Learning is essential. If you’re not learning something and then figuring out ways to implement it, then you’re only growing outdated. For an organisation to remain competitive, its employees must be able to learn and adapt with the speed of technological advancement.

Organisations continue to site a skills gap as one of their top challenges. Finding talent who not only has the current skills needed, but can quickly develop those needed as the business evolves is an ongoing problem.

Instead of hiring externally, which can be costly and upset the key performers who are looking to advance, companies are investing more in learning programs today than ever before. And no longer does a one-size approach work in today’s mobile, flexible, and diverse workplace. Programs must be targeted, easily accessible, and must match pace with the individual learner.

Here are three key trends that are happening in the world of learning and development that your organisation should be aware of:

1. Executive and leadership learning

It always starts at the top. The ability to influence and coach is growing in popularity. Sure, these skillsets were always key, but with a younger generation that won’t be led simply by hierarchy and wants to understand their contribution in the larger context of the organisations, senior leaders must be able to openly communicate and lead by influence.

A Forbes report showed that the majority of corporate training dollars continues to be spent on management and leadership programs.

And as more millennials filter upward through the organisation, their ability to lead strategically, across the globe, will be critical to future success.

2. elearning and mlearning

While live, instructor-led training has many benefits (opportunities for question and answers; discussions; role-play and interactive, team-based learning, to name just a few), this can’t be the only method of delivery.

Not all employees learn the same way or at the same pace. And not all employees can be in the same location at the same time. As more teams become virtual and are located in different geographies, organisations are now employing digital architects to create platforms that will allow employees to learn at their own pace and at various times throughout the day/week.

elearning Teaching a specific topic or body of knowledge, typically delivered on a computer or laptop where the learner remains until the module is completed.

mlearning A specific topic or body of knowledge that is designed to be delivered (and consumed) in a short span of time and the learner can access the information on a mobile device whenever and wherever needed.

We have been working with one client recently who has hired digital architects to help with the above but these architects won’t be tied to any one specific function. Now multiple business units or support functions will have access to these employee skillsets to try and improve their employee population learning experience/make it more exciting. HR can definitely leverage this type of arrangement and should be at the forefront.Supply vs demand

3. Supply & Demand

Ten years ago, L&D experts were in it for the love of learning. It was seen as a dead-end career path of curriculum design and classroom training. But not anymore. It’s a viable career path to the top just like any other HR specialisation as today’s HR leaders need to have a breadth of experiences within (and sometimes outside of) HR.

As our search history can validate, most organisations are looking for learning experts with ten or more years of experience to lead this rising high-profile function and those interested in learning and wanting to help enable career growth within an organisation have a bright future ahead of them.

The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them. – Zig Ziglar, American author, salesman, and motivational speaker.