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The Future of Learning: Top Trends to Watch in 2024

In today's fast-paced, unpredictable world, adapting quickly is the way to thrive. Your workforce, how and where your people work and the skills you need to thrive are shifting at an accelerated pace.

As HCM is in the crosshairs of this change and as technology advances, we explore seven key learning trends to watch out for in 2024, including the shift towards skills-based learning, the importance of personalisation and adaptability and the rise of compliance and agility.

These learning trends are taken from the new Cornerstone EMEA Trends Report, “People and workplace trends for the year ahead.” The report also provides in-depth, thought-provoking insights into what’s over the horizon for HCM and content.

Trend 1: The importance of skills-based learning

According to PwC, 77% of adults would learn new skills or retrain to improve their future employability. In the face of rapidly changing technology and the need to retrain and redeploy talent, it’s important for businesses to focus on skills development. By reorienting the business around skills, HR teams can better understand, develop and provision talent to meet business needs. This shift towards skills-based learning and development (L&D) allows for more fluid roles, interests and workflows, giving employees the freedom and creativity to thrive.

Trend 2: Learning with personalisation and adaptability

No one learns in the same way, so it’s essential for learning experiences to be tailored to fit different learning patterns. By offering modern, curated content tuned to individuals’ needs, everyone can learn and succeed. Moreover, with new learning opportunities being rapid and continuous, it’s crucial for L&D strategies to pivot quickly to new needs. This helps to ensure transparent advancement opportunities and seamless work transitions.

Trend 3: A focus on continuous compliance and agility

We often think of compliance as something we must do on the way to doing what we would instead do. However, operationalising continuous compliance can drive competitive advantage. In 2023, we can expect to see an increase in high-impact learning and capability academies that offer more agile, personalised compliance training methodologies. This type of training, tailored to specific industry needs and aligned with their future goals can reduce the time and cost of providing reliable compliance training and reporting while improving skills retention.

Trend 4: Knowledge sharing is caring

In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to share knowledge and collaborate with others. In 2023, we expect to see a focus on sharing knowledge within and across organisations. This could involve tools such as knowledge management systems, online communities or mentorship programs. Sharing knowledge not only improves L&D outcomes it can also foster a culture of continuous learning and collaboration.

Trend 5: Future of work: VR, AR and microlearning

Just as the business moves at an ever-faster pace, learning needs to move at an equally agile pace. L&D strategies must be flexible and responsive, allowing employees to learn new skills and stay up-to-date on the latest technologies and best practices.

Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) are no longer just for gaming. These technologies can potentially revolutionise learning by providing immersive, hands-on experiences that allow for experiential learning. Whether virtual field trips, simulations or interactive lessons these technologies can make learning more engaging and effective.

Trend 6: Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are set to play a major role in the future of learning. From personalised learning recommendations to automated grading, these technologies can streamline the learning process and make it more efficient. However, it’s important to ensure that AI and ML are used ethically and inclusively so that all learners can access the benefits they provide.

Trend 7: Microlearning and bite-sized content

With busy schedules and limited attention spans, it’s vital for learning content to be easily digestible. Microlearning, or the delivery of bite-sized pieces of information, is an effective way to deliver content that is easy to understand and retain. Whether it’s through short videos, interactive quizzes or other formats microlearning allows learners to quickly absorb and apply new knowledge.

Drawing it all together: L&D offers opportunities for growth

The future of L&D is bright, with many exciting trends on the horizon. By staying up-to-date on these trends and implementing strategies that address them, you can create a successful and effective learning environment where employees thrive.

This is covered in depth in the new Cornerstone EMEA Trends Report. Offering rigorous, in-depth insight into the people and workplace trends shaping the future. The report is an indispensable way for forward-thinking organisations to prepare for what’s over the horizon.

You can read the full Cornerstone EMEA Trends Report 2023 “People and workplace trends for the year ahead” here.

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