Training Trends for 2014: Global Business

Part Two of a series reviewing 2013 from a training perspective and the training trends we can expect to see in 2014. Part One by Tracy Cox can be found here.

This has been a year for training evolution, not revolution.

We saw many companies come to understand that changing behavior through training is a long-term investment. Leaders realized that achieving optimal training results sometimes requires a shift in methods. These leaders began seeking out and implementing training solutions that deliver content in the way learners are best able to consume and retain it. This is great news for both learners and their organizations.

Particularly in the retail and automotive industries, we saw increased focus on three interesting trends: workplace coaching, video-on-demand training sessions and mobile learning methods.

• Workplace coaching. In the competitive retail sector, training goals and objectives are often closely tied to organizational key performance indicators (KPIs), and recently, workplace coaching has become a popular way to boost productivity in real time in these environments. In coaching scenarios, learners have the opportunity to observe and ask questions – as training professionals identify and remedy weaknesses that may be limiting performance. Given the tactic’s growing success, industry leaders predict coaching will continue to expand into 2014.

• Training-on-demand. Whether for entertainment, learning, or reference, video is an established part of our daily lives. As such, it is no surprise that video-on-demand has made its way into training and marketing strategies. Video-on-demand allows learners to consume information on their own terms (when it’s convenient for them, on a device they’re comfortable with) and brings dynamic material to life.

Notably, we have seen many organizations benefit from sharing training videos directly with consumers. The training videos we provide for our team can be shared with end-users. We’ve found that – particularly for dealerships in the automotive industry – this practice effectively allows organizations to “train up” their customers and creates a more knowledgeable consumer base. Of particular interest is the ingenious application of ubiquitous social media video platforms, such as YouTube or Vimeo. YouTube has become an invaluable training library for team members and customers.

In 2014, there’s no doubt training professionals will continue enriching the learning process through video-on-demand, and they will likely find new ways to enhance the end-user experience. However, there are more questions than answers right now about the future of consumer-facing videos, and we’re looking forward to further discussion in the New Year.

• Mobile learning. The adoption of mobile learning was another hot topic in 2013. It is one more example of organizations listening to their learners and working closely with training professionals to deliver content via preferred channels. It is not going away in 2014.

The training industry will see e-learning and e-coaching methodologies incorporated across several industries.

What are your thoughts on Piet-Jan’s assessment of 2013 and predictions for 2014? What do you think were the biggest training trends in 2013?

Piet-Jan Van Gerwen is EMEA Director of Business Development Commercial Segment for Raytheon Professional Services LLC (RPS). He is responsible for expanding RPS’ business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Piet-Jan has spent the last 25 years in the learning industry leading various areas of the training value chain, including learning design and development, training operations and learning technology.