TL;DR: Globalization has had a profound impact on workplace learning, expanding its scope and requiring a shift in strategies. We must leverage available tools and transform our approach to meet the future of workplace learning, adapting to changes and delivering quality experiences to retain essential talent.
The Role of Learning in Business
In the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of business, learning plays a vital role in talent retention, collaboration, and productivity. Once we bring talent into our organization, our primary focus is to foster an environment that encourages continuous learning. By guiding our employees on how to perform optimally and navigate the business environment, we can cultivate a culture of collaboration, productivity, and growth.
The Impact of Globalization
Globalization has significantly transformed our world, and it is important to acknowledge its effects before diving into discussions about technology, automation, and artificial intelligence in learning. During the computer automation era of the 1990s, fewer than 445,000 people were online. Today, approximately 3.6 billion people, roughly half of the world’s population, are connected online. This monumental shift has not only expanded our talent pool, offering access to diverse talent in the gig economy, but has also placed new demands on the learning function within organizations.
Adapting Learning to a Globalized Environment
The expansion of businesses and the shift from local to global operations have necessitated a change in how we approach workplace learning. Globalization has brought about a diverse talent pool, encompassing individuals with varied backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. While this diversity enriches the workplace, it also presents unique challenges for learning and development. Organizations must adopt a learning strategy that caters to the diverse needs and learning styles of their employees, fostering inclusivity and cultural understanding.
Integrating Technological Advancements into Learning
As our workforce transitions from humans to augmented humans, and eventually to robots and algorithms, the challenge lies in effectively integrating these changes to provide quality employee experiences and retain essential talent. Modern employees seek personalized, contextual, and relevant learning experiences that offer immediate feedback. Meeting these needs requires a paradigm shift in the Learning & Development (L&D) strategy.
The New Approach to Learning & Development
The revamped L&D strategy should aim to achieve sustainable behavior change faster while delivering increased value. This shift also calls for a reevaluation of the metrics used to assess learning functions. Rather than solely measuring outputs or tangible creations, the focus should shift towards measuring outcomes that demonstrate real-world application and performance improvements.
Harnessing the Power of Learning Tools
Fortunately, the very forces reshaping the workplace, workforce, and the nature of work provide us with tools to enhance the learning function. For instance, Coach M, an Australian AI entity, offers scalable one-on-one coaching at a minimal cost, presenting opportunities for transformative learning experiences within organizations. AI tools like Otto serve as training assistants, facilitating onboarding and knowledge sharing. Moreover, performance algorithms are now integrated into our productivity tools. The recent announcement from Microsoft Ignite regarding the open data source exchange between Microsoft, SAP, and Adobe highlights the potential for transforming data analysis and leveraging people analytics. Additionally, artificial intelligence can be harnessed for instructional design and delivery. Embracing these tools requires a transformation in our mindset, skill set, and tool set.
Embracing Learning in a Globalized World
In conclusion, in the era of globalization, cultivating a learning culture that embraces diversity and leverages technological advancements is essential for organizations to thrive. By adapting learning strategies to cater to the needs of a diverse talent pool and integrating AI tools into the learning function, companies can provide personalized and impactful learning experiences. With a focus on sustainable behavior change and outcome measurement, organizations can ensure continuous growth and success in a globalized and technologically advanced business landscape.