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3 Workplace Learning and Development Trends for 2020 and Beyond

While no HR professional has a crystal ball, it is possible to fairly anticipate what an effective organization might look like in the years to come. And one consistent theme is the importance of employee development.

That’s why we wanted to kick off a new year of HR Break Room™ by sitting down with one of our favorite recurring guests, Dickens Aubourg, Paycom’s director of client learning, to discuss his thoughts on the current state of workplace learning and development and what to expect in the new decade. Here are three takeaways from that episode.

Coworking talking about training

1. Employees expect learning

It’s certainly no secret learning and development are vital to the continued health and growth of an organization. But that need for growth isn’t just organizational; it’s human. In fact, LinkedIn research suggests employees rate learning opportunities as one of their top reasons for taking (or remaining in) a position.

The numbers show what we already know on an intuitive level: Without growth, we stagnate in ideas, innovation and performance.

Employees watching training

2. Upskilling is here to stay

Among the factors driving the increasing value of employee learning is the changing nature of work itself. Automation and other technological advances create more demand for skilled and specialized work as more traditional roles become outdated.

Expect terms like “upskilling” and “reskilling” to become familiar fixtures of the corporate lexicon in the next decade. But also realize that, regardless of terminology, an employer’s ability to provide workers with newer and more relevant skills – for example, through paid training programs, conferences or microlearning – will be at a premium.

Engaged employees watching video

3. All employees can – and should – be learners

When we think of professional development as an employee need, younger workers may come to mind first. And for good reason: Nearly nine in 10 millennials have cited career learning and development opportunities as particularly important, according to Gallup.

But don’t forget older workers. Chances are good you’ve already heard the term “five-generation workforce.” One is never too old to learn, and employees on the upper end of the workplace age spectrum have much to contribute to their organizations. In other words, keep in mind everything we’ve covered here – personal and professional growth, upskilling, reskilling – applies to employees of all ages.

And of course, you can be a learner, too. Regularly listening to podcasts on HR-oriented topics is a great place to start, so don’t forget to check out episode 77 of HR Break Room!