Organizations have New Year’s Resolutions, too! It can be exceeding target sales or rolling a new product to beat the competition, but one thing’s for sure – having the right learning strategies and training protocols in place will help organizations to reach their goals faster and with more impact. 

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2023 trends in training and development

So, what are the top trends in training to adopt in 2023? Implementing these five best practices into your company’s learning programs, and thinking about them in new ways, can get your team prepared for any obstacle coming their way.

1. Microlearning

What worker has time to do training when there’s already so much work to do in the day? Squeezing employee training or continued education into a busy schedule does increase the load for your employees, whether you’re delivering eLearning or instructor-led training courses. eLearning is convenient, ILT or vILT, more of a commitment. But, the power of Instructor-Led Training is well known and organizations are delivering more of it, according to a recent study by Brandon Hall Group. Either way, organizations can ease the load by looking for ways to make all training more successful for their employees.

Microlearning aims to utilize bite-size learning chunks delivered in the form of short videos or quick interactive exercises that can be completed over a set period. Used as a part of a larger training strategy, with your eLearning courses and even your in-person or virtual classroom courses, microlearning can be implemented using the convenience of mobile learning and the gamification of mobile apps. 

How will microlearning impact employee training in 2023?

Microlearning isn’t a new phenomenon. Psychologists have already confirmed the effectiveness of how spaced learning can transform mountains of learning material into smaller, more manageable pieces of information consumed over set periods of time. From the usage of flashcards to the Pomodoro technique, there’s a reason why your professor reminded you not to cram before the night of an exam. The same concept applies to continued education for seasoned workers or onboarding new employees onto your team.

The microlearning learning method runs parallel with the increasing popularity of short video media found on TikTok, YouTube’s Shorts, Instagram’s Stories, and quick discussion videos released on current LXP and LMS platforms. As opposed to long videos spanning several minutes, the 30-second or less video length allows users to consume and retain information from media about as fast as it takes a goldfish to look away. 

While there was initial worry at first of the average attention span decreasing, L&D teams and training managers had an opportunity to adopt one of the most effective learning models for their courses. The reason? Employees don’t focus as well as they have in the past two years. Amidst the multiple distractions in the remote/hybrid workplace, studies showed that employees were 65% more engaged in the learning material when using short-form video/lecture as opposed to video instruction of longer lengths.

How to use Microlearning as part of your training program

The best benefit of incorporating microlearning as a part of a company training program is that it can improve learner retention and trainer efficacy. On one hand, by implementing microlearning prior to the course, learners can begin to develop a grasp of the material before the ILT/vILT session and come to the course better prepared. And after the course, it can help reinforce and further develop the desired skills or material for deeper impact.

Implementing microlearning can be managed in several ways, depending on the course type. The Learning Management System (LMS) does the heavy lifting when it comes to eLearning. But for ILT/vILT, the Training Resource Management System (TRMS), is a powerful tool in the training manager’s arsenal. By giving instructors a better way to collaborate with the back-office team, and training managers an easier way to schedule sessions and resources, we can expect successful completion rates of course material and reduced administrative time duplicating and re-scheduling those courses that are on repeat.

2. Reskilling and Upskilling

Reskilling and upskilling employee talent was on our radar last year for our 2022 mid-report but we wanted to include it as yet another major priority early on for the new year. From disgruntled airline staff to financial services professionals, 2023 will be another year where the employee will be the deciding factor in company performance. Similar to how the operating system and software on our phones and computers need to be perfected with an update, so too must the skills and expertise of your company’s employees. 

How will reskilling and upskilling affect employee training in 2023?

Employees are the backbone to the success of a company. As essential as they are to the daily operations of the business this means their well-being must be attended to on a regular basis by HR team members and their managers to ensure that they don’t feel stagnated, overworked, and taken for value.

How does valuing an employee translate to regularly training an employee for new skills and sharpening old ones? According to a recent study by Harvard Business School, employees found job satisfaction when they developed a sense of belonging to their employer. We’re not just talking about an employee value proposition that comes with a comfortable salary, retirement package and office perks. We’re talking about the impact that a company’s culture has on valuing its employees and seeing them as an integral part of the company. In addition to that mindset, companies will need to shift focus on how their HR and L&D teams will focus on engaging individually with their employees on their needs, wants and aspirations while they’re with the company. Training teams will need to focus on their employees’ short-term goals like broadening their skill set and long-term goals like moving into leadership roles. 

