A change is gonna come: Rippling the waters of corporate learning

Corporate learning professionals are facing the impact of a wind of change. The way we learn, and the way we think about the way we learn, is about to undergo a shift in shape and strength. In just a couple of decades, learning in the workplace has moved away from being an unpopular necessity and has become an industry in its own right. Technology has been the driving force behind this rapid development and it is technology once more that will bring the new changes we are now beginning to see.

Just a couple of decades ago, our experience of training involved teams of bored colleagues, hotel function suites, bad coffee, and more interest in the biscuit selection than in the actual content of the training. Then, in the late 90s, technology came along to change the way we think about Learning and Development. Since those heady days, L&D has moved forward, always evolving alongside the technology. Companies and organisations have built Learning Management Systems (LMS) into their day to day operations. The L&D market of today has an estimated worth of $130 billion.

It’s a world we all know, one we’re all comfortable with and it’s about to change again. Increasingly, organisations look to move away from their LMS in favour of new ways of delivering learning. Employees want to learn fast, they want to collaborate, co-operate, and connect in their corporate learning. Again, these changes are driven by the evolution and introduction of new technology. However, companies are  beginning to see these traditional LMS as outdated, stagnated forms of learning delivery. The way we work changes all the time. There is no longer such a thing as the ‘traditional workplace’; we work at different times, in different places, and in many different ways. The way we access our learning brings new challenges in line with the ever changing, new digital world. This brings the issue of engagement and retention to the table. If we’re not encouraged to learn and develop new skills at work, we’re less likely to remain in the company, and more inclined to look elsewhere. The demand for more adaptive and reactive is clear.

We’ve previously looked at more connected ways of learning and of the need for more networked, social learning. Our lives are connected in so many different ways. It makes sense that employees now expect a more social kind of learning in work. Connection, collaboration and cooperation is the new pathway for learning. Compliance and the more formal mandatory elements of our learning can be easily managed as part of back office duties or at induction. Companies need to address the more fluid, operational learning in a different way. Deloitte recently reported that companies such as IBM and Visa are starting to move away from their old LMS systems, and towards a more integrated networked infrastructure for learning. We also see the rise of tools such as Slack, Workplace by Facebook and Microsoft Teams feed into this new thinking.

Wranx is designed with many of these issues in mind. It’s based around the concept of Spaced Repetition, and Hermann Ebbinghaus’ groundbreaking work on memory and recall. Combining SR with gamification is one of our key strengths. Research (again, according to Deloitte), tells us that employees typically have approximately 24 minutes per week to focus on Learning and Development. That’s just 1% of the working week.

Users are encouraged to spend just a few minutes each day on learning through Wranx, and we know that 80% of Wranx users engage with the app daily. It is adaptive, can be personalised, and through leaderboards and awards, competition is encouraged between individuals and across teams.

This disruption to corporate learning – this much needed shake up- won’t stop with digital learning. Increasingly, we’ll see VR and AI, and even wearable technology being introduced as new learning mediums for corporate L&D.

It’s time to bin the flip charts and step away from the biscuit selection. The time has never been better for that shake up, and a rippling of the waters for corporate learning.

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Published: 26 Jul, 2017