Is technology eliminating the Learning & Development role in corporations?

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You must have seen in many of the previous posts by yourtrainingedge.com [1]the revolutions taking place in corporate learning and development brought about advancement in technology. Being a modern and highly diversified entity, today’s corporations are keener than ever before to utilize the best available technology for planning, executing and monitoring their employees’ training and development. And the great thing is that most of the newer technologies being launched in this regard are increasingly cost effective as well. Is it really a good news for the businesses or is it invisibly diminishing the learning and development role by providing employees technological ease & functionalities in their respective department? Would technology eliminate the need of employee learning and development in corporation? Let’s explore this debate here.

Research published in MIT by Erik Brynjolfsson shows that increasing specialization of workforce skills has greatly influenced the entire economy[2]. Firstly, it is affecting the jobs. A study issued by Oxford University in 2013[3] stated that around 50 percent of the jobs we have today in learning and development would be eliminated by next 10 years. Jobs in law, accounting and service and most of the white-collar jobs seem under the risk of being either eliminated or radically amended by technology. Secondly, there is an impact on earnings, consequently. As stated by Peter Robinson in Bloomberg[4] in one of his 2012 articles, almost 93 percent of economic growth we observed in the latest economic recovery went to just 1 percent of the U.S. population.

There is going to be endless number of issues for training, learning and development today; technical skills, managerial and teamwork skills, and personal development skills. In 2015, we saw that content proliferated like never before. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and the content marketplaces, for example OpenSesame and Udemy, are resulting in a huge new world of online content. You are essentially required to familiarize yourself with all these alternatives and ensure you are leveraging these as well. Triggered by multicultural and global nature of business, face-to-face learning and development also has its place. Corporations are redefining and developing new corporate universities to bring global teams at one place and ensure their connections and culture are as sturdy as their learning content.

Finally, it is the era to dispose of the old ideas regarding e-learning and think of an integrated digital learning experience[5]. When employees need to learn something they are not familiar with, they are now able to find a relevant video, blog, take an online course or even access an app on their smartphone that might include a game and evaluation to help them learn. The learning and development technologies are now quite similar to the technologies for the consumer Internet, and corporations can utilize all these tools for building strongly integrated solutions. Corporations are now more focusing on developing a complete learning and development experience through technology, including developing a learning culture, taking people together to meet one another and leaders, and modernizing their digital learning. Online videos are now setting the standard and Millennials who come to work in the corporation would look for similar systems.

Technology has indeed unleashed infinite possibilities for improvement and growth in the fields. Computers are getting more portable and personal, software is now more intuitive and smarter and employees are starting to grasp an in-built potential the technology provides. Somehow or the other, it has affected the learning and development role in corporations, leading the training and human resource managers to redefine their learning and training strategies in accordance with at-hand technologies[6].

The dollar is carrying less weight and so it is carefully allocated where learning and development managers expect it would result in greatest return. The sad thing is how rarely this investment is assigned to employee. Infrastructure is critical for many corporations, as is R&D (Research and Development), and others. Taka a supply chain view of the skills, recognizing that it often consumers a number of years for an employee to develop deep skills in his or her role in the corporation[7]. Career development plans, competency based evaluation, job rotations and simulations are increasingly popular and important. With technology, the time elapsed between learning and performing is reduced and this learning and development role in corporations needs to focus technology.

There are various inherent risks in terms of future of learning but also unlimited opportunities to change the nature of how employees gain and practically apply knowledge. Corporations, with the knack for learning technology innovation, smooth integration of content and technology and an understanding of how employees are connected with internal and external environments would create amazing learning platforms for their workforce. These corporations would then be able to develop learning and development programs that involve technology innovations.

[1] Yourtrainingedge.com
[2]https://www.shrm.org/publications/hrmagazine/editorialcontent/2015/010215/pages/010215-hr-prediction-four.aspx
[3] http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf
[4] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-10-02/top-1-got-93-of-income-growth-as-rich-poor-gap-widened
[5] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/state-training-development-future-learning-looks-bright-brent-yonk
[6] http://dupress.com/articles/hc-trends-2014-corporate-learning-redefined/
[7] https://elearningindustry.com/10-reasons-why-you-should-invest-in-corporate-elearning

Copyright 2016 Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.

Bryant Nielson – Managing Director of CapitalWave Inc.– Being a big believer in Technology Enabled Learning, Bryant seeks to create awareness, motivate adoption and engage organizations and people in the changing business of education. Bryant is a entrepreneur, trainer, and strategic training adviser for many organizations. Bryant’s business career has been based on his results-oriented style of empowering the individual.
Learn more about Bryant at LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bryantnielson

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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes. For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive. Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City. He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should 'engage and inspire' students to greater productivity and performance.