Training Industry Trends in 2023: How to Build a Culture of Learning & Growth

The clock is ticking. In just two short years, half of all employees could be left behind if they don't reskill. 

That's according to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report, which highlights the pressing need for companies to embrace the latest training industry trends and create a culture of learning and growth to keep up with the rapidly evolving technological landscape. 

In 2023, the training industry is set to experience a seismic shift, with innovative technologies, new work styles, and a changing workforce driving the need for new approaches to training and development. 

The question is, are you ready to adapt? 

How training is evolving: 5 industry trends to look out for in 2023

As we head into 2023, the training industry is set to undergo significant changes and advancements. 

From the rise of personalized learning to the use of augmented reality and gamification, the following trends are expected to shape the future of training and development.

1. Personalized learning

Imagine you're at a job where you want to learn new skills and grow in your career, but the training opportunities offered by your company feel generic and don't quite hit the mark. It's frustrating because you want to improve, but you're not sure what you should focus on, and it's hard to stay motivated when you don't feel like the training is personalized to you.

Now imagine that your company starts offering training that's tailored to your specific needs, interests, and learning style. You get to choose what you want to learn and how you want to learn it. Suddenly, training feels exciting and relevant, and you're eager to dive in and start developing your skills.

This is the power of personalized learning, and it's a trend that's taking off in the workplace. Companies are realizing that one-size-fits-all training isn't effective, and that employees are more engaged and productive when they have access to training that's tailored to their individual needs.

When training is unfocused, unaccountable, and unplanned, employees feel lost. In fact, CIPD data shows that 72% of organizations report that their employees don't understand why they are engaging in L&D, and 69% don't know how to reflect on what they've learned. To make training meaningful and effective, organizations must work with their people to create an actionable learning plan that delivers relevant training.

By leveraging data and analytics, companies can gain insights into employee performance and behavior, and use that information to create personalized training content. This means that training is not only more effective but also more efficient, engaging, and meaningful.

Personalized learning benefits both employees and organizations. Employees get the opportunity to work on the skills that are most relevant to their career goals and interests, while employers get a more skilled and productive workforce. It's a win-win situation that can help companies future-proof their workforces and improve the overall employee experience.

2. Augmented reality & virtual reality

Augmented reality and virtual reality provide an immersive, interactive learning experience that can simulate real-world scenarios and environments. 

They can be used to train employees on complex or dangerous tasks, as well as provide hands-on experience in situations that are difficult to replicate in real life.

Here are some examples of how AR is being used for job training:

  • Technical skills: AR allows employees to learn about the parts of a product or piece of equipment by seeing inside it and clicking on the elements for explanations. It even allows them to physically interact with virtual objects by rotating or picking them up.
  • Multi-step tasks: AR guides employees through troubleshooting products and repairing equipment by outlining the steps to take and providing real-time feedback.
  • Onboarding: AR gives new employees a virtual tour of the business, shop floor, processes, and more through their phone or tablet.
  • Product knowledge training: With AR, you can provide your employees with a detailed understanding of products, even if they are not physically present. They can see existing or new products and become familiar with all of the components and how they work on their phone, tablet, or headset.

BMW is a great example of a business leveraging the power of an innovative VR training program. Their program is designed to teach employees the latest design and prototyping techniques, and even offers managers a digital training program to transfer their knowledge to the workforce.

It offers employees the opportunity to learn how to set up factories more efficiently through the use of lean manufacturing, and how to create new things with ease. This immersive training experience includes 3D scanning to create a realistic setting, and participant feedback is incorporated to improve the program over time.

Gone are the days of tedious, one-size-fits-all training sessions.

3. Gamification

Who said learning can't be fun? When it comes to training, a dull and unengaging experience won't do anyone any good. That's where gamification comes in!

Gamification is the use of game elements, such as point systems and leaderboards, to make training more engaging and motivating for learners.

By incorporating elements like rewards, badges, and points, training and development gamification provides an exciting and motivating experience for employees. Not only does it make the content more digestible, but it also provides immediate recognition, which encourages employees to strive for more in their training. 

AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company, didn't let their sales staff get bored during the training process for a new range of medicines. They created a gamified training program, 'Go-to-Jupiter', to get everyone excited about the upcoming product launch.

The game featured cool features like leaderboards, team competitions, and levels, complete with incentives like rewards, to engage the sales staff. Results were tracked in real-time, which was a hit with participants who completed the program at a staggering 95% rate. Engagement rates were also sky-high at 97%, and some employees even completed the program after hours, which demonstrates their motivation to learn.

So, why settle for boring when you can make learning a game?

4. Microlearning

"Learning in bite-sized pieces makes the transfer of learning from the classroom to the desk 17% more efficient."

- Journal of Applied Psychology (2017)

Microlearning is the delivery of small, bite-sized chunks of training content that can be consumed quickly and easily. 

In 2023, microlearning will become more prevalent as organizations look for ways to deliver training in a way that fits into employees' busy schedules. 

Microlearning in employee training:

  • Boosts motivation: Microlearning sparks curiosity and keeps employees motivated to keep learning.
  • Enhances engagement & knowledge retention: Microlearning allows for innovative and engaging ways to transfer knowledge.
  • Facilitates flexibility: Shorter learning solutions are more manageable to update, keeping information up-to-date.
  • Effortless accessibility: Bite-sized learning activities are easy to fit into busy schedules, making it convenient to gain knowledge and new skills.

This approach to learning can be effective for reinforcing knowledge, delivering just-in-time training, and improving overall learning outcomes.

Google's learning and development team wanted to create a psychologically safe team culture, but they didn't want to rely on a traditional classroom environment. So, they created a "whisper course" – a form of microlearning that sends a nudge or whisper to a manager packaged as a series of emails.

