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10 Learning and development trends shaping the 2024 training landscape

10 Learning and development trends shaping the 2024 training landscape

The "new normal" has already set in, and organizations are facing challenges we've known about for a while, such as managing a remote workforce. Other struggles, like the battle for top talent, have recently caused a significant upheaval in how businesses recruit, train, and onboard.

Learning and development (L&D) leaders have always had to adapt, but the present challenges are brand new. Trainers are now tasked with implementing remote programs and making accommodations for a highly advanced hybrid workplace—from onboarding to on-the-job training and coaching. 

With so many pieces of the puzzle, it's safe to say that the training and development landscape of 2024 will be digital, innovative, and revolutionary. Let’s take a closer look at some of the trends that are paving the way to growth.

Trends in learning and development that will define training in 2024

L&D trends fluctuate in response to a changing workplace, innovations in learning technology, and employee demands. Trends, however, are just a guide for learning professionals and company leaders. It's up to them to choose what works best for their training needs in the long term. 

Deloitte correctly highlights the idea of ownership in the new learning paradigm: “In the future the person acquiring new skills will be at the center of the learning process, with a focus on personalized, integrated, hybrid and life-long learning.”
With that in mind, here are the top L&D trends we’ve identified for 2024.

1. Upskilling and reskilling

Skills development will be the top priority for most organizations in 2024. Companies must address the growing skills gap created by technology adoption and disruption. Upskilling, reskilling and even right-skilling training programs should be a priority for most companies as employees will need to learn new skills, take on new roles and update their competencies to be more competitive in a somewhat volatile job market.

"We have the means to reskill and upskill individuals in unprecedented numbers, to deploy precision safety nets which protect displaced workers from destitution, and to create bespoke maps which orient displaced workers towards the jobs of tomorrow where they will be able to thrive. However, the efforts to support those affected by the current crisis lag behind the speed of disruption."
- The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report

2. Generative AI

Artificial intelligence (AI), and more specifically generative AI, is poised to redefine how learners and instructors experience corporate training this year. Thanks to AI’s content creation capabilities, designers and instructors will have more ability to build personalized, interactive, and adaptive learning experiences at scale. And with the CYPHER platform, you can even develop and deliver new courses in less than 15 days.

In the learning and development realm, generative AI provides two major wins:

  • Personalization at scale: Generative AI helps companies create courses faster, allowing for personalized learning at scale. Advances like automatic competency mapping, in which skills are automatically tied to course content, enables instructors to see how well they cover certain material and better assess student mastery levels. AI-enabled upskilling is how the modern workforce will upskill faster than ever, with organizations being able to track and measure results more accurately.
  • Interactive simulations and feedback: AI also offers expanded ability to create engaging simulations that hone employee skills. With CYPHER’s AI 360, creators can even embed synthetic audio for extra interaction.

Most notably, enterprises can enjoy substantial time and cost savings with these new features and tools. Because AI streamlines the development and administration of training, L&D programs will benefit from higher-quality content and more efficient delivery methods.

3. Microlearning

Microlearning, or bite-sized learning, is consolidating its position as a favorite and effective teaching method for busy corporate employees having to learn at the moment of need. While the concept of microlearning has been the same from the start, how it is executed is constantly transforming.

According to eLearning Partners, here were three top microlearning trends in recent years. TikTok and its increasing popularity has had quite an effect on professional learning. Packing information into short and to-the-point videos is an excellent way to ensure learner engagement and to captivate the attention of target audiences.

The Google phenomenon, namely the fact that people can now search for any word or topic and relevant results immediately pop up, is also highly relevant for microlearning. The point is to label and title the learning content appropriately so learners can easily find what they need. 

Lastly, there is interactive gratification. This means that each microlearning unit should be followed by an interactive instrument (like a quiz), ending in a reward.

4. Data-driven learning

Learning management systems (LMSs) have become increasingly proficient at collecting, analyzing, and suggesting actions based on data, facilitating the growth of data-driven learning.

Learning platforms can now diagnose learning needs, alert instructors when learners need assistance, and make content recommendations based on learning goals and competency levels. This level of fine-tuning means that instructors can create personalized learning paths for each employee, ensuring maximum engagement and optimal information retention.

The future of e-learning belongs to modern learning platforms capable of interpreting data and making it actionable. Data-driven learning is also learner-centric, focusing on delivering the most suitable interventions through real-time feedback and a wide variety of learning content (designed in-house and by third-party e-learning providers).

5. Repurposing and outsourcing content

The time of lengthy training designed by in-house instructional specialists has passed. With the workforce becoming increasingly globalized and the need for just-in-time learning, companies must ensure they have quality content available at all times.

For example, current training material can be repurposed into smaller chunks and packaged in various formats. Furthermore, a lot of the new content will fall to the task of third-party creators as increasingly more organizations partner with learning providers such as LinkedIn Learning and Go1.