How to reskill and upskill employees using a TMS

Most HR software that focuses primarily on onboarding is keen on using the typical 30, 60 and 90-day dashboards to illustrate employee-centered goals. When implementing reskilling or upskilling training programs for employees, the process is very similar but may require sophisticated workarounds when measuring which employees need further training on specific skills, need to broaden their skill set, and helping to distinguish who is due for re-certification or renewal.

A training management system like Training Orchestra allows department managers, schedulers, and L&D to fully optimize a training protocol geared towards reskilling and upskilling – enabling them to get the job done faster and easier. For example, with just a few clicks, training facilitators can utilize templates to schedule reoccurring trainings dedicated to continued education and certification programs, while capturing all related costs.

But employee education in the workplace in 2023 doesn’t stop there. A solid TMS allows L&D teams to make learning a perpetual endeavor. After completion of designated courses, the TMS helps training admins to:

  • Set milestone and tasks in conjunction with training timelines set forth by management.
  • Track the expiration of certifications, so you can act fast and prepare employees for the next round of training.
  • Get automated alerts when required certifications renewals and expirations are approaching

3. Augmented Reality

What is augmented reality learning? Augmented reality (AR) learning adds interactive digital learning elements via selected technology while staying within the learner’s in-person learning environment. Employees training within an AR training module will utilize smartphones or tablets with specific training software and interact in simulated work situations with their physical surroundings. 

Remember the popular mobile game Pokemon Go? The mobile game serves as possibly the definitive example of an AR application:  Users navigate their actual physical surroundings but capture Pokemon via their phone’s simulated environment around them. The same concept would apply when training managers decide to implement AR learning programs as a part of their instructor-led training courses.

How will Augmented Reality affect employee training in 2023?

L&D’s want the most value for their money when it comes to investing in new learning technology and it makes sense why training managers have scrutinized it so much in recent years. A recent Brandon Hall study found that training teams were spending up to 27% on learning technology in the experimental phase alone which included everything from new LMS platforms to virtual reality consoles. 

AR training technology platforms will be most impactful in roles that require a significant amount of interaction with other personnel and workplace settings that call for the usage of specific tools and machinery. Medical personnel for instance utilize AR learning technology to improve their patient interaction and diagnosing skills. In AR simulations, emergency services or nurses in continued education use AR to look at injured personnel via their tablet. implementing augmented reality in training

AR training simulations will continually improve to be the most beneficial for those training in professions related to manufacturing and engineering and biotechnology. Engineers, technicians, and scientists receiving in-person instruction courses can learn how specific machinery or tools are used simply by raising their tablet and pointing to the object of focus. The software on the tablet continues the AR lesson for the learner by explaining important on-the-job training material about how to use specific objects in their new work setting and specific functions. AR learning will add more efficiency for companies looking to train, reskill, and upskill large numbers of employees, especially with a shortage of instructors in all industries in 2023.

AR training sessions aren’t new, but with a gradual return of manufacturing jobs and the healthcare industry’s need to fill a 40,000 job deficit, it won’t be surprising when manufacturing plants and hospitals look to implement AR training within their hybrid learning or instructor-led training programs. 

How to manage resources for your augmented reality training sessions

Adding AR learning modules to your training program can be an exciting addition towards onboarding or continuing training programs. Most L&D and training managers within training companies may have some complications managing the logistics of getting an augmented reality course up and running. AR learning courses are very resource intensive as they require tablets, smartphones, workspace reservations, and even multiple licenses for AR software. 

Before setting a schedule for your courses and instructors, ensure that you have adequate AR learning resources to make this type of learning experience possible. Within your TMS, be sure to provide detailed notes to your instructors about course materials needed and ensure their availability. Within Training Orchestra, augmented reality learning assets like tablets and smartphones and their associated costs can be easily tracked and managed in conjunction with assigning instructors and setting course schedules.

4. Remote Work

Expect 2023 to be the year of the remote worker. Despite layoffs and hiring freezes from the largest companies, working from anywhere will be a part of the new normal for most work cultures. Despite disdain from business owners letting employees work from home as far back as 2017, the past two years have produced the most successful case study on remote work culture from employee’s increased productivity to the extinction of the company’s office lease. A double win.

How will remote work affect employee training in 2023?

