Earlier this week, we had the pleasure of hosting our first webinar of 2016 with special guests: Don Taylor (Long-time veteran of the learning space and currently the Chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute) and Carol Leaman (CEO of Axonify). The webinar focused on the results of a survey, which asked participants to identify the trends that are going to be ‘hot’ in workplace learning this year. Having moderated many of our webinars before, I can easily attest to the fact that this one was highly engaging. The chat window was very active. We had a total of 362 unique comments in a 60 minute session (which averaged out to a comment every 10 seconds!). Clearly, a lot of folks are excited for what 2016 will bring to the world of corporate learning. We are too!

Here are three interesting takeaways from the webinar:

1. Personalization and Collaboration have consistently been important.

axonify-webinar-donald-taylor-trends-2014-2016For the last three years in a row, these two trends have consistently been in the top three results and don’t forget, this is a global survey. What we’re hoping to see this year is a better distinction of the difference between personalized and adaptive learning. If you’ve already started personalizing learning in your organization, you’re certainly on the right track; however, to make learning even more relevant therefore, engaging it has to also be adaptive. From a social/collaborative learning perspective, a real challenge that organizations will face this year (and in the coming years) is knowledge transfer from the baby boomers to the millennials. Does your organization have a way of identifying experts on certain topics? Have you also created a system that allows employees to have easy access to learn from these identified experts?

2. Microlearning is on its way up the hype curve.

axonify-webinar-donald-taylor-hype-cycle
There was a lot of discussion on the webinar about the topic of Microlearning (In fact, we did a whole separate webinar on Microlearning in December of 2015). We anticipate that this year, Microlearning will begin to take center stage as a strategy to deal with knowledge decay and to help with increasing speed to competency. To really get the full value out of Microlearning, you need to combine it with elements of brain science, personalization and proven methods of engagement, like gamification. Toward the end of the webinar, Carol shared stories of organizations that have been successful at driving bottom-line results with this approach to learning.

3. The formula doesn’t need to be complicated. It needs to be focused.

Toward the end of the webinar, an attendee asked a very good question: “How can we embrace, internalize and make happen some of these ‘hot trends’ in our organization – if we haven’t already started?” To this question, Don had a simple formula: Share, play, find and try. Firstly, share and learn from others, ask questions and network with others instead of spending hours researching something. Secondly, play around and try out what you’re going to do in order to get a feel for what it might be like in your environment. Thirdly, find a manager who gets it and is willing to try it out, no need to go big here, you’re just looking to build a case. Trying it out is actually the final step in the process. What we would add at the end here is to center your efforts around a business problem. This way when you’re building a case and presenting it to your stakeholders, you can demonstrate the potential impact on the business.

Which trends are you most excited to see come to life in your organization this year? Which trends are you most afraid of? Tell us below and in case you missed the webinar, you can catch the on-demand version at any time.

Shum Attygalle

Author: Shum Attygalle

Shum is the Digital Marketing Manager at Axonify, which is a fancy way of saying … he doesn’t like to print things. His job is to ensure that any touchpoint that you have with Axonify online (including the words you’re reading right now) are as user-friendly, enjoyable and valuable as possible. If you ever find yourself on an Axonify webinar that Shum is moderating, please don’t hesitate to say hello.

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