Did you know? CYPHER partners with LinkedIn Learning, Go1, and several other content partners. With our powerful AI 360, you can create courses from existing videos, PDFs, and proprietary content without extra hassle. Simply upload your content to AI 360, and watch your new, holistic training programs happen in real time. 

6. User-generated content

The jury is out: employees enjoy and trust learning content more when their colleagues create it. User-generated content (UGC) is any learning content learners make. It's growing in popularity as employees prefer more interactive learning experiences and taking ownership of their education and training.

UGC has many perks, including employee training buy-in, higher participation rates, and more effective peer-to-peer training. There are many ways in which learners can contribute directly, including Q&A forums, short videos, case studies, and reviews. The best part? It's not that hard to get people to contribute as long as you can demonstrate the impact of UGC and incentivize learners (through different perks and rewards) accordingly.

Human connection is the essence of social learning. And in 2024, interactive features like forums, chats, blogs, and wikis will bring learners together more than ever before. 

7. Extended reality (XR) in training

Next year will see more extended reality (XR) in training. This includes all the immersive learning technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). All these make the employee experience more interactive and engaging.

Apart from the engagement perks, XR is critical when training for learning competencies that take a lot of resources when taught in a non-digital learning environment. This is especially true for potentially dangerous jobs such as operating heavy equipment, aviation, logging, and natural resource mining. The applications of XR are also highly useful for technical training, onboarding programs, and even customer service, as it's easy to run multiple scenarios with various types of clients and issues.

8. Learning on demand

Asynchronous, on-demand learning is a must for any organization that wants to thrive in the hybrid environment. According to a survey of 800 employees in large organizations, 56% of them say they have been unable to locate digital documents while working remotely this year.

We've already touched on the importance of knowledge sharing in organizations and the necessity of a good strategy. L&D needs to take this one step further by ensuring employees can access learning materials whenever required, regardless of their device or time zone.

9. Diversity and inclusion

Corporate training is now experiencing a long-overdue transformation in its approach to diversity and inclusion. This shift has the potential to alter how businesses recruit, hire, and operate, setting the stage for cultural expectations in the workplace.

The business case for diversity, equality, and inclusivity training is clear. Diverse teams tend to be more innovative and capable of high performance. Additionally, teams that prioritize diversity in recruiting expand their potential talent pool to include more top contributors from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

In the corporate learning environment, promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives must include actions such as:

  • Building a diverse pool of speakers and professional trainers who represent unique cultural and professional backgrounds
  • Incorporating diverse case studies or hands-on examples and scenarios in training materials
  • Providing channels for feedback that allow all employees, regardless of demographic, to contribute to an ever-growing learning community.

In the next year, expect to see additional augmented reality tools that simulate or model new workplace scenarios focusing on diversity. This strategy is sure to help employees embrace a culture of inclusion in the workplace, allowing them to understand how D&I initiatives fit into a broader corporate strategy for growth.

10. Self-directed learning

Now more than ever before, one-size-fits-all training programs are gone. The latest training protocols should focus on self-directed learning paths, empowering employees to pursue knowledge that aligns with their career growth and personal development. Investing in these training materials not only improves career trajectories, but it also paves the way for higher employee satisfaction.

In this way, modern training is better at prioritizing the mental health and well-being of employees more than ever.

Today’s trend of self-directed learning (SDL) finds its roots in many factors, including:

  • Individual desire for autonomy and mastery over the personal learning journey
  • A rapidly changing set of job roles and skills requirements based on market demand
  • Growing levels of stress and anxiety associated with performance expectations

By facilitating more self-directed learning events, businesses can act as curators and facilitators. A new, highly supportive learning ecosystem is built using technology that uses critical tools like self-assessments, resource libraries, and virtual learning communities.

Each of these developments contributes to a learner’s ability to work at their own pace and interact with content that benefits them most. On the business side of the equation, more self-directed equates to a more agile workforce, evolving to meet the demands of the modern market.

Forbes Advisor names CYPHER best employee training software two years in a row!

Learning and development in 2024

This year’s training landscape isn’t simply about imparting knowledge. Rather, it’s about fostering a learning culture that is intelligent, inclusive, and in tune with the way humans are wired. As the workforce evolves, so must the strategies that guide that growth. The future of learning is personal, inclusive, and limitless—adapting to how healthy corporate cultures should operate in the near and distant future.

As is true of recent years, 2024 holds similar risks, benefits, challenges, and unpredictable external factors. Although these things might be outside of an organization’s control, leaders can—and should—still act to reshape their own learning adventure. 

As the need to grow, upskill, and reskill becomes stronger, companies need a learning platform that’s ready for the task ahead. Creating diverse, engaging, and relevant learning content starts now—CYPHER is here to help.

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