Top 7 Learning and Performance Industry Trends for 2020

With the onset of a new decade, the learning and performance industry continues to make great strides in the advancement of learning innovation. With the focus on technology, individualized learning and immersive experiences, there is a greater demand for higher quality, effectiveness and measurability of learning outcomes for organizations across all verticals. These trends will strengthen organizations’ learning ecosystems enabling a more productive organizational approach to learning success. The following are KnowledgeWorks Global Ltd. top 7 learning and performance industry trends for 2020.

2020 Trends

Workforce Skills Enablement

We  have seen over the last several years, challenges for organizations to onboard new employees quickly to ensure speed to productivity. However, speed does not always translate to accuracy or retention. The average skillset is considered outdated by the third year of employment, if the employee stays in the same position or does not leave the company. Many organizations are looking to revise their competency models to ensure skillsets are updated and applied with applicable technologies. Once organizations have identified gaps, we will see more movement in the industry for upskilling workforces in 2020, including engaging and practice-based blended learning. Cross-skilling is an essential focal strategy for organizations to retain employees and to ensure the advancement of business and employee growth. Upskilling will be more predominant as technology reaches global markets (such as Africa) that now can leverage eLearning, microlearning and blended solutions to advance learners by providing knowledge on demand.

Mobile Learning Advancement

With the continued urgency for mobile-accessible learning, we will see advancements in 2020 for better designed and responsive content. Industry reports estimate that 7 billion internet users will access the web via mobile devices by 2021. Understanding the impact of this projection, L&D leaders need to address user experience ensuring quality design, content responsiveness and device compatibilities, keeping in mind that the learning needs to be designed successfully for our mobile workforce. The increase in mobile apps that we are seeing in the industry facilitates organizations’ ability to provide instant access to required knowledge, upskill and therefore increase productivity of employees and contractors. Additionally, the industry will see a substantial increase in cloud-based mobile app development providing organizations reduced hosting expenses, increased efficiency, and server reliability resulting in faster and more dependable availability for learners.

Curation Enrichment

Now more than ever, industry leaders have access to an abundance of knowledge at their fingertips. Too often, unplanned business requirements receive high priority and L&D teams need to respond quickly, usually without adequate resources, time or budgets. However, this scenario will continue as businesses adjust to changing economies. With the influx of training requirements and an ever-evolving workforce, it is challenging for organizations to make the time to evaluate all types of learning that should be available. This year, we will see the rise of better and more accurate curation of content. The focus will be on quality and effectiveness throughout the content transformation process for organizations. Learning leaders will look for more data feeds with strategic partners to target learning and knowledge-based topics. Additionally, we will see more self-driven content from learners, enabling them to take ownership of their learning journeys through continuous learning improvement. 2020 is the year of quality curation yielding effective learning.

Learning Analytics and Data

In 2020 organizations will focus more on analytics to enhance the effectiveness of employee and customer learning. We have seen throughout last year, companies that include analysis of learning data in their strategic performance planning are more productive and better at retaining employees. Still it is challenging to know what tools to use and how to analyze the data effectively. With emerging Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, organizations are able to have better visibility into performance analytics. Whether it is search engines using AI to help learners find relevant information, AI chatbots to help productivity, or Learner experience platforms to make intelligent learning recommendations, we will see organizations gaining better visibility into learner data and therefore improving instructional design and performance outcomes.

Augmented Reality and Learning

The industry has witnessed the emergence of Augmented Reality (AR) used in learning over the last couple of years. More companies are seeing the benefits as it relates to product, process and client training. With industries and verticals such as healthcare, automotive, military, architecture, and sales, the possibilities for engaging learning at the forefront of L&D strategy is a growing trend for 2020. Organizations are using augmented reality to increase efficiency and productivity. AR displays a computer-generated 3D visual on the learners’ device that is superimposed over an image or object enabling them to obtain required knowledge instantly. The medical and automotive fields are adopting this technology and will continue to lead throughout 2020. Additionally, virtual reality will continue to grow throughout the coming years and will soon be inclusive of learning strategies for emerging organizations.

Personalized Learning

As more people enter the modern workforce, so do the expectations for personalized learning. Preferences for how people learn are strongly influenced by technology. We will see a continued demand for this type of influence as today’s learners want to be collaborative in deciding what they learn and how quickly they need to learn. Industry reports indicate that 87% of millennials are in the workforce currently and expect their employers to provide engaging learning, while 43% of GenZ workers prefer independent learning. The advances in technology have provided the gateway for personalized learning. Throughout this year, we will see an increase of learning platforms providing the technology for learner progress that directly updates the learner’s roadmap. This approach will advance the personalization of learning for all generations of workers.

Experiential Learning and Engagement

Experiential user design (UX) has emerged as a necessity for the growth and development of our modern workforce. Incorporating real business scenarios enables learners to practice business-specific tasks required of them to perform their jobs and demonstrate competencies. Simulation training and role-play are examples of experiential learning, where employees have to work on hypothetical yet real-world scenarios and provide realistic solutions. More focus will be on bridging the gap between business processes and system training ensuring a complete immersive experience for learners. Advances in microLearning, gamification, adaptive and mobile learning will enable organizations to provide realistic and engaging learning which is designed to improve learner’s skills and performance on the job. Experiential learning is a trend that many organizations will continue to implement and leverage new technology capabilities’ as part of upskilling and personalized learning.

To find out more about these trends and how KnowledgeWorks Global Ltd. can provide you the solutions to enhance your learner engagement and ROI, please contact: