Current Trends, Sustainability, Technology In HR And LMS Domain

An IIM Lucknow alumnus, Amit was associated with Upside for 16 years now, prior to which he held the role of Senior Systems Analyst at Infosys Technologies.

Digital transformation and innovation has become commonplace in today’s corporate landscape,affecting every business function, including Human Resources (HR) and Learning & Development (L&D). In this article, I explore the latest trends, sustainability and emerging technologies in HR and L&D domains.

Each new year brings with it a bout of newer trends, workplace disruptions and an ever increasing demand for new skills, largely driven by emerging technologies and innovations, with a promise of transforming organizational HR and employee Learning & Development (L&D) just a little bit each time.

Given the rising focus of organizations to future-proof their workforce and achieve long-term sustainability, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise if HR and employee L&D achieve a stronger footing in India’s corporate landscape. And, with the global eLearning market on a growth trajectory, it is up to businesses to get ahead of the curve, and start planning and strategizing to leverage the newest trends for the coming years.

Current HR & Learning Technology (LMS) Trends
The future of HR and L&D demands agility and a transformed and ever evolving approach to workforce skilling and talent management. Just like online shopping and video streaming, today we have access to knowledge and learning anytime-anywhere at the click of a button. This ease of access, coupled with advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation technology, has given rise to a flurry of emerging trends.

HR and L&D leaders are the ones who help drive the company culture to achieve long-term sustainability by integrating company values into leadership and workforce training

Here are four key HR and LMS trends that are set to gain a stronger foothold in 2020-
1.Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Gartner suggests that AI bots will power 85 percent customer service interactions in 2020 and 20 percent business (training) content will be created by AI. AI continues to enable HR and L&D leaders to deliver employee training through innovative LMS solutions that were unheard before. And, with the availability of limitless amount of data in organizations waiting for analysis to draw actionable insights, there is no doubt that AI will have a massive impact on L&D. Few common benefits of leveraging AI-powered LMS solutions in training include, content development, training need analysis, natural language processing, virtual instructor, tracking and feedback, among others.

2.Learning Analytics
Led by the overwhelming amount of data organizations now possess, it has become a business priority to analyze that data and evolve the business in today’s fast changing digital landscape. And, one of the industries where analytics is quickly making a huge difference is the learning industry.

Learning analytics (via the LMS) has become a major driver of improving learner experiences, and hence L&D outcomes. Today, 80 percent of organizations use or are set to use learning analytics as per a research study by IDG.

Enterprises, governments, educational institutions and SMBs alike, who have had tons of data, are finally starting to join the dots between data and insights using learning analytics.

3.Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs)
Today, organizations are able to automate and track learning activities across diverse touch points anywhere and in real time, which has clearly elevated the expectations from employee skilling programs. And, HR and L&D professionals are welcoming the technological transformation, including the introduction and emergence of the Learning Experience Platform (LXP). Although the LMS reigns supreme in terms of providing proven learning delivery mechanisms, the LXP offers a newer experience for the modern learners that expect simple, efficient and engaging learning environments.

4.Online Content Libraries
With the urgency of employee skilling at its peak across industries and learning technology solutions like the LMS and LXP driving the effectiveness of eLearning content, the necessity to get tangible results is increasingly becoming business critical. With more focus on the employees’ learning experiences and their professional development, HR and L&D professionals have more to gain from leveraging solutions that ensure the success of their eLearning project, and one of the few solutions to have proven highly effective in this case are Online Content Libraries like Plethora, Skillsoft, BizLibrary, Learning Planet and more.

5.HR,L&D & Sustainability
By now it should be clear that if businesses don’t transform (digitally), they will most likely get left behind and lose relevancy, let alone the competitive advantage. On one hand, this transformation involves creating a lasting digital strategy; it also applies to addressing the challenges pertaining to the people, organizations culture, and long-term goals. Likewise, embracing change and disruptions is a key component to keep in-sync with the industry trajectory.

Today, there is hardly any ‘term’ more critical for businesses than ‘sustainability’. Over the past decade or so, businesses have continued to overlook and sometimes even ignore the alarm bells rung by the unprecedented changes brought about by Industrial 4.0. But, considering the significance of these challenges, businesses no longer enjoy the luxury of choice. And, I believe, HR and L&D leaders have a major role to play in addressing some of these challenges.

Sustainability, either cross-functional or organizational, goes hand in hand with the company culture, where the importance of a well-formed company culture cannot be overstated. Culture represents the soul of an organization, the way operations and processes are set within, how engaged the workforce is, and how employees perceive their role, growth and future in the organization.

HR and L&D are the necessary building blocks when aiming for sustainability as HR work with the management to align the processes and operations with the company values and culture. HR and L&D leaders are the ones who help drive the company culture to achieve long-term sustainability by integrating company values into leadership and workforce training, which, in-turn, reinforces the desired culture.

Likewise, sustainability in HR and L&D is as critical. With emerging technologies, disrupted workplaces and today’s digital savvy employees, organizations find themselves at crossroads in terms of finding the right talent, nurturing talent as well as retaining talent. A sure-fire way for HR to achieve competitive advantage in an age where talent holds all the cards is through ‘agility’. Sustainability in HR and L&D can only be achieved when the two functions continue to meet recruitment, development and performance management demands in tandem with the agile business processes employed by the organization.

Irrespective of current trends, emerging technologies and sustainability challenges, the prerogative rests with the leadership to empower and galvanize HR and L&D to embrace an ever evolving role in the organization. It is critical, now more than ever, for HR and L&D to stay informed and adept with transformation taking place across the business as well as the domain; including the adoption of innovative technologies, reshaping processes to align with business goals to drive efficiency, productivity and the desired business growth.