Elliott Masie’s Learning 2018: The Changing Workforce

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Changing learning needs and learning performance were key topics at Learning 2018.

It is no secret that the world of work is quickly changing. And between fast advancements in technology, increasing customer demands and multiple generations working together, so too are the needs of today’s employees—a key topic covered at Elliott Masie’s Learning 2018 conference.

One of the most basic human needs is the desire to continue to grow and evolve—something that’s become especially important based on the unprecedented change taking place in today’s modern workplace—and that’s exactly what the Learning 2018 conference is helping learning leaders do. Almost two thousand have gathered in Orlando, Florida this year to learn about the various ways they can continue to support their teams, colleagues and the organization as a whole.

With his remarks during Learning 2018’s opening general session, Elliott Masie, a renowned educational technology expert, futurist, analyst, and speaker set the stage for the conference by asking attendees to reflect on how our learning needs have changed. How do we like to learn today and what learning modalities do we need to let go?

Personally, I find myself moving away from methods of learning like traditional books and PDFs methods towards experiences, whether that is a short video or an audio snippet covering a topic of interest.

And this seems to be true for all modern learners today. Masie shared that there are five main ways modern learners like to be engaged:

  1. Learners aren’t memorizing anymore. As learning leaders, we need to think of different ways that allow our teams to be able to receive learning content when they need it because we know they are no longer likely to memorize a specific process or policy.
  2. Learners like to watch rather than read. This fact has been backed up by research which shows that 70% of millennial YouTube users think of the platform as a trusted learning source.
  3. Learners prefer a format that’s just in time vs. just in case. Traditional learning functions would ensure content is available for the learner in the event they would need it, however, our learners are now looking to receive learning at the point of need, so they can better perform in their roles.
  4. As learning leaders, we need to become comfortable with delivering a good curriculum, knowing that learners have the ability to go online and learn more about their desired topic. In today’s knowledge economy, search engines help us uncover information about any topic of interest, however in the workforce, we expect to be our learners’ only source of information and that needs to change.
  5. Compliance remains the same but out delivery doesn’t. For those of us who work in highly regulated industries like financial services or healthcare, compliance training is still required, but this doesn’t mean that it needs to be boring.

Another key insight that has been ringing throughout the conference is the notion of learning for performance. Learning has always been focused on enhancing an employee’s skills, knowledge, and behaviors. Given the fast pace of change, high turnover in organizations, and millennials making up the largest portion of today’s workforce, there is an innate thirst for knowledge with a purpose. Employees are focused on adding value and making an impact on their organizations. Learning has now become a tool that allows them to enhance certain components of their day-to-day job, so they can continue to strive towards high performance within their organizations.

As Former First Lady Laura W. Bush, who delivered the conference’s first guest keynote, said, “the choices we make now will shape the world for the next generation” and as learning leaders, we have the power but also the responsibility to shape our organizations for years to come.

How are you using learning to support your changing workforce? Modern learning is a team sport. Check out our playbook for achieving organizational alignment so you can create a winning culture that makes learning a core component of your corporate DNA.

Read the playbook