Amid the Great Resignation and the continued strain of the pandemic, employers are looking for myriad ways to keep their employees engaged. For retention's sake and for the purpose of upskilling — especially when there's great turnover — HR professionals need effective learning programs. In many ways, 2021 was the year of no return regarding workplace conduct, structure and employee autonomy. According to Kay Green, founder of learning software company EDesign Consulting, the same employee-first ethos will inform 2022 learning trends.
From her experience, gamifying the learning process at work has been effective. Looking to the year ahead, Green said that micro-learning is the top trend. "We take this approach for two reasons. First, we know that learners face stimulus all day long. Especially in a workplace setting, long periods of lecture or lengthy reading is often hard to accomplish," Green told HR Dive via email. Essentially, employees focusing harder for shorter periods of time creates a learning process that is less monotonous than traditional training — therefore a recipe for success.
Conversely, in a world where remote workers' attention is being pulled in 100 different directions, this approach ensures learning material is more digestible and has longevity. "Part of that involves dissecting content into discernable portions and asking learners to engage with one portion at a time," Green explained. Design, interactivity and games allows learners to master concepts more quickly, she said.
"It also keeps them engaged because they are completing tasks and using the details of a concept to move forward in the course," Green added.
Ensuring that employees are tapped into their work is a challenge many HR professionals are working to surmount. The solution may not be to do away with remote work, but to revamp the hybrid work model instead. Culturally speaking, this digital-first world may be an opportune moment for online training.
"We learned during the pandemic that people crave learning. We took online museum tours, learned new languages, tried new cooking classes — all online. Micro-segments of information became the norm. Regardless of a pandemic or more time at home, the opportunities that emerged are here to stay and learners remain interested in taking on new ideas and lessons," Green said. "As we head into another year, we can capitalize on that energy by helping new employees master remote work and company culture.”