A frequently cited report from Dell Technologies and The Institute for the Future noted that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 hadn’t yet been invented. This startling figure highlights the urgent need for companies to consider how they upskill and retain staff not only today, but for new roles that will emerge over time.

This is one of a number of trends that are at the root of a revolution in enterprise learning. The opportunity is there for those employers who take the time now to focus on how they deliver, track and review employee learning programs.

With the expected skills shortage and the workforce increasingly dominated by Millennials and Gen Z, talented employees will have the upper hand in choosing where they work and what benefits they expect from their employers. Forward thinking companies will benefit by finding new ways not only to attract but retain the people they have by focusing their investment on learning.

By embracing these learning trends you will have greater control over the skills fitness of your future workforce, as well as being better able to attract and retain talented people.

To be effective, learning needs to be on demand

Learning is most effective when it is accessed on-time and on-demand, with over 58% of learners preferring to learn at their own pace. Self-service training portals featuring videos, podcasts, short articles and online forums give employees the right information when they need it. And some learning systems even offer advanced features such as geo-fencing, which allows employees to be given information such as site-specific OH&S training when entering a new workplace for example.

Microlearning makes it easy to access snippets of on-time learning – and this is how employees are increasingly accessing learning. With 70% of employees taking formal training at least once a year, up to 85% are learning things for work from online sources at least once a week, and 75% are learning from peers and blogs/articles each week.

Users want a say in their own education

Users increasingly want a role in shaping their own learning and development.  You can get their buy-in through learning platforms that put them in control of their own learning. Online learning and employee systems like Learn by HireRoad tap into this sense of ownership through self-paced education, combined with the ability to share and collaborate on these learning opportunities. This allows workplaces greater flexibility in supporting those self-directed learners who add to the company knowledge pool.

Millennials and Gen Z are attracted by learning

It’s well known that Millennial and Gen Z employees are less likely than other generations to stay in one job or with one company. But their proactivity doesn’t stop there. As self-driven learners, they are less likely to adhere to traditional job roles and job titles, and won’t wait around for promotions and job openings. As they move into managerial positions, they are taking charge of their own upskilling and learning in line with their interests and career motivations and shaping the workforce as they go.

While research has found that employees are spending as little as 1% of their work time (37 minutes) each week on learning, they spend up to 3.3 hours of their own time on self-directed learning tasks to improve their skills.

Younger employees increasingly want to feel that they are worth investing in, and value the opportunity to upskill beyond their current roles. The emergence of cloud-based learning management systems makes it simple to respond to the desire for self-directed learning and skill development.

Training in transferrable soft skills is also becoming more valuable

Alongside digital upskilling, the lack of key soft skills has been identified as a key threat to growth by up to 38% of CEO’s. As employers struggle to prepare their current workforce for future growth, they are increasingly looking beyond set job roles and responsibilities to how they can train and retain flexible leaders with the soft skills in leadership, communication and collaboration that can be applied to any role.

At the same time, businesses are recognising that increased automation doesn’t have to automatically equal redundancies, with Mercer reporting that 82% of organisations planning to develop and promote from within and use technology as an opportunity to retain the company intellect and skills of their staff through reskilling.  Tracking the development and training in soft skills is simplified with learning management systems that allow you to leverage on your existing talent pool as your company grows, while creating opportunities for self-directed learning when staff want to choose their own accelerated learning paths.

The speed of technology is now impacting learning

Workplaces are faced with the need to quickly adapt to the rapid pace of technological change, or face the consequences. Learning management systems need to be self-explanatory and able to integrate with current and future systems. Although we now have more software and applications than ever, they have a greater ability to share data and integrate fully, allowing a seamless experience that is secure, automated and connected at the touch of a button. When planning what our learning management system would provide, we made sure to build in future-proof features aimed at saving HR managers’ time. This included automating the way learning tasks are planned, scheduled, reported on and managed.

As employee roles become more fluid – and companies increasingly moving away from job titles and competency-based job descriptions – it’s vital that data can be accessed, analysed and reported on with ease, no matter who is using the system.

Technology is redefining HR

The shifting landscape towards self-driven, user focused platforms that allow employees to increasingly take ownership of their learning and development is not only improving employee experience and buy-in but is redefining the way HR services are managed and delivered.

With a huge 94% of employees reporting that they would stay longer with a company that invested in their career – and the no. 1 reason they feel held back is because they aren’t given the time for learning – there is a strong need for systems that bridge the learning gaps in existing T&D systems. When these systems embrace the best of the digital landscape with journey-based learning, gamification, social interactions and collaborative sharing spaces, they create sustainable learning experiences that will grow and adapt with the workplace.

With multi-level user access, personalised experiences for every role and level, they are opening the gateway for HR staff also upskill and focus on higher value activities, such as strategic workforce planning, training and talent management.

Over to you

Want to know how you can improve employee engagement, create new learning experiences more easily and create learning systems that help you retain your talented staff?  Contact us to find out how Learn by HireRoad could give your people the skills they need to succeed in the future.