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THE FUTURE OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

THE FUTURE OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT


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This chapter discusses how training and development will evolve in the future. Many factors will influence the future of training and development, including the development of new technology, which can affect how training is delivered and the quality and realism of instruction; the increased emphasis on just-in-time learning; and the increased value placed on intellectual capital, which can be developed through social relationships and networks. This chapter is full of valuable information on where the training and development arena is headed. It is critical that the training and development students have an understanding of these trends, for they will have a great effect on the major issues in training and development. Among the future trends discussed are the continued influence of new technologies; training for virtual work arrangements; increased emphasis on speed in design, focus on content, and use of multiple delivery methods. The increased emphasis on capturing and sharing intellectual capital and the increased use of true performance support and social learning are mentioned in detail. The chapter also highlights the importance of performance analysis and learning for business enhancement, along with the increased use of training partnerships and outsourcing training. A thorough discussion of the implications of these trends is provided.



Objectives


1. Identify the future trends that are likely to influence the training departments and trainers.

2. Discuss how these future trends may impact training delivery and administration as well as the strategic role of the training department.

3. Discuss how rapid instructional design differs from traditional training design.

4. Discuss the advantages of embedded learning.

5. Discuss how training can contribute to a company’s sustainability initiative.

6. Discuss the implications of cloud computing for learning, training, and development.



I. Introduction


This chapter takes a look at what the future of training and development might look like. Technological advances represent one trend that is likely to influence the future of training and development and your future as a trainer.


Training for Sustainability

A. Sustainability refers to a company’s ability to make a profit without sacrificing the resources of its employees, the community, or the environment. A growing number of companies have made sustainability an important part of their business strategy.

B. Training and development can contribute to companies sustainability initiatives by providing learning opportunities for employees in organizations in developing countries that lack the resources, providing development experiences for employees.

II. Increased Use of New Technologies for Training Delivery


A. The use of social media, mobile learning (iPods), and other new technologies will likely increase in the future for several reasons.

1. The cost of new technologies will decrease over time.

2. Companies can use technology to better prepare employees to serve customers and generate new business.

3. The use of these new technologies can substantially reduce the training costs related to bringing geographically dispersed employees to one central training location (e.g., travel, food, and housing).

4. The new technologies allow trainers to build into training many of the desirable features of a learning environment (e.g., practice, feedback, reinforcement, etc.)

5. As companies employ more contingent employees (e.g., part-timers and consultants) and offer more alternative work arrangements (e.g., flexible work schedules and working from home), technology will allow training to be delivered to any place and at any time.

6. The new technology also makes it possible to create “smart” products.

B. Teleimmersion—which is a technology that provides realistic, life-sized holographic projections in which employees can hear and see collaborators as if they were physically present in the office—can be used to create a holographic training room in the office with virtual trainees beamed in from other locations.

C. Virtual retinal display is a technology that projects images directly on the retina of the eye. Virtual retinal display allows real-time, on-site performance support.


III. Increased Demand for Training for Virtual Work Arrangements


A. Virtual work arrangements include virtual teams as well as telecommuting, work that is conducted in a remote location (distant from central offices), where the employee has limited contact with peers, but is able to communicate electronically.

B. There are two training challenges for virtual work arrangements.

1. Companies will have to invest in training delivery methods that facilitate digital collaboration. Digital collaboration refers to an interaction between two or more people mediated by a computer.

2. For companies with virtual work arrangements, having knowledge, knowing which employees possess it, and sharing knowledge within and across functions, teams, and individuals are critical for effectiveness.


IV. Increased Emphasis on Speed in Design, Focus in Content, and Use of Multiple Delivery Methods


A. The traditional training design model has been criticized for its linear approach, the instructional system design model, and the time taken.

B. Rapid instructional design (RID) is a group of techniques that allows training to be built more quickly. It modifies the training design model that consists of needs analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

C. Two important principles in RID:

1. The instructional content and process can be developed independently of each other.

2. Resources that are devoted to design and delivery of instruction can be reallocated as appropriate.

D. Design includes everything that happens before the training experience; delivery is what happens during the training experience.

E. Managers are demanding training courses that are shorter and that focus on the necessary content. The development of focused content will become easier because of blogs and podcasts.


V. Increased Emphasis on Capturing and Sharing Intellectual Capital


A. Sharing knowledge and contributing to the company’s intellectual capital is going to become more common as collaborative social networking technology and Web 2.0 tools make this simpler to implement.

B. Developing the map of informal connections between employees is known as social network analysis.

C. The increasing use of new technologies to deliver training and to store and communicate knowledge means that trainers must be technologically literate.


VI. Increased Use of True Performance Support and Social Learning


A. Embedded learning refers to learning that occurs on the job as needed. It involves collaboration and nonlearning technologies such as instant messaging, and it is integrated with knowledge management.

B. Embedded learning will include social learning. Social learning refers to learning with and from others.

C. Embedded learning may become increasingly prevalent in the future when it is not possible for employees to attend classroom instruction or spend hours on online learning that is not directly relevant to their current job demands.

D. Embedded-learning products include task-specific, real-time content and simulation that are accessible during work as well as real-time collaboration in virtual workspaces. Recent and rapid adoption of wireless technology is connecting employees directly to business processes.

E. One vision of the future is that employees will be presented with short learning episodes embedded in their work, be alerted when the learning episodes are needed, have direct connections to experts, be continuously connected online wirelessly, and have simulations for guidance.

F. Another vision is that the personal computer will be the hub that allows employees not only to share data but also to access training content and subject matter experts automatically, on an as-needed basis.

