How key trends in HR are shaping the future of learning technology

20 Mar, 2014



A recent report by Deloitte named employee retention and engagement as key concerns for businesses in 2014 and beyond. As economic growth creates new levels of competition for top performers in the life sciences, maths, engineering and technology (amongst others), HR organizations will shift their focus from cost reduction to engagement and development.


Companies already spend more than $130 billion on training and development worldwide, and this figure is set to grow from 2014 onwards. Employees will more than ever seek leadership and development opportunities, and a meaningful, rewarding work experience. 85% of the businesses surveyed in Deloitte’s report emphasized the urgent need to develop global leaders, who are “innovative, experienced in the business, and ready to make decisions quickly and with rigour” .


Only 14% of companies surveyed said they already did an excellent job developing global leaders, and the majority of respondents cited the readiness gap as a key challenge for the future. Innovative, strategic solutions will be required to meet the challenge of developing 21st century leadership, which goes beyond mastery of business skills to the development of global acumen, and a robust and visionary outlook. Multilingualism in particular will become increasingly important among senior leadership, and corporate language training is a growing trend.


Companies will move towards innovative online learning platforms, as traditional training methods fail to deliver the levels of engagement, growth and cost effectiveness businesses seek. More than two thirds of the companies surveyed in Deloitte’s Human Capital report said they saw this trend as urgent, yet only a small number believe they have mastered the technological capabilities needed to deliver a compelling online learning tool.


Immersive Learning Environments (ILEs), which provide live online training in 3D virtual environments, are one solution that is gaining traction in the corporate world. Recognised as effective tools for boosting engagement and morale, immersive learning platforms blend the principles of gaming dynamics, social networking, and motivational science to enhance learner experience and responsiveness. The value for organisations is clear: improved problem-solving, collaboration and knowledge retention, and clear analytics to demonstrate user performance.


Example of an Immersive Learning Environment


When targeted at millenials, such platforms represent a tool that will be intuitively grasped. 88% of 18-24 year-olds play a digital game more than once a month, and many will have ‘grown up digital’, using gaming and digital technologies from an early age. SAP, AETNA, Deloitte, Siemens and Verizon have all adopted gamification to enhance training and user experience, and others such as Google, Marriott and PriceWaterhouseCoopershave employed gamification techniques for recruitment. Corporations within the oil and gas industry, shipping, aviation and the military have all been early adopters of gamified training solutions, which are a natural fit with technically-oriented businesses. As developers refine online offerings and the concept gains momentum within learning and development departments, ILEs and gamified programmes offer more and more possibilities for meeting the challenge of developing future global leadership.