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What’s the future of work – and why should learning leaders care?

Simply put, the future of work is about how work will get done over the next decade, influenced by tech, generational, and social shifts. To remain competitive in the face of rapid change, organizations of all sizes must continue to reimagine how work gets done – from shifting business models to fully embracing remote and hybrid work. And of course, learning leaders need to respond to and anticipate the changes so that their organizations can attract, retain, and grow their workforce – this is what we call the future of learning.

This blog post discusses how learning leaders can best navigate the future work – so their people and businesses thrive.

6 Major Trends Within the Future of Work

To stay relevant and competitive, organizations need to find ways to keep up or risk leaving behind.  

Let’s look at the major trends we’re seeing in the Future of Work and talk about some leveraging points organizations can access to do two things: keep themselves attractive to top talent and empower their workforce to develop and grow.

We’ve narrowed it down to six main categories that reflect what we see in the marketplace.

  1. Tech-Enabled Everything

It should be no surprise that we see a rapid acceleration of automation. The pandemic has increased the trend toward a shift of labor from humans to machines.

According to the World Economic Forum, this shift toward automation will displace 85 million jobs by 2025 and create 97 million new jobs over the same time span.

This is where upskilling in the workplace takes on a whole new relevance. We’re seeing more and more evidence of this as companies like Amazon announce infusing massive investments into upskilling and training their employees. Because, as we know, it’s better for company culture as well as the company bottom line to keep and retrain than to fire and rehire. 

 

  1. Remote and Hybrid Workforces

It’s no secret today’s workers strongly prefer to work from home.  LinkedIn Learning reports that 81% of executives are changing their workforce policies to offer employees greater flexibility. However, the growing concern is how to promote inter-office connection, culture, and learning when colleagues are not working face-to-face daily. 

At Regis, we’re seeing an increase in online learning that is re-focused on building community and connection so that both remote and hybrid employees feel they’re part of a team and not just faces on a screen.

 

  1. Generational Shifts

Gen Z makes up the cohort of workers who are currently in their early to mid-20s, and this group is distinct in that they ask for a different way of working and learning as they enter the workforce. 

69% of Gen Z’s are carving out more time for themselves to learn, and so it follows that upskilling is the number one value for this generation. Gen Z employees also focus more on developing hard skills (like coding Python and learning market foundations) than soft skills.

 

  1. Learning & Innovation

All organizations like to talk about innovation, but what does it mean?  Our clients are saying innovation means reimagining learning programs so they can: 

  • attract the best talent
  • be seen as an employer of choice
  • create and bring products to market faster than competitors
  • stay relevant over long periods

 

  1. Flexibility & Agility

Flexible, agile, resilient, and adaptable are all words to describe the kinds of organizations that can keep in step with the future of work. However, these assets are not just buzzwords, they have to be part of the organizational policies and practices that keep strategies and teams fresh and relevant.

This means that people need to develop flexibility and agility, and so do organizations. 

 

  1. DEI & Intentional Culture

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the fundamental foundation for employees to feel safe and valued in the workplace.

Google’s 2012 Project Aristotle dug deep into DEI & Intentional Culture and came out with some highly relevant insights: Psychological safety allows team members to feel comfortable taking risks and speaking their minds which brings about real advancements.

Employees, current and prospective, are calling for growth and purpose, flexibility, and overall well-being. Organizations are working to answer these calls, grappling with the urgent challenge of future-proofing their organization. 

The results?  Organizations are better equipped to attract key talent, upskill their employees, and improve retention and employee satisfaction.  

This idea goes hand-in-hand with a sense of dependability, structure, clarity, and a strong understanding of the meaning and impact of the work. Each category is a leveraging point for strong and innovative workplace communities.

The Connection Between the Future of Work and the Future of Learning

The future of learning is about preparing employees and learners for a rapidly changing world. This will factor into hiring and retention and involve upskilling in the workplace. Learning can become the leveraging point for the six emerging trends listed above.

Navigating uncertainty and staying relevant in a rapidly changing world comes down to keeping up with relevant information and necessary skills through learning.

Whether your organization is upskilling and reskilling to adapt to new tech, responding to generational changes, or looking to instill DEI and intentional workplace culture, bringing about opportunities for immersive learning is the ideal way to move these goals forward.

The Future is Now – Best Practices For Today and Tomorrow

Business success depends on people learning and doing more, faster.

And at The Regis Company,  that’s what we make happen. Through simulations, we solve the gap between conceptually understanding how to do something and actively understanding how to do it through real-world practice.

In this way, they learn from their failures with low-risk outcomes, refine their problem-solving abilities, and develop critical and system thinking skills. Most importantly, the employees learn how they can contribute to the business in far less time.

We’ve cracked the code to make experiential and simulation learning scalable and affordable for everyone, not just large companies.

Want to learn how your organization can skyrocket learning through simulations?

We’d be delighted to show you. Book your ask-us-anything call right here.