Posted by Caveo Learning ● December 28, 2016

Learning Leaders on 2016's Positive Developments in L&D

As part of our Interviews with Learning Leaders series, we asked some of the learning & development industry's cutting-edge thought leaders about emerging trends and innovations that caught their eye in 2016. Here are their answers.

Marc Zoerb, Project Manager, PAREXEL International Corp.

marc_zoerb.jpgThe evolution of training keeps me excited and engaged about this particular industry—the constant evolution of the thought processes behind how employees learn and perform, and the supporting technologies that enable it. Some big changes are occurring, specifically related to the transformation of the L&D function from a more traditional model—sending employees off to training centers or building training rooms within corporate office buildings—to eLearning, moving the training closer to where the workers are actually performing the work and being able to take it from the comfort of their workspace. But now we are moving even more into embedding it into the workflow, where performance support becomes even more crucial than it has been in the past, especially given the rate of change in the marketplace. It is a constant evolution of trying to help our employees perform more effectively and at higher levels. That really excites me.

Chad Venable, Director of Enterprise IT Training, AmerisourceBergen

chad_venable.jpgEveryone these days wants to learn from a video. I call it the "YouTube-ization" of learning. So many people now go watch a YouTube video on how to repair their clothes dryer. You’ll see them post on their Facebook page, "I watched a five-minute YouTube video, and I saved myself $100 by changing some part out of my dryer!" And I personally have done it with simple auto repair. People have really become conditioned to this, "I can watch this, and I can do this myself." And I find it interesting because it’s not a screen-cam technology. My focus is always systems. Screen cams have been around almost as long as I’ve been doing trainings: 18 years. I knew people that liked it, and a lot of places used it. Deployment was challenging because the videos themselves can be sizeable, especially if they have any kind of fidelity and decent audio. So how do you get it to the users? Where do you store it? Do we have the network infrastructure to allow it to be played back? I think the increased use and reliance on cloud-based technologies over the past few years has really helped with adoption of video training.

Kris Kern Stark, Senior Instructional Designer, Kohl's Department Stores

kris_kern_stark.jpgI love that, more and more, development is at the table. We are becoming a core part of the corporate culture. Development is a necessity no matter where you’re at. Even if you’re in a tough retail culture, development is what’s going to make your employees more successful, so you still need it. It used to be one of the first things that would go out the door. It’s not anymore—it’s really becoming a core part of a smart company. I love that.

I also love the innovation I’m seeing with different experiences and how we’re able to do so much more. I can build a whiteboard animation on my own in a few hours, instead of paying thousands of dollars and working many weeks with a vendor. Or, working with software that allows me to build things, whether mobile or on computer—that kind of innovation makes our job so much easier.

Angela Siegfried, Training Consultant, Nationwide Insurance

angela_siegfried.jpgWe need to think about the new learner. When I say that, I’m not just talking about the college graduates coming into the workforce, but at all levels. There continues to be a trend of being mobile and global in what we deliver, and I expect we will see more of it. I remember the years when we first started talking about eLearning and it was kind of foreign to us. And now it's as though it's on steroids, and we need to find out what works and how we can get things more quickly to our learners at all levels, whether it’s leadership development, sales, or technical training.

Holly Engler, Manager of Organizational Effectiveness, Sears Holdings Corp.

holly_engler.jpgProcesses are becoming more dynamic, more democratized, more datified, and more fluid. Finally, we are seeing the trend toward designing processes for associates, instead of exclusively for managers and leaders. One of the examples I always give is the engagement survey. When you do an engagement survey, you never go back to the associate and tell them what their score is. You never say, “Holly, you’re 32% engaged. Here are some things you can do about that.” You aggregate it at the team level, you roll it up to your senior leaders who sit on it for a couple of months, to figure out what they’re going to do to touch the masses—which, by the way, is probably not going to engage me as an individual, because you’re not accounting for my individual contribution in that overall engagement score. And I’m probably not going to do anything differently to engage myself, because I don’t know what I can do because I don’t really have a sense of what my personal engagement is. And so we’re seeing this trend of democratizing the data, giving it back to associates so that they can get started without their managers.

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Topics: Interviews with Learning Leaders