As we step into a new year, it's time to look into the crystal ball and predict which emerging talent development trends will have the greatest impact for learning and HR pros in the year ahead. From mobile employee development to video learning to the continued rise of workforce analytics, it's vital for talent leaders to understand and prepare for these trends in order to deliver a great employee experience and maximize the business impact of their talent programs.
Here are the four biggest trends to watch for in the coming year - along with tips on how you can capitalize on them:
1. Talent development continues to go mobile
The world has gone mobile, and the way we work today is undeniably different than it was just a few years ago. Work isn't confined to the office: Employees now regularly work from coffee shops, airports, their homes and even their cars. In fact, one study found that 70 percent of people globally work remotely at least once a week, while 53 percent work remotely for at least half the week. Work is no longer a place we go, but a thing we do. It's why mobile continues to dominate as the computing platform of choice. But the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices has also dramatically changed employee expectations of talent development technology. Anytime, anywhere access is the new name of the game.
With the rapid explosion of information available at our fingertips, employees expect instant, real-time access to the information they need to do their jobs. And with a mobile-friendly talent development platform, you can empower employees to learn, collaborate, find experts and information, crowdsource questions, and even manage their goals - when and where they want to. Managers can also check their team's progress, provide feedback, hold team meetings, conduct interviews, and approve requisitions and offers, no matter where they are.
By leveraging technology to enable mobile learning, feedback, and 1:1 check-ins, you can meet employees where they are - while also keeping up with the increasing demands of the digital native generation - to deliver an engaging, effective employee experience.
2. Video continues to be a dominant and engaging learning format
It's no secret that video is a powerful medium for learning. The engaging format of videos motivates learners to learn often, and at their own pace. Plus, viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to just 10 percent when reading it in text. So, how can you make video a part of your organization's larger talent development strategy to give learners the experience they crave?
One way to easily incorporate video content into your formal or social learning programs is to leverage a video learning solution to securely host and stream video content directly into your talent development platform. Since people are already very familiar with using video in their personal lives, harnessing that same consumer-grade experience to support diverse training needs is a no-brainer. And integrating video into your L&D content mix will help you facilitate a culture of self-driven learning, putting your people and teams in the driver's seat of their own development experience.
3. High-performing organizations connect learning and performance.
Brandon Hall Group's 2018 Performance Management Study revealed that companies with high-performance cultures are more effective at linking learning and performance to drive better business outcomes. For high-performing organizations, learning is not the outcome - it is the behavior that drives performance.
Learning and performance management do not merely co-exist - they are dependent on one another. And to deliver learning experiences that move the needle on performance, talent leaders need to empower employees to drive their own development with learning that is aligned to individual, team and business goals.
By thinking in terms of business outcomes and focusing L&D programs on specific behaviors, skills, or competencies, you can solidify the learning-performance connection to achieve the results that matter to your business. Creating a hyper-connected talent experience that ties learning to performance will allow you to more effectively engage employees, improve performance, and maximize the business impact of your L&D initiatives in the year ahead.
4. The demand for HR analytics continues to rise.
In decades past, many executives have misguidedly viewed HR as a cost center since it's often not perceived as impacting revenue in the same way that Sales or R&D might. But the reality is that without talent development - and all of the processes it is responsible for such as recruiting, learning, performance management and succession planning - the entire organization would suffer.
One of the reasons for this misperception is that talent development and HR functions have historically been slow to get into the metrics and analytics game. But it's progressively becoming easier with the help of technology, allowing HR and learning leaders to finally make the critical connection between talent programs and business outcomes.
Leveraging a talent development platform with comprehensive HR analytics can provide organizations with full visibility into their talent management processes and enable data-driven decision-making. And focusing on the metrics that matter to the business can help talent leaders more effectively build buy-in for and ongoing investment in their talent initiatives, while also becoming viewed as true strategic partners to the C-suite.
Are You Prepared for the Future of Talent Management?
In the coming year and beyond, these four talent development trends are expected to continue to gain momentum, forcing HR and talent leaders to rethink their approach to talent management in order to remain competitive and continue to attract, retain and develop top talent. By keeping an eye on these changes on the horizon - and preparing for them with the help of a hyper-connected talent development platform - you can modernize your talent development strategy to create more value for your people and your business.