6 Learning & Development (L&D) trends 2024

Learning and Development (L&D) trends 2024

Discover 6 Learning and Development (L&D) trends. All indicating that learning organizations have a competitive stance.

1. Generative AI transforms L&D: integrates multiple key features

Generative AI is generating immense interest across the industry and is poised to reshape Learning & Development (L&D) by integrating multiple key features. With this technology, large amounts of information from your company quickly can be collected, analyzed, translated, and curated into easily understandable content. Employees will be able to customize their learning by choosing the format of the content — whether through audio, text, or images — and decide for themselves when they wish to engage with it.

The technology enables both large and small organizations to swiftly adapt their training programs to meet the demands and changes required to keep employees' skills relevant. New opportunities arise as learning is effectively scaled and personalized, creating possibilities to curate content for the individual in entirely new, cost-effective ways. This is especially important at a time when the need for constant updates of knowledge and skills is becoming increasingly critical to keep pace with competitors. The Global Sentiment Survey 2024 shows that only 45% of L&D professionals surveyed have experimented with Generative AI or shown interest so far. The technology is still new, and this highlights the need for increased awareness and knowledge of AI within the sector.

At Learnster, we believe the role of Generative AI in L&D is to supercharge, not replace, the creativity and expertise of content creators and businesses. By automating and streamlining the creation of educational materials, AI can free up time for L&D professionals to focus more on strategically orchestrating and tailoring content. This places content creators in a central position where they can leverage AI to plan more relevant and engaging learning journeys while the content can be distributed and automatically tailored to the individual. AI also enables experimentation with different educational formats, such as curated learning spaces or knowledge validation based on an individual's profile and knowledge level. The new technology also enables improved decision-making processes within training programs by analyzing vast amounts of data and identifying the most effective learning methods in real time. This allows educators to tailor content and modules to better meet individual needs, enhancing both learning and the personal experience, regardless of language and cultural preferences.

At Learnster, we believe the role of Generative AI in L&D is to supercharge, not replace, the creativity and expertise of content creators and businesses.

2. Effective customer education strengthens relationships

The importance of customer education is growing as products as services become increasingly advanced. Effective customer education strengthens a company's relationships with its customers by quickly demonstrating the full value of the products and services. This leads to increased adoption and customer satisfaction. Companies with robust training programs not only see an increase in business value and customer loyalty but also in customer engagement. Strengthening these areas is crucial to differentiate from competitors and build a strong brand over time. According to Forbes, the cost of attracting a new customer can be up to five times higher than retaining an existing one, and increasing the number of returning customers by 5% can raise profits by 25 - 95%. It creates clear opportunities for L&D to collaborate with customer-facing teams within the organization or to work externally to educate customers.

Educating customers on how to use the product also reduces overall support costs and the number of support cases. A well-educated customer often uses the product more fully, which can lead to further purchases of products or services. Customer education is also part of the company's service offering and strengthens the customer's trust in the brand. To meet a more complex need for education, companies are able to create customized learning journeys in their LMS to guide customers through a series of courses. These customized learning journeys help to explain more complex contexts by breaking down knowledge into several steps that collectively provide a clear direction and understanding of the product or service.

Customer education programs can also generate a feedback loop where customers provide valuable information about the product's usability and features. This feedback is crucial for companies striving to improve their services and tailor their offerings to market needs. By actively listening to and acting on customer feedback, companies can quickly adapt their training programs and product development strategies to better meet customer expectations.

3. Managed services increase scalability in learning teams

Managed Services within learning are growing as a solution for companies needing dynamic and scalable training solutions. By hiring external experts who handle everything from course design to administration and technical support, companies can focus on their core business while ensuring that their training needs are professionally met. This is particularly important for organizations facing rapid changes in their industries, where agile methods to update and distribute training materials are required, but where the capacity within the company is lacking.  

Managed Services not only offer an effective model to reduce the need for internal resources in training development and maintenance. It also offers an opportunity to improve training quality through experts' specialized knowledge. In this way, companies can benefit from the latest educational innovations and technological advancements, without having to spend internal resources in continuous training of their employees. The right tools and AI technology, combined with a Managed Services offering, create customized training solutions that directly impact business objectives and operational goals. This creates a strong link between learning efforts and overall corporate strategies. According to eLearning Industry, up to 80% of training activities for enterprises in the international L&D market today are outsourced.

By utilizing Managed Services, companies can free up internal resources that were previously used to address operational challenges within knowledge transfer. Resources and time can instead be allocated to developing corporate strategies, strengthening company culture, or improving employee relationships, which leads to significant progress for the entire organization. Additionally, this allows for high scalability, which is crucial for companies experiencing seasonal variations or are growing during expansion. Companies can adjust the scope and depth of training based on current needs. This procedure ensures that all employees receive relevant and timely knowledge. Furthermore, this leads to multiple aspects of learning being taken into account - from creation to delivery and follow-up - which frees up valuable internal resources that can then, instead, be allocated to core business growth and innovation.

