Among L&D professionals from Johnson & Johnson, USAA and Four Seasons, my colleague, Morgan Yeargan, and I delved into the greatest challenges and solutions buzzing in the world of corporate learning and development. During a 3-day event hosted by the International Performance Management Institute (IPMI), I noticed recurring themes from global titans and small start-ups alike. As we gear up for 2024, let’s explore the five pivotal trends, I believe, that will revolutionize the L&D sector, all witnessed during our memorable time at the Corporate Learning & Development Institute in California.
1. AI: Your L&D Juggernaut
Are you really surprised to see this on the list? From chatbots to improved data analytics and more, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to take human potential to the next level. One thing AI cannot replace, however, is the human brain and heart. Mastering the learning journey is all about recognizing the learner’s head, heart and hand in social pedagogy. Just like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen make an unbeatable team, think of AI as your pal to handle the mundane tasks while you focus on the creative, human side of learning.
2. Retention: The Comeback Kid
In the past, we gave retention the cold shoulder and embraced job-hopping as the new norm. However, the game’s changed again. With increased layoffs and a hunger for upskilling and reskilling, retention’s back in the limelight.
It’s not just about holding onto employees, either; it’s about nurturing their growth. According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report, employees are 17% more likely to remain with their company if they make an internal move within the organization by the two-year tenure mark – a difference of 75% vs. 56%. The study additionally found opportunities for learning and growth to be a top 5 consideration for job seekers looking for a new position. With numbers like these, it’s no surprise that upskilling is a priority for leading organizations.
3. Attention: The Currency Of Retention
You’ve heard the saying, “Where attention goes, energy flows.” Well, the same applies to learning and development. Attention is the secret sauce for information retention, and what has been found to grab a learner’s attention the most? Experiential learning. Working at WDHB, a company that builds custom learning experiences for businesses globally, the recognition of this impact reaffirms the work we do. It is the difference between reading about a rollercoaster and actually riding one; which will leave a more lasting impression?
4. Middle Managers: The Uncelebrated Heroes
Middle managers often get lost in the corporate shuffle, but not anymore. They’re the unsung heroes who can make or break your L&D game. Studies reveal that 70% of your people’s growth depends on their manager (Inc.com). It’s high time we give middle managers the spotlight they deserve. Are you currently investing in this cohort’s leadership potential? What else might you do to expand their skill sets?
5. Safety Nets For Learning: The Psychological Kind
Creating a culture of psychological safety is the secret sauce for a thriving learning environment. Of course, a company’s first instinct is to mitigate risk, but failure is where growth is born. Consider Amazon – the Fire Phone was a major flop. Despite facing great failure, the same team was still given the safe space to reinvent, later introducing the Alexa. When your team feels safe to take risks, they’ll use their mistakes to scale mountains.
In conclusion, these trends are more than just buzzwords; I strongly believe they will be 2024 game-changers. It’s not just L&D’s responsibility; it’s a team effort. With AI as your sidekick, the return of retention, the power of experiential learning, middle managers in the limelight and a culture of psychological safety, 2024 is the year we redefine learning and development.
Which of these L&D trends resonate most with you? Do you agree or disagree with my observations? Let’s keep the conversation going!
By Aish Hinton