G. There is a new type of learner emerging, the “social cyborg,” who integrates social networks into the way they think, learn, and solve problems.

H. A new set of learning strategies will be need to be adopted including learning environments that include online mentoring and collaborative learning platforms.


VII. Increased Emphasis on Performance Analysis and Learning for Business Enhancement


A. Because of an increasing focus on contributing to the company’s competitive advantage, training departments will have to ensure that they are seen as helping the business functions.

B. Training departments must shift the focus from training as the solution to business problems to a performance analysis approach. A performance analysis approach involves identifying performance gaps of deficiencies and examining training as one possible solution for the business units (the customers).

C. Three ways that training departments will need to be involved are (1) focusing on interventions related to performance improvement, (2) providing support for high-performance work systems, and (3) developing systems for training administration, development, and delivery that reduce costs and increase employees’ access to learning.

D. As more companies move to high-performance work systems, training departments will need to be prepared to provide effective training in interpersonal, quality, and technical skills, as well as to help employees understand all aspects of the customer-service or production system.

E. Business competitiveness can be realized by quick change, speed in delivery, and reductions in costs and time constraints.

F. Just-in-time learning is many companies’ answer to quick learning and the quick application of learning to the business.

G. Because the direction in training is away from learning as the primary outcome and more toward learning as a way to enhance business performance, companies have started to purchase learning management systems (LMSs) that provide training administration, development tools, and online training.

H. Cloud computing allows companies to lease software and hardware, and employees don’t know the location of computers, databases, and applications that they are using (this is known as being in the “cloud”).

I. Cloud computing refers to a computing system that provides information technology infrastructure over a network in a self-service, modifiable, and on-demand. Clouds can be delivered on-demand via the Internet (public cloud) or restricted to use by a single company (private cloud).

J. It also allows groups to work together in new ways, can make employees more productive by allowing them to more easily share documents and information, and provide greater access to large company databases.


VIII. Increased Use of Training Partnerships and Outsourcing Training


A. The key decision for companies will not be whether to outsource but rather how much training to outsource.

B. Barriers between business and educational institutions make it difficult for many employees to update their skills and knowledge that they need for their current jobs or preparation for jobs in another career. A lifelong learning system can provide better opportunities for more people to develop the talent needed to suit multiple jobs and careers that they will likely hold during their lifetimes.

C. Trainers will need identify outsource providers who can deliver effective training solutions, particularly in technology-based learning solutions in which they lack the internal expertise to develop in house.

D. One type of training outsourcing involves the use of an application service provider (ASP), a company that rents out access to software for a specific application.

E. The major benefit of using an ASP is that company resources are not used to purchase or maintain an internal network or intranet. Also, companies save the costs associated with building, renting, or maintaining a training facility.


Implications of Future Trends for Trainers’ Skills and Competencies

A. Increased emphasis will be placed on the ability of trainers to more effectively use technology.

B. Also, as companies become more global, they will need to adapt training methods and content to local cultures.



Chapter Summary


This chapter is an extremely important section of the textbook because it gives students a look into the future. Many of the trends described are actually coming to fruition. The influence of new technologies was addressed; and, the term “intellectual capital” was also described and virtual training organizations revisited. Much of the chapter was devoted to the concept of change, the training function as a catalyst for change, and change related problems that may come up. The student will benefit from an understanding of embedded learning that also includes social learning. There is an emphasis on performance analysis and learning for business enhancement through cloud computing in the chapter. As the final chapter in the textbook, it provides the student with a cutting edge perspective on the future of the training and development function.



Discussion Questions


1. Discuss how new technologies are likely to impact training in the future.


Answer: There will be an increase in new technologies in future due to several reasons that are likely to impact training in the future. First, the cost of these technologies will decrease. Second, companies can use technology to better prepare employees to serve customers and generate new business. Third, use of these new technologies can substantially reduce the training costs related to bringing geographically dispersed employees to one central training location (e.g., travel, food, and housing). Fourth, these technologies allow trainers to build into training many of the desirable features of a learning environment (e.g., practice, feedback, reinforcement, etc.). New technology also makes it possible to create “smart” products. (p. 469-470)


2. What new skills will trainers need to be successful in the future?


Answer: The skills that trainers will need to develop in order to be successful in the future:

Matching training content and methods to the local culture of the workforce

Designing learning space, as well as content in technology-driven learning environments

Use of multimedia tools, including audio, video, webcasts, and live action

Delivering and packaging training in different formats for beginners and experts

Use of assessments to determine trainees’ learning styles

Developing search-and-identify techniques so employees can find information and training when they need it

Facilitating learning and staying in touch with employees, managers, and business units to identify what they need and making suggestions regarding tools, processes, or procedures that could help them work more effectively

Developing and delivering learning that is integrated with the job

Understand how social media can be used for learning, the limitations of social media, and ability to make a business case for it

Identify the root cause of job and business problems (p. 480)


3. What is rapid instructional design? How does it differ from the traditional training design model discussed in Chapter 1? (See Figure 1.1.)


Answer: Rapid instructional design (RID) is a group of techniques that allows training to be built more quickly. RID modifies the training design model that consists of needs analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. RID strategies are built around two important principles. One is that instructional content and process can be developed independently of each other and second is that resources for design and delivery of instruction can be reallocated as appropriate. The traditional training design model has been criticized for several reasons. First, it is a linear approach driven by subject-matter experts. Second, the Instructional System Design model uses a rational, step-by-step approach that assumes that the training