Each message contained a suggestion for a manager to try during team meetings and 1:1 sessions. For example, one whisper encouraged managers to start their feedback with a positive comment, like "That's a really thought-provoking point that you brought up because...."

The result? Google managers who participated in the ten-week program improved their behavior in this area by 22-40% compared to a control group. And, thanks to the program's success, microlearning has been rolled out to cover other topics like inclusion and coaching.

5. Mobile Learning

Mobile learning (mLearning) is a flexible and convenient way to access training content anytime and anywhere. 

With people spending over five hours a day on their smartphones, mLearning has become increasingly popular for organizations to provide on-the-go learning, just-in-time training, and support for remote workers. 

Here are some benefits of mLearning:

  • Learn anytime, anywhere: mLearning is accessible from anywhere, making it convenient and time-efficient for employees.
  • Nurtures employee development: mLearning gives employees the freedom to train at their own pace, resulting in better engagement, increased knowledge retention, and completion rates.
  • Fosters collaborative learning: mLearning allows for on-the-job collaboration through quick group chats or messaging for on-the-go help.
  • Boosts employee morale: Bite-sized learning breaks down training into smaller sections, making it easy to learn key concepts and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Enhances flexibility: mLearning is a better way to coordinate learning for a team that spans different countries, reducing the need for in-person training sessions.
  • Cuts costs: mLearning saves money by using existing content and making it mobile-friendly. This eliminates the need for developing new training or hiring administrators for on-site training.

Organizations, like Merrill, have already seen the benefits of mLearning, with employees spending 45%-80% less time in training, averaging higher completion rates, and retaining knowledge just as well as traditional training methods. By adopting mLearning, organizations can improve employee engagement, knowledge retention, and performance.

How to incorporate these training industry trends (with actionable tips!)

As we ease into the new year, creating a culture of learning and growth within your organization is more important than ever. 

Not only does it benefit your employees, but it also helps to drive business results. By fostering an environment where learning is encouraged and supported, you can increase employee engagement, motivation, and retention. 

So, to help you achieve this, we've compiled some effective strategies that you can implement in your organization.

Start at the top

The leadership team plays a crucial role in creating a culture of learning and growth in the workplace. To get everyone on board, executives need to lead by example and make learning a top priority. 

By actively participating in training programs and demonstrating their support for employee development, leaders can inspire their teams to invest in their own growth and achieve their full potential.

💡Pro Tip: Meet with leadership to present data on employee development's value, identify skill gaps, and develop a plan with formal and informal learning opportunities. Involve leaders and encourage their participation as role models.

Make learning continuous

In 2023, organizations are breaking away from outdated training programs and embracing a more dynamic approach to employee development. By providing continuous opportunities for growth, companies can keep their workforce engaged and up-to-date with the latest skills and knowledge. 

Forget about yearly training that leaves employees bored and disengaged. Instead, expect to see a rise in microlearning, personalized coaching and mentoring, on-the-job experiences, and other exciting informal learning opportunities. It's time to take your learning game to the next level!

💡Pro Tip: Create a continuous learning roadmap with formal and informal opportunities like online courses, workshops, mentorship, and on-the-job experiences. Encourage individual goal setting and progress tracking. Use feedback and recognition to motivate. Evaluate with data to meet business goals.

Embrace technology

Technology can play a key role in building a culture of learning and growth. In 2023, organizations will increasingly use learning management systems, virtual classrooms, and other technologies to deliver training content and support ongoing learning. These tools can also be used to track employee progress and provide personalized learning experiences.

Consider using a service delivery platform, like Profi, to create and deliver professional-quality courses and landing pages, as well as to track progress and handle billing and payments. With Profi, you can deliver interactive online training through hybrid and blended learning experiences, and even grow your training business by offering sessions, packages, and memberships.

💡Pro Tip: Choose technology tools that align with your learning goals. Use a training management platform, virtual classrooms, and interactive online training for engagement. Measure the effectiveness of initiatives with data analytics and invest in ongoing IT training to adapt to new technologies and trends.

Foster a collaborative learning environment

Collaboration is an essential element of a culture of learning and growth. To create a thriving learning culture, organizations are turning to social learning tools, like online discussion forums and learning experience platforms. 

By harnessing the power of peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing, employees are empowered to learn from one another, share their expertise, and become more engaged in their work. 

So why wait? Start building your collaborative learning environment today and watch your workforce thrive!

💡Pro Tip: Foster a collaborative learning environment by using online discussion forums, peer mentoring programs, and team-based projects. Set clear expectations and reward employees who contribute. Regularly evaluate and adjust to ensure goals are met.

Measure the impact

In 2023, data is not just a buzzword, it's a vital tool for building a culture of learning and growth. By using data and analytics to measure the impact of training programs, organizations can ensure that their training efforts are driving results. 

From employee engagement to knowledge retention and job performance, tracking these metrics will provide insights into what's working and what's not. This way, organizations can fine-tune their training programs to maximize their impact and create a workforce that's not just skilled but also driven to succeed.

💡Pro Tip: Define clear goals and metrics before implementing a training program. Identify KPIs that align with business objectives, use data and analytics to track progress and regularly evaluate training initiatives based on KPIs. Adjust your approach as needed and communicate the impact of training to stakeholders to secure continued investment.

Is your organization falling behind? Stay ahead with the latest training industry trends

Now, take a moment to reflect on the importance of building a culture of learning and growth within your organization. Ask yourself, are you doing all you can to support and develop your employees? 

By taking action to implement the latest training industry trends and best practices, you can unlock the potential of your workforce to drive business results. With a culture of learning and growth, your team will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate a rapidly changing business landscape, stay motivated, and exceed expectations. 

Investing in your employees is investing in the future of your organization.


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