Despite inordinate spending on learning and development in the workplace many of today’s workplaces continue to fall short in developing high-quality training. An estimated 75% of managers are dissatisfied with their company’s learning and development function and only 12% of employees apply new skills learned via learning and development programs to their jobs.
What should learning and development look like? Here are three pillars you should prioritize if you’re intent on shifting your company’s learning and development strategies and platforms out of the dark ages.
With advancements in artificial intelligence and automation, it’s easy to focus on the ways in which AI surpasses human intelligence. Yet AI cannot rival humans’ propensity for emotional intelligence (EI). EQ encompasses two abilities. First, it involves the ability to recognize, understand, and control our own emotions. Second, it involves the ability to recognize, understand, and influence others’ emotions.
EI’s value in the workplace is, by no means, new. Daniel Goleman, a pioneer in EI, suggests that EI accounts for 67% of the abilities needed to be a successful leader and that it is twice as important as technical proficiency or IQ. But, in an AI-powered world, the benefits of EI increase significantly. According to research by Capgemini, more than three-quarters (76%) of executives said employees need to develop EI skills so they can adapt to more people-facing roles. The same percentage said that employees need to develop EI skills to execute tasks requiring skills that cannot be automated such as empathy, influence, and teamwork.
Perhaps most important, EI primes workers to adapt to change. According to research by Gartner, AI is slated to create 2.3 million jobs while eliminating 1.8 million jobs in 2020. A world of AI is a world of constant change. Those who are able to harness their EI to embrace change will thrive in this new reality.
People learn best when learning and development is relevant and they can reap immediate benefit from the material. Unfortunately, the vast majority of learning and development in the workplace is one-size-fits-all.
With AI, companies can develop learning and development platforms and training that are specific to each individual worker. AI-powered tools can suggest appropriate material—based on a worker’s current skills and desired career trajectories—and also rapidly adapt the material based on users’ progress.
AI-powered learning and development platforms are able to capitalize on the benefits of micro-learning—delivering structured content in small, specific bursts—and use the results to inform future content delivery. Microlearning has been found to result in a 17% improvement in learners’ performance and a whopping 50% enhancement in learning engagement. One promising AI-powered learning and development platform that embraces microlearning its PluralSight. PluralSight updates question difficulty and skill ratings in real-time so that learning is dynamic and engaging.
AI-powered learning and development has a lot of potential. Not only does it help workers level up the right skills, but it also identifies gaps in a company’s skillset. By identifying skill gaps, companies can tailor their hiring and recruiting approaches. But the jury is still out on how learning and development will change in the world of artificial intelligence. According to a research study by Oracle, nearly 27% of HR leaders think that AI-powered solutions for employee training will have a positive impact on employee learning and development. What’s critical is that AI-powered learning and development platforms be designed with different learning styles in mind.
AR and VR training
Long gone are the days when workers tolerated lecture-style training. Workers and employers are recognizing the value of real-world scenario-based learning. Research published in the Journal of Organizational Learning and Leadership found that Millenials are especially apt to benefit from augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) learning and development since their traits related to innovation and exploration are best enhanced through active learning.
Regardless of your age, AR and VR can offer many advantages over traditional learning and development, including improved recall and memory. Importantly, AR and VR don’t just have the potential to enhance “hard skill” training; they can also enhance soft skill training. Fidelity Investments, for example, has embraced VR training to offer its call center employees empathy training. Akin to a “choose-your-own-adventure”, the training is powered by the Google Daydream headset and transports employees into Fidelity customers’ homes. Once inside customers’ homes, employees are given a view into customers’ homes, including stacks of medical bills on a counter or a customer with medical crutches by her side. Ultimately, employees are empowered to provide support that is laden with empathy and personalization.
Learning and development is long overdue for a makeover. By embracing EI training, AI tools, and AR and VR platforms, you’ll be able to ensure that your employees are set up for success even when the world around them is in constant flux.