Top 10 Learning and Development Trends | 2024 Training Shifts
Top 10 Learning and Development Trends | 2024 Training Shifts
To think that “the internet” was only first available in 1993 is crazy. The rate at which technology has evolved over this time has been nothing short of miraculous. While this does mean we have access to great new tools, it does mean you need to actively stay abreast of change to not be left behind. Think about the people who thought the internet was “just a fad”.
This is critically important in the learning and development industry, where embracing new technologies and trends can mean the difference between success and failure.
2024 provides an opportunity for learning and development trends that adapt to our evolving landscape. These trends signify the changing business environment, brought about by emerging technologies and shifting workplace dynamics.
We can expect that training trends in 2024 will focus on knowledge retention and individual development as organisations value the growth and efficiency of their workforce. Here are the top 10 learning and development trends in 2024 that you need to know:
1. Immersive Learning Experiences
Immersive learning is a growing trend in 2023 and will continue to grow in 2024 as education undergoes a transformative shift towards more engaging learning environments. Technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are driving interactive learning, enabling learners to gain hands-on experiences and improve their transfer of knowledge.
In corporate employee training, immersive learning can enhance employee skills and help identify skill gaps. Organisations can provide learners with controlled virtual environments that mimic real-world scenarios that employees may encounter, enabling learners to develop their skills without consequences.
2. AI-powered Learning Environments
Artificial Intelligence (AI), specifically generative AI, skyrocketed into multiple use cases in 2023. We can expect the trend to follow through in 2024 as organisations adopt AI-powered learning environments to personalise training content, automate processes and assess learners to provide them with feedback throughout their course. AI-powered learning environments provide engaging content to improve the information retention of its learners while tailoring learning paths according to each learner’s preferences and knowledge level.
By 2024, tech consulting company Gartner predicts that up to 40% of companies will adopt NLP and generative AI in different aspects of their businesses, including employee training. Meanwhile, a 2023 survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers International shows that 34% of employees in the Asia Pacific believe that adopting AI in the workplace will enable them to learn new skills needed in the evolving environment.
Microlearning has been around for a couple of decades but has gained traction in recent years as we gain a better understanding of how humans learn. The core idea of microlearning is to divide large pieces of information into smaller, more digestible chunks. Microlearning focuses only on important information delivered in short bursts, preventing cognitive overload.
Microlearning not only saves time for learners and instructors, but learners also tend to retain knowledge better and with improved comprehension as microlearning allows instructors to go in-depth into specific topics. Microlearning is seen as one of the ideal learning styles for working professionals as these short bursts of information fit into their busy schedules.
4. Internal Upskilling
In 2024, we can expect a trend of internal upskilling and reskilling, where organisations invest in training their existing employees for specific skills rather than hiring externally. Internal upskilling helps organisations close skill gaps in the workplace in more cost-effective means as they take less time and resources to train the workers they already employ. At the same time, internal upskilling is beneficial for employees as it promotes career growth within the organisation.
Post-pandemic, organisations have found a need to upgrade the skills needed in the workplace. A 2023 survey (PricewaterhouseCoopers International) found that 39% of employees believe that their companies need to make organisational changes to thrive in this new environment, while 44% of employees believe that skills required for their roles will undergo significant changes in the next five years. Yet, less than half of those surveyed have a clear idea of how. Internal upskilling will not only address these concerns but also improve the quality of the workforce, allowing organisations to adapt to the changing market.
5. Specialised Training for a Hybrid Work Setup
Post-lockdowns, organisations have adapted to fully remote or hybrid work setups, which provide more flexibility for companies and their employees. As more organisations shift to a hybrid work setting in 2024, we can expect companies to start providing employees with specialised training to improve their efficiency and adaptability in this new work environment.
6. VR Training
The adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) training in the workplace has been steadily growing in recent years with an expected CAGR of 41.2% by 2031. VR training has already been adopted in various industries that require specialised training, such as hospitals, airlines, hotels and more.
VR enables organisations to assess employees’ learned skills through interactive experiences that replicate real-world scenarios. Through VR training and assessments, training managers can evaluate learners’ abilities to perform complex tasks as they train in simulated environments.
7. Increase in Use of Training Software
Training software equipped with authoring tools increased in usage from 37% to 39% in 2021, according to an industry report by Training Mag. In 2024, we can expect the trend to increase as the use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and training customisation tools increases.
These tools enable organisations to customise their training content to reflect the skills and knowledge they aim to develop in their learners. Training managers and instructors can better track learner progress, provide feedback in real-time and facilitate content creation according to the needs of the company. It will also make it much easier to keep track of training opportunities with built-in features like skills matrices.
8. Gamification of Learning
Gamification of training provides a fun and engaging way for individuals to learn. Techniques often used in gaming, such as competitive leaderboards, rewards and interactive play, are expected to increase participation as organisations aim to boost learner engagement and motivation through their training content. It’s also a great way to accommodate different learning styles in the workplace since not everyone learns the same way.
In a 2021 industry report, the inclusion of games in training modules has increased from 19% in 2020 to 21% the following year. Companies are spending more for gamified learning as it results in a better overall understanding of the course material.
9. Training Leaders
2024 is when organisations train for the next leaders in the workplace. The next coming years present an opportunity for organisational shifts and there is a growing trend of companies training the next generation of leaders. Organisations are now recognising the importance of effective leadership in the sustainability and growth of their companies, and they have prioritised training for leadership skills.
10. Continuous Learning
Continuous learning is another trend that is set to develop further as we enter 2024. The importance of upskilling, constant advancements and innovations, fact-paced industries and market shifts have all contributed to the need for continuous learning – and organisations are becoming aware of it.
Continuous learning paves the way for organisational agility as it enables employees to respond to changing situations in the market. Continuous learning fosters improvement, pushing employees to stay updated with the latest skills and advancements in their line of work. This helps them, and the organisation, to stay competitive in a rapidly changing environment.
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