The right tools and AI technology, combined with a Managed Services offering, create customized training solutions that directly impact business objectives and operational goals.

4. Peer-to-peer learning creates continuous learning environments

Peer-to-Peer learning transforms workplaces into active learning environments where colleagues learn from each other by sharing knowledge and experiences. This way of learning together is becoming an increasingly popular way for companies to build a culture where employees never stop growing.

Traditional top-down directed training works well in some contexts, but if it's overdone, it can lead to limited engagement and motivation as they do not consider individual learning preferences, or the specific needs of employees. This can in turn hinder both personal and organizational growth. There is also a risk that a strict top-down approach can reduce the opportunity for creative problem-solving, as it does not encourage dialogue or idea exchange between different levels within the organization.

Peer-to-peer learning is based on a method where employees themselves are responsible for learning through collaboration (known as bottom-up). By allowing them to help each other, a culture is created where everyone learns from each other continuously. When everyone contributes to teaching, and where they themselves can continuously learn new things and support each other on an ongoing basis, learning becomes part of everyday work life. This way of learning together means that teams find smarter solutions to new problems and build strong relationships through a constant willingness to learn from each other and help out. Strong teams can handle changes better, learn faster, and benefit from all the knowledge that is continuously emerging.

The Global Sentiment Survey emphasizes that 90% of organizations are concerned about not being able to retain employees over time and see continuous learning as the primary strategy to solve this. This insight confirms the need to constantly offer relevant and current training opportunities through peer-to-peer learning, which contributes to creating a more collaborative, productive, and knowledge-rich work environment. 

For peer-to-peer learning to work in practice, however, an learning platform is required that facilitates collaboration and where the creation and sharing of training-related material can take place. The platform must be user-friendly so that everyone can quickly get started, whether they are in the office, working from home, or in a practical setting. This makes the whole process simple and accessible to everyone.Investing in peer-to-peer learning is not just a cost effective method for knowledge transfer. It is also a way to strengthen relationships, build trust, and create practical, real-life learning scenarios. It is an essential part of constructing a culture of continuous learning, which not only benefits the individual in the long term but also enriches the entire company.

5. Strategic leadership development is vital for future success

For organizations to survive and thrive in today's rapidly changing business world, continuous competence development through strategic leadership development is more important than ever. Successful companies adjust to a labor market that consistently places a high value on competence. These organizations realize that it is not enough to just offer training. They must also create a culture where continuous learning is a natural part of every employee's career development.

Leadership is key in this adjustment. As demands increase and technology evolves rapidly, traditional leadership skills are no longer sufficient. According to Gartner, 93% of all HR leaders agree that new rapidly emerging technology trends will become more common in the next three years. Therefore, continuous learning is crucial for providing leaders across the organization with the skills they need to manage these changes.

Organizations that successfully integrate strategic leadership development into their L&D programs often work methodically to identify and develop key skills, such as digital competence, adaptability, and people-centric leadership. These skills improve communication, increase engagement, and strengthen decision-making, which is crucial for managing both current and future business challenges.

Investments in strategic leadership development are becoming more common as many companies see this as a way to strengthen their competitiveness and performance. In a world where change is constant, it is increasingly important to be able to lead and manage people effectively. Organizations that effectively develop their leaders and managers to handle today's dynamic work environments are better prepared for future challenges.

Increased emphasis on mental health and well-being has also increased the demand for leaders who can build a supportive and inclusive culture. Leadership development has become necessary for a sustainable and successful future. More and more companies recognize the importance of developing their leaders and managers, making this area a priority and part of the company's strategic plans. By investing in learning for these areas, companies can not only improve their internal dynamics but also strengthen their market position.

In a world where change is constant, it is increasingly important to be able to lead and manage people effectively.

6. Closing competency gaps enhances organizational competitiveness

Competency mapping is essential for organizations' ability to remain competitive in a rapidly changing environment. By identifying and closing competency gaps, organizations boost employee engagement and satisfaction, which subsequently increases productivity and sparks innovation within the company.

Research by Udemy indicates that 60% of all employees require further training before 2027, but half of the companies lack the necessary resources to provide this. Moreover, only 5% of managers feel that their investments in learning are sufficient for their teams to acquire new, essential skills. This finding highlights the critical need to enhance training initiatives and close competency gaps to secure the organization's future. 

Customizing digital training enables organizations to effectively address these competency gaps, leading to a workforce that is both more motivated and more engaged. Consistent feedback and monitoring of training initiatives ensure that these investments yield tangible business benefits. Successfully reducing competency gaps demands cooperation across departments and the sharing of "best practices." This can be facilitated through digital courses, mentorship programs, and internal workshops that not only disseminate knowledge but also foster networking and collaboration across departmental lines.

Emphasizing continuous learning, closing the competency gaps, helps organizations quicker adapt to new technologies and methodologies. By embracing this approach, companies can adeptly navigate a fluctuating global landscape, reinforce their internal culture, and better equip themselves for future challenges. Implementing a strategy that incorporates internal subject matter experts and peer-to-peer learning is a vital initial step in this process.


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