2021 was a rollercoaster ride for the business world with more ups and downs than Disney’s Space Mountain. As we move into 2022, no one truly knows whether this ride will end. But we can combine our experience with logic to foresee some of the learning trends we’ll continue to see, especially with workforce training.

This blog post will look ahead at the top learning trends that we can expect to see in 2022.

Hybrid Training is an Inevitable Trend

Even though there is an increased employee demand for flexible training options, 68% of organizations don’t have plans for hybrid training. This is quite a surprising percentage considering that workforce training trends continue to prove there is an employee demand for hybrid training.

Companies not willing to meet the demand will find themselves dealing with a range of issues. In-person training sessions will be met with resistance and many attendees will not show up. Training managers will feel as if they are banging their heads against a proverbial wall.

Of course, that’s not to say that hybrid training doesn’t come without some obstacles. Participants expect the same experience as they would get from an in-person session. Plus there are always a select few who will simply check the box that they completed their training session without even looking at a single module.

You’ll need to plan to build a successful training program. Use precise messaging and the content must be designed specifically for hybrid learning. You also need a system of accountability.

Learning Experience Has Become Just as Important as the Content Itself

Everyone learns differently so taking that into account is the first step. Training programs should be designed with an experience-first mindset. In other words, learning programs must be focused on the overall learning experience of each user. That way, everyone has some wiggle room in how they process the information.

One of the key workforce training trends is to identify the audience who will participate, find their preferred learning path, and create the training program based on that path. While the content itself is important, getting individuals to engage with that content is how they learn. Users expect content that is relevant, engaging, and accessible.

Once that learning path is identified, add the content at the optimal moments. This must be done in a way that provides feedback and content at each teachable moment all while guiding the individual from one key point to the next.

I cannot emphasize the word “engaging” enough here because if the content is dry and boring, then the learning experience will suffer.

Workflow Learning is the Future of Training

One way to improve the learner-experience is workflow learning. Rather than dumping a large volume at individuals and expecting them to consume it within a limited timeframe, workflow learning focuses more on creating packages with three specific goals.

  • Packets of information that are designed with a user’s time limitations in mind.
  • Information broken down into segments so that interruptions will not hinder the learning experience.
  • Lessons capable of consumption in smaller doses that give the user time to process the information.

We’ve all been in a situation where we have a ton of information thrown at us and then expected to learn it in a short amount of time. That’s the equivalent of the grand marketing ploy of throwing money against a wall and hoping it sticks. It might work in rare cases, but it’s not efficient.

Creating content with workflow learning in mind allows the user to process the information. Furthermore, it gives them an easy way to access the correct resources when they need it most.

Diversity is Not a Trend; It’s Just Good Business

We’ve all come across companies that are just awful in their lack of diversity. These places are not fun to interact with, much less work for. Diversity starts from the ground and is consistent all the way to the top.

That includes diversity shown in training. Those companies mentioned above try their best to hide their lack of diversity through colorful tokenism photos and fancy covers. In 2021, we saw companies get exposed for doing that. Innovative top companies actually create a diverse work environment and ensure all the elements support it through all their training, whether it’s through character’s names, gender pronouns, settings, accents, photos, input from affinity groups, vendor selection, etc. The details do matter.

Inclusion doesn’t stop at race or gender either. It means allowing for diversity in the way people learn, adapt, and think. We can’t even call this a learning trend. Diversity is just good business.

Hybrid Workforce Training Trends Place an Emphasis on Accessibility

Supporting the way people learn, accessibility continues in importance and more organizations are finally adapting to WCAG AA and local laws. With diversity at the forefront, 2022 will be the year where more technology is developed specifically to meet accessibility needs. Finally we can have an improvement to the often-manual process for creating courses that can be accessed by all.

When designing a learning program, it will be important to create more customizable options to meet everyone’s unique needs. Besides the minimum WCAG elements, expect to see added emphasis on things like visuals like colors and fonts.

However, users also expect to access vital information from their devices as well. That means one must place an emphasis on ensuring that training is accessible through smartphones and tablets. This requires additional planning and testing ahead of implementation. For 2022, think broadly and more far-reaching about accessibility.

Adaptive Learning Ecosystems Are a Requirement

All of the learning trends we’ve discussed so far lead us to this one. In order to meet the requirements that are expected in today’s business world, creating an adaptive learning ecosystem will be an advantage. That means developing learning systems (i.e. trackable interconnected learning assets from things like videos, LMS, curated content etc.) that are built on a learning platform that allows a wide range of individuals to access it.

Design it in a way that still delivers the same end result while allowing the user to access it a number of different ways. Businesses can no longer afford to rely solely on a single content library. They must develop a process that guides users from one piece of information to the other all while ensuring that there as many ways to access that information as possible.

Learning Trends Lean Toward Flexibility

Flexibility is key to building an effective learning system. That’s why all workforce training trends that we expect to see in 2022 all tend to lean heavily in favor of creating more flexible systems.

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