In the last two years, the working style of almost every company has changed fundamentally with a major shift to remote/ hybrid work. The pandemic has altered the way we perceive work and workspaces accelerating the journey towards a hybrid workforce.
Learning For the Hybrid Workforce
Hybrid work and the flexibility that it brings has meant that there have been a number of alterations in various verticals, including L&D, to adjust to the concept. L&D teams have worked overtime to address the learning challenges for a hybrid workforce with the help of innovative learn-tech. In fact, L&D teams have been lauded for their efforts for quickly pivoting their learning programs to help employees manage through change.
During this time, learning programs have been designed to integrate the flexibility of self-paced online training sessions with highly engaging live interactions to suit the hybrid workplace culture. L&D teams have offered a varied mix of engaging learn-tech through live, interactive sessions coupled with pre-recorded ones, in-classroom training integrated with remote ones, live lectures, quizzes, group assignments, on-demand videos, presentations and so on.
Through bite-sized Microlearning nuggets, learning has been made easily accessible and is integrated as a part of work. This has been offered to learners in the form of shorter sessions spread across multiple days supporting learning continuity and retention.
All in all, during this time, businesses have leveraged the entire spectrum of digital learning including immersive learning technologies like AR and VR and not just one aspect of eLearning. While the proportion of digital training has been higher in fields like IT and ITES, where a maximum of the workforce has been remote, in sectors like manufacturing, classroom training has been higher.
Gig Economy and Learning
Additionally, with the workplace evolving rapidly, companies have also been paying more attention on how to create learning for the gig economy. Given the uncertainty in traditional employment caused by the pandemic, many organizations have expanded their ratio of gig workers to achieve agility in scaling their workforce as per business needs.
This has meant that L&D teams have had to focus on creating unified learning for all work profiles within the organization since learning of every profile is likely to affect overall business productivity. The L&D strategy for gig workers has been modelled to suit their needs by making learning available remotely and in flexible formats. Since gig workers are seldom likely to be a physically present in learning sessions during work hours, it is necessary that the learning for them is engaging, so as to inspire self-learning as per their convenience.
Evolution of Learning Platforms
This has also been the time when technology has started playing an even vital role in ensuring that learning systems are easy for learners to use and L&D teams to deploy. Digital tech is now helping to make learning easy, efficient and effective so as to meet the learning needs of not just today but of the future as well.
L&D teams need to anticipate the requirements of the next five years and then decide how the learn-tech they are using can make it better. They also have to answer questions like how they can offer learners the right mix of learning.
What’s In Store for L&D In 2022
For starters, L&D teams and businesses have to constantly answer the question as to why learners have to learn something – the ‘what’s in it for me’ question. While learning has gone digital like everything else around us, it is still not possible to expect employees to dedicate a huge chunk of their time only to learning.
This is where aspects like Microlearning or bite sized learning come into the picture. When content is curated in such a way that it can be consumed and used at the “moment of need”, it can help learners who are busy to learn well as per their schedules and nature of work.
I had the opportunity to discuss insights like these and many other interesting points with a panel of experts at the L&D 2022: Trends that will Make a Mark webinar.