The Evolution of Workplace Learning

Workplace learning has changed drastically over the last five years. Gone are the days of dull training manuals and one-size-fits-all workshops. Sales training and leadership training have been modernised to fit with technological advancements, and there’s a renewed focus on continuous growth. Organisations are discovering that giving their employees the resources and guidance they need makes them more likely to take their professional development seriously. 

Looking Back

The traditional workplace learning model often revolved around formal, structured training programmes – usually face-to-face training with PowerPoint slides and handouts. 

Any training offered was generic and lacked the personalisation of learning today. Although this type of training is still used, it’s paired with the understanding that employees expect more from their professional development, including sales training and leadership training. 

Post-Covid L&D Delivery

During the pandemic, almost all L&D departments worked tirelessly to convert their traditional training to make it work digitally. The change in delivery made managers think creatively about how they could make this work – most have reported it’s been an improvement, and their engagement has increased. 

Even before Covid struck, some L&D professionals were adding interactive elements such as quizzes, real-time feedback, worksheets, and forums. Since then, they have quickly become the norm. Learning experience platforms (LXPs) and AI-supported learning management systems provide options for personalisation. Tailored training, such as sales training and leadership training, gives employees precisely what they need to progress and develop. 

Attitudes Towards Workplace Learning

With new technologies, hybrid workforces, and more information than ever, the attitudes towards workplace learning have changed for both organisations and employees.

On one hand, 77% of employees say they read to learn new skills or retrain themselves, suggesting an eagerness to develop through sales training, leadership training, and more.
Yet worryingly, a PWC survey suggests that organisations are not transforming with the times, with one-third of employees saying they fear the companies won’t be viable in ten years' time if they continue on their current path. Fewer than half (43%) of employees in the PWC survey say they have a clear understanding of how the skills needed for their jobs will change over the next five years. A word of warning: teams who don’t know what’s expected of them may not be adequately prepared for the future. Organisations must filter down attitudes towards (and expectations of) learning to ensure colleagues are on the same page.

Organisational Perspectives

The LinkedIn 2023 Workplace Learning Report explained that “83% of organisations want to build a more people-centric culture, and 81% of L&D departments are helping with this shift.” There’s also a need to upskill or reskill existing employees to keep up with new developments in the industry and technology. 

Organisations increasingly view employee development as “co-investing” with employees. They embrace their responsibility to provide learning opportunities and pathways tailored to individuals. 

Additionally, there has been a shift away from departments being silos, and some see cross-departmental training to be the way forward – encouraging employees to network with their colleagues across the organisation.

As you’ve read, there has been a shift in the way L&D is being delivered and how it’s viewed by senior management. Face-to-face training opportunities were reduced, and digital learning is now the norm. Attitudes towards learning have changed, and many L&D managers promote a tailored and empowering approach. Our next question is inevitably: what does the future hold?