Todays workforce requires flexible, results-oriented learning solutions and a renewed emphasis on leadership skills development.
The world has endured three years of global economic stressand the future doesnt look much brighter. With this reality as a backdrop, ESI International surveyed a cross-section of commercial and government leaders to determine the direction of training and performance improvement programs in the next several years. The "Learning Trends" survey discovered three major characteristics shaping future learning solutions: a lean workforce, priority investment in human capital, and targeted approaches to learning.
According to the survey results, organizations today operate according to a new standard of normala pared-down workforce from which maximum productivity and the ability to effectively cross organization silos is required.
Top-performing organizations plan to focus their time and resources in the coming years on investing in their human capital and creating innovative, multimodal learning solutions. According to the report, "Leading organizations are also adapting their learning programs to capitalize on advances in technology, including just-in-time learning applications that can keep pace with an evolving workforce demographic, which includes tech-savvy younger entrants."
"In this economic environment you cant ignore efficiencyits critical," says Mark Bashrum, vice president of ESI International. "People dont have the time and resources for the layered learning that weve done in the past. Weve got to integrate content, methodology, and tools into a single learning experience that creates skills and demonstrated effectiveness on the jobthats the new goal standard and that personifies relevance."
ESI International recommends three strategies to help todays organizations to produce measurable learning results and demonstrated business impact: Learning programs must be more results-oriented; learning methods must be more flexible and content more relevant; and the learning functions emphasis on leadership skill development must increase.
Bashrum explains that while investing in leadership development is not a new trend, leadership as a competency is shifting, requiring a new set of soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking, and teamwork.
"Leadership used to be about directing; now its about crafting an environment where people can learn and achieve. Its more about influence than authority. Look at social media, for exampleits not about directing dialogue; its about persuading it."