companies determine where and when training is appropriate, and provide the raw data necessary for business-centric training.

Video-Based Learning

Video-based learning is becoming increasingly common thanks to the rise in online training and MOOCs (massive open online courses). This isn’t surprising, as up to eighty percent of learning occurs visually.

Videos are being used in traditional on-site classes, online courses, and as supporting material in live online seminars. Combining video with other training methodologies has been shown to reinforce learning while also playing an important role in refresher courses.

 Multiple Learning Formats

Corporate training used to be limited to instructor-led training or self-directed online courses, both of which offered little in the way of learning format variety. You either absorbed the information as it was presented, or you didn’t.

Thanks to multimedia and the rise of workplace BYOD (bring your own device) culture, today’s learners can access a wide variety of learning formats, increasing the chance of information retention. Live online and onsite seminars both reflect this versatility, combining instruction, hands-on activities, pop quizzes, and traditional learning materials.

Social Media and Social Learning

Social media has become part of life, and your employees will be accustomed to sharing, receiving, and digesting information through a wide range of social media platforms. As a training tool, social media has yet to fully catch on in corporate training, in part because of understandable reluctance to share proprietary information on public platforms.

Social media does not, however, need to be public, and private platforms will be utilized more in training as time passes. Part of the challenge lies in selecting platforms that are optimized for learning. While document sharing, long-form blogs, and discussion forums have been used in the past, the move is towards live videoconferencing and the use of micro blogs.

Videoconferencing will continue to grow in popularity as a training tool, as it incorporates the flexibility of online training with live interaction between instructors and students, encouraging discussion, collaboration, and knowledge sharing in a visual and audial environment.

Competency-Based Training

Competency-based training holds that training is pointless unless your employees leave the classroom with skills they can begin applying to their work responsibilities immediately. Measurable, demonstrable skills are prioritized.

Competency-based training courses clearly articulate desired learning outcomes and measure those outcomes, often awarding the learner certifications for their efforts. By the end of competency-based training, employees should be able to prove they can perform specific tasks, respond to emergencies or unexpected events, and otherwise manage their workplace responsibilities. By focusing on individual employee skill levels, competency-based training helps fill any skill gaps in your work force.

Gamification

Video games have long known how to self-motivate players and keep them engaged. Game theory transfers this ability to training and education while providing methods of assessing and measuring learning outcomes.

Training may use certifications, badges, levels, experience points, and other game-derived motivations to increase learning and retention, while rankings, scores, and leaderboards offer quick ways to assess how efficiently employees learn and retain knowledge.

 Continuous Learning

If your company works with millennials, you may have heard that younger workers place a high value on the skills a job provides them. With 50 percent of today’s jobs predicted to be replaced by technology and automation over the next decade, this attitude is understandable. The job market changes faster now than ever before. Continuous learning focuses more on training as it’s needed and less on training as a preventative or what-if scenario.

Continuous learning helps keep your employees—and by extension your company—competitive. At its best, continuous training allows you to keep pace with industry changes while improving worker morale and reducing expensive employee turnover rates.