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    The Need to Innovate Workforce Training

    By Roman Gokhman of Train by Cell

    According to a new LinkedIn report, an increasing number of corporations are focusing on employee learning and development as one of their core improvement strategies. As employee development takes center stage, employers are realizing that not all employees process information in the same way and at the same time. This, in turn, has led to a surge in mobile microlearning.

    Employee development is key to gaining a competitive advantage. LinkedIn sought insights from 500 learning and development (L&D) professionals throughout North America to prioritize trends and challenges in the workplace.

    Following are the top five learning and Development trends they discovered in 2017:

    • Companies will invest more in talent development. Nearly 70 percent of L&D professionals say that talent is the number-one corporate priority. One-fourth will also expect to see their companies raise L&D budgets.
    • Companies will define and structure learning and development differently. Two-thirds of respondents indicated their companies centralize L&D, while the remainder spread it across human resources, business operations, customer service, sales, marketing, engineering and finance. Smaller companies focus L&D efforts on training on technical skills, while larger companies focus on soft skills.
    • Executives want to develop employees (80 percent of respondents) but have difficulty defining its business value with limited budgets, small team size and a gap in understanding ROI to blame.
    • Proving value to employees will be equally important and challenging. Employees need to set aside time that they do not have. Many now demand that L&D be presented in modern formats using up-to-date technology.
    • Most L&D professionals see room for improvement in their programs. One-quarter of those surveyed would recommend their companies’ learning programs to peers.

    The four most-common skills taught by L&D professionals are leadership (52 percent), career development and soft skills (44 percent), customer service (40 percent) and compliance training (37 percent).

    Small companies (defined as having fewer than 1,000 employees) are likely to use L&D services that vary from those of larger companies. Roughly 58 percent of large organizations focus on the development of managers (compared to 51 percent of small companies). Larger companies are also more likely to support the career development of employees (40 percent compared to 36 percent). But smaller organizations are more likely to help employees develop technical skills (44 percent compared to 35 percent for larger companies).

    Employees also vary in their preferences for how and when they want to learn new skills:

    • 52 percent – at the point of need
    • 47 percent – evenings and weekends
    • 42 percent – at their office desks
    • 30 percent – when alerted by updates
    • 27 percent – during their commute

    Already, 7 out of 10 organizations are beginning to incorporate video-based training to their learning cultures. LinkedIn recommended that L&D managers continue the swell by providing learning opportunities in modern, innovative ways.

    “Learning is not always a scheduled activity that falls perfectly into a learning program,” according to the report. “Sell your capabilities with the user in mind.”

    We at Train by Cell agree. We developed mobile web-friendly and text-messaging platforms with changing employee preferences in mind. Engaging your workforce directly—when they’re on the go, away from their desk or even lack an email address—can be possible with the right tools. Almost any communications need from sending a text message or email campaign to using two-way text messaging or building a responsive mobile website to even “burst learning” via SMS is possible to keep you in close touch with your workforce and continuing to meet their learning needs.

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