A new year usually comes with its boatload of new studies and research on the latest market trends. For many analysts, the learning industry on the cusp of a new age: the ADDIE adolescent has grown into a young adult by dating with HPI (Human Performance Improvement). It is not so much about learning, it is about performance development, or learning effectiveness.

What does it mean for L&D professionals? What are the top 5 factors driving learning effectiveness and performance development?

#1 Employee wellness is a recurrent topic in many conversations.

It is about work/life balance, health & fitness, ergonomics, safety, diversity and inclusion. Selecting the right, cost-efficient compliance programs and curating course offerings are on-going themes for Talent Development professionals in Fortune 500 companies.

#2 Employee engagement is a mandatory pre-requisite of any effective learning intervention.

It is not (anymore) about delivering learning events, it is about the process and outcome. Engaged employees learn every day: before, during and after our learning events. The key words there are “Self-directed learning” and “Retention”.

#3 Knowledge, skills and abilities remain an area of focus.

ATD reports “Linking learning to performance” and “Closing skills gaps” as most influential trending topics. The latest buzzwords are about “Learning tailored to skills”, “Personalization” and “Competency frameworks”. How do we streamline our curricula to achieve this?

#4 Relationship and communication between employees is where learning happens everyday.

“Digital natives hunger for new educational approaches” (Brandon-Hall Group) and 70-20-10 is pushing ahead of the traditional ADDIE-driven blend. As a result, technology vendors are shaping x-API and cmi as the next generation of SCORM (Brandon-Hall). This is another example of how technology and innovation disrupt established paradigms. Other examples include (1) New authoring tools, (2) Mobile, embedded and contextual learning and (3) Structured micro-learning solutions.

#5 Leadership alignment and content relevance result in effective learning.

Many LMS are crammed with courses from a decade of blended learning history; how do we select the golden nuggets of effectiveness? 2016 is about alignment to the business, the active involvement of mid-level leaders and relevance of content to learners. A 2015 study from Raytheon Professional Services and CLO Magazine studied companies using Performance Analytics; they reported that analytics vanguard organizations are able to gain new insights into performance and design effective learning interventions. The outcome? 19% better results in increasing skills & capabilities in the workforce.

Five levers to boost learning effectiveness, five areas to watch, 2016 is going to be an exciting year. Let us make it happen!

What do you think…?




Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not necessarily those of my employer.