Predictions on Learning Management Trends in 2019

This is a guest post by So-Young Kang. She is the Founder and CEO of Gnowbe. She is a serial entrepreneur as Founding Chairman of Awaken Group. So-Young has spoken at and written for forums including the World Economic Forum (WEF), Davos, World Bank, Asia Development Bank, Global Education and Skills Forum, Huffington Post, TEDx, HRTech, EdTech and mobile SaaS tech conferences in nearly every continent. She is a nominated Young Global Leader by WEF and was formerly with McKinsey, Citibank, and holds a Harvard MBA and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Here are 5 key trends that we are seeing from Silicon Valley to Singapore as we meet with global Chief Learning Officers (CLOs), HR Managers and organizations.

1. Mobile-first, not mobile-responsive

Learning is no longer about being mobile-accessible or just mobile-responsive.

Companies, and most importantly, employees know the difference between something designed for learning on-the-go and something that was adapted to mobile usage from a primarily web-based design.

Mobile-first design assumes the learner is on-the-go so the content is designed in micro, bite-sized pieces with a lot of participation and engagement.

It takes advantage of chat, texting, selfie’s and invites greater participation by employees.

Surveys have shown that 70% of learners were more motivated to learn using mobile devices.[1] Many pioneering organizations who get this are experiencing 10-15x higher engagement levels with mobile-first experiences.

2.  Experiential, gamified and participatory

The days of distributing content to employees through a primarily push model where they click through long videos on their desktops while multi-tasking (assuming they even do this themselves) is coming to an end. Learning is no longer just about content delivery.

It’s about the learner experience.

Digital learning is evolving to expand beyond just content to the fuller 70-20-10[2] training models where employees can be tasked to participate and apply their learning.

In a recent example with a global sales training company, managers observed a 29% improvement in desired behaviors for their sales team using a sales program in gnowbe which was observed on-the-job.

3. Group-based

Social, peer-based learning is not only a new buzz word.

It’s the way employees want to engage with each other which is why apps like Slack are really taking off. Teams need ways to better communicate and engage with each other.

Learning is no longer just an individual lonely experience.

Research shows that learning is more effective when done in groups where dialogue, debate and peer feedback can take place.

Group-based learning enables the sharing of best practices.

It also increases accountability to act on what was shared.

For example, if I commit to being a better listener in my leadership course online and share that with my colleagues in a group board, then I am more willing to follow through on my commitments and change my behavior.

4. Skills-based

At this year’s Davos 2019, one of the key themes was on the future of work and skills.

Companies and leaders are recognizing the need to elevate learning beyond just ‘knowing’ and ‘attending’ workshops.

The focus is rapidly shifting to understanding the skills needed to perform certain roles.

These skills are a combination of technical, soft skills and industry knowledge.

The definition of skills is also expanding to include knowledge, mindsets, capabilities and attitudes.

Companies that are at the forefront to prepare their employees for the future of work are proactively starting to map out the key jobs they need, the skills required to do these jobs and then finding the appropriate training and scalable delivery platforms to close these gaps.

5. Integrated data, multiple systems

Enterprise solutions require quality data to make good decisions.

Given that, there has been pressure by many companies to design their own custom integrated solution to ensure data is kept in the same place.

While this trend goes back and forth, recently there seems to be a shift away from a single, integrated solution to the idea of networked solutions.

Companies are realizing that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to systems end up not being the best at any one thing except optimizing for data.

Integrated HR and LMS systems with learning experience solutions is the new trend where companies can experience the best of both worlds – the data they need to make good decisions while getting the best solutions for the specific needs they have which could be learner experience, content authoring tools and/or reporting dashboard.

HR business leaders are recognizing the power of APIs and integrating across systems which provides much greater flexibility.

The great news is that some providers understand the difference and are actively partnering with innovative HR Tech startups in areas like mobile-first learning experience platforms to integrate with.

The trend has started.

Given these 5 trends, Gnowbe has been one of the pioneers in advocating for Digital Learning 2.0, the age of MPPG (mobile-first, participatory, personalized, group-based) learning.

We believe that learning should be an active experience that results in developing skills and driving business outcomes.

Digital learning does not have to be limited to the 10% anymore from the 70-20-10 model of learning.

It can extend to application on-the-job which is what our clients are experiencing from sales training to coaching to onboarding to product training which improves employee productivity and confidence to do a great job.

The future of work will increasingly rely on HR/Learning practitioners who can link learning to business outcomes.

Exciting times ahead for learning and HR.

About Gnowbe:

Gnowbe is disrupting the future of talent and work through a mobile-first, microlearning and employee experience solution. Clients are experiencing greater learning impact through measurable, data-backed outcomes and scaling their learning at lower cost across the employee lifecycle from onboarding, compliance, product, sales and leadership training. Gnowbe is proud to be part of‘s accelerator and is currently working with some global players like KPMG, Mercer, Adecco and Navitas.

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