Preparing for the Evolving L&D Landscape in 2024

Person putting out wooden bricks on a desk with the year "2024" written at the top of them.

Three L&D experts, Tommy Richardson, Kyile Stair and Dr. Jill Stefaniak, share their predictions and advice for 2024, stressing the importance of AI training, time-sensitive training, and keeping up to date with evolving regulatory landscapes

Employee demand for corporate training opportunities has been rising steadily over the past few years. With 76% of employees being more likely to stay with a company that offers continuous training than one that does not, continuous training has become more of a “need” than a “want.” As over 57% of Americans anticipate major job changes in 2024, this continues to be a distinguisher in the job market, as the value of employee training is clearer than ever.

2023 was a whirlwind for businesses, regardless of industry. Learning and Development (L&D) professionals felt this tenfold, with both employees and leaders needing to adapt to the rapid changes affecting their roles and this article focuses on the needs for the year ahead.

Employers must meet employee expectations for AI training

Tommy Richardson, Chief Product & Technology Officer at Litmos, contributes to this article that according to a new report by Forrester, AI will affect millions of  U.S. jobs; and while many employees fear that AI will replace their roles, these numbers are more about augmentation than replacement. As AI technologies become increasingly integrated into various industries, employees will soon be required to possess the skills and knowledge to work alongside AI systems seamlessly.

Proper training can bridge the gap between the promise of generative AI and its practical implementation. Although 86% of employees believe they require training on how to harness AI, many have reported not receiving the training they expected as companies started increasing the use of AI. Several factors contribute to this discrepancy: lack of in-house expertise, resource constraints, ineffective training models, ROI concerns, and competing training priorities.

In light of these challenges, it’s imperative for organizations to recognize the importance of AI training and to invest strategically in it. Companies that prioritize a culture of continuous learning and adaptability will be better positioned to navigate the transformative impact of AI, fostering an environment where employees are not only equipped to work alongside AI systems but also excited about the opportunities it presents for personal and professional growth.

L&D professionals should rely on just-in-time training for time-sensitive issues

Dr. Jill Stefaniak, Chief Learning Officer at Litmos, continues the predictions, highlighting that a record-high number of employees are experiencing burnout, with 77% reporting having experienced it at their current workplace. As this number increases year-over-year, is it reasonable to expect today’s workforce to carve hours out of their day to complete their training on top of their existing workloads? Nevertheless, training is not optional; and with rapid changes affecting industries at a wide scale, employees must have access to the training opportunities necessary to adapt to these changes.

One method L&D professionals should consider is just-in-time training: a time-sensitive form of training that allows employees to access information as soon as they need it. This is a great way to provide easily digestible training materials that feature only the information necessary to tackle a specific issue or topic. With this method, organizations can avoid contributing to employee burnout by providing a way for employees to learn in a condensed, but still highly effective, format.

Considering the number of changes businesses faced in 2023, 2024 is sure to bring a few surprises. By establishing a framework for just-in-time training and anticipating scenarios that may require this training, L&D professionals can stay a few steps ahead of any changes. That way, when the time comes, they will be prepared to develop just-in-time training materials that deliver all necessary information without overwhelming employees.

An engaging compliance training program is necessary to navigating evolving regulatory landscapes

Kyile Stair, Chief People Officer at Litmos, finishes the forward looking view by saying that according to Brandon Hall, 37% of organizations don’t prioritize compliance training. Whether it is from a lack of time, technology, or resources to offer an effective compliance training program, the results are the same, it hurts the employees and it hurts the business if compliance training is neglected. While compliance training itself can be costly, the cost of non-compliance far outweighs this. In fact, according to a Globalscape study, the total cost for non-compliance is greater than $14 million, including fines, penalties, business disruption, revenue loss, and more – all of which have a direct impact on the business and by proxy, its employees.

With these high stakes in mind, for all businesses, an effective compliance training program is no longer a nice-to-have, but a need-to-have and we only expect that need to grow in 2024, especially with the rise of AI. A strong compliance training program is the vital thread that weaves together an organization’s commitment to employee mental and physical well-being, regulatory adherence, and a culture of integrity, ensuring business growth.

To truly engage your employees with an otherwise seemingly boring topic, employers should strive to adopt a training program that is relevant and accessible to all employees. Business leaders can accomplish this by thinking outside of the box and offering training in a number of different formats, beyond traditional PowerPoint or click next training. For example, this can look like “just in time” training, centered around important dates and events, or add gamification through making completion of the training a team activity. In addition, employers can adopt microlearning to tackle this challenge. Microlearning can accommodate busy schedules while also enabling employees to retain information more effectively, including compliance training.

Ultimately, employers will need to adopt a compliance training program that is dynamic, engaging, and caters to the diverse learning styles and needs of employees. This enables companies to foster a culture of continuous learning and ensure that employees not only understand the importance of compliance, but also actively participate and retain crucial information for a safer, more compliant work environment.

Being really prepared for the 2024

If there’s one thing we learned about employee training in 2023, it’s to be ready for anything. When we consider the rise of AI and unexpected changes in regulatory landscapes, we cannot begin to imagine the way industries will transform in 2024. When considering corporate training opportunities, L&D professionals should prepare themselves by staying up to date with technology, keeping track of regulatory changes, and, of course, expecting the unexpected.

Tommy Richardson is Chief Product & Technology Officer at Litmos

Kyile Stair is Chief People Officer at Litmos

Dr. Jill Stefaniak is Chief Learning Officer at Litmos