New opportunities for employees have become new challenges for training managers. While remote workers are expected to go full digital nomad, training administrators will now be tested on how well they can facilitate onboarding training and continued learning across multiple time zones.

How to manage and schedule training for a remote company

Managing training for fully remote companies means managing a global team of professionals. With a company of hundreds spread out across different time zones, it can seem like an impossible task for the typical L&D organization, and even most training companies to manage such a global operation.

The primary issue for training admin teams in managing a remote company’s training program has always been centered on the tediousness of scheduling. L&D and training companies will find it difficult to find qualified instructors in the learner’s time zone that can also teach in their preferred language not because they’re away from the computer but because of the tediousness of the scheduling process. Typically done using respective spreadsheets for instructors and calendars, training managers are expected to spend up to three times the amount of time pairing instructors to courses, resources and learners for remote training programs in 2023. 

Most TMS packages have standard course and instructor-paired scheduling but lack the features to make finding the right instructor simpler. A modern training resource management system contains advanced filtering which lets administrators match instructors to vILT courses based on criteria including attendee availability, training budgets, geographical location, skills and qualifications.

Specially designed for the remote training environment, modern TMS software like Training Orchestra, includes an instructor engagement portal that allows L&D team members to communicate directly with instructors on content, calendar and issues. It can also allow trainers to respond to a “call for tender” on available and open teaching opportunities. The feature proves to be highly beneficial for global teams with multiple departments as it can allow training managers to quickly source the most qualified instructors within the employee’s geographical location and allow instructors to raise their hands and say “I’d like to teach that course!

That’s a double win!

5. Outsourcing Jobs

If 2022 was the year of layoffs then 2023 will paradoxically be the year of another hiring frenzy. The only catch is that these job postings won’t be catered as much to those living in North America and the EU but more so to skilled talent in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Admitting their fault in the last quarter of 2022, several bigtech CEOs have laid off up to 15,000 jobs for having too many employees on payroll. Although the cutting of jobs occurred across all departments, the majority of positions axed included developers, designers, and engineering roles, much of which command a high median salary. 

How will outsourced jobs affect employee training in 2023?

Strategic sourcing of low-cost and quality talent will play a critical role in company training practices for 2023. To reduce operational costs even further, we expect companies to begin integrating managed learning services (MLS) to reduce in-house training costs they’ll be spending on continued education for employees, if any. Regardless of the industry, outsourcing will play a vital role in keeping the engine running for companies of any size. With new products, services and technologies left abruptly at a standstill, companies will start to scrutinize ways to maximize their operating and training budgets to full potential.

While it may be the duty of HR to screen contractors abroad, the success of outsourced talent will fall on the company’s training team. Whether the companies give the reins to an MLS or decide to manage onboarding training via their own L&D, the training team will need ensure that outsourced talent meets the standards of the company and company’s industry regulations. The main challenge for HR and L&D will be to evaluate the return of investment in acquiring, onboarding and training talent amidst a strict operating budget and training gap. This means companies will now more than ever need to invest in making every step of the employee integration funnel as seamless and exciting as possible. Employees acquired through strategic sourcing will need a thorough plan laid out by training managers or the contracted training company. 

How a TMS Can Play a Vital Role in Onboarding and Training Outsourced Talent 

Training Orchestra perfects the course scheduling system as it is the only TMS designed to schedule and manage training projects for all companies regardless of industry. Managing onboarding and department expectations for outsourced team members have long been a challenge even for the most seasoned training managers. However, before any kind of instruction begins, training managers need to evaluate if they have the right tools for the trade to lead a robust program.

Most training scheduling software is usually catered towards instructor-to-course matching for internal company training. Software based on this model works however most training managers forget to factor in industry-specific training regulations and any certifications/license programs that need to be acquired for new team members abroad. For example, professionals working in transportation and logistics are required to have clearance from their country’s department of commerce in addition to a license from the Association of Supply Chain Management.

To provide a seamless integration to assigned projects and departments, training managers can create and customize training programs for outsourced talent within the parent company’s LMS. This allows training leaders to align with company goals and expectations for outsourced onboarding and training without having to reinvent the wheel. To make sure both global and internal team members are aligned on training expectations, training managers can mirror training project dashboards so they’re not stuck doing additional administrative work like adding the same training goals, ILT and vILT courses, and even the same training tasks for other team members.

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