Future of WorkHr Library

The Role of Learning and Development in 2030: Four Emerging Trends

Source | www-myhrfuture-com.cdn.ampproject.org | Caroline Styr

In the latest series of the Digital HR Leaders podcast, we spoke with five leading thinkers in the Learning and Development (L&D) space. From academics and thought leaders to practitioners and vendors, four recurring themes emerged about the future of learning over the next 10 years:

  1. Learning will be central to redefining the nature of work, ensuring talent agility above all else

  2. The business impact of learning is better understood as learning and work become firmly intertwined

  3. Learning breaks out of a vertical silo and instead has impact across the business

  4. To sustain remote learning, new technologies like VR will increase in popularity 

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Learning is trying to figure out what matters now, this is what we were good at yesterday but is this what we need to do now? That kind of transformational learning requires not just putting aside, but actually subverting the logic of efficiency which is a religion in the way we design and run organisations.”

Gianpiero Petriglieri: Episode 42

Currently, workers are struggling to connect the dots between learning and work. With one survey of knowledge workers in Europe suggesting that only 43% of the workforce believe their learning has a moderate impact on their work. Over one-third say there’s limited impact – or none at all – on work.

But in 2020, it has become abundantly clear that learning is at the very core of employability and ensuring the right work gets done at the right time by organisations. Thousands of workers around the world have had to take on new tasks and responsibilities, whether it’s in factories that shifts from their usual production line to manufacturing ventilators, or the mounting need for call centre operators.

The rapid repurposing of talent we have witnessed in 2020 is not about to slow down. In fact, the 2020 Future of Jobs report from the World Economic Forum showcases how another major disruptor of roles and responsibilities – automation – will drive colossal change over the next five years, creating 97 million new jobs and disrupting 85 million jobs in the process. That’s a lot of change over the next half-decade. 

Work is now about agility – the ability to adapt, take on new roles quickly and efficiently, all in service of shifting customer needs. Learning is at the core of this, as it enables “workforce resilience” and “guided reinvention,” in the words of Vidya Krishnan. Simon Brown, CLO at Novartis, said “Work becomes, […] constantly trying to figure out a way through ambiguity and figure out the best way.” This means that the workforce can no longer rely on pre-existing knowledge, but must figure out how to continuously learn, be curious and retain a critical mindset. This then becomes a set of skills to be honed, that help people manage and drive continuous learning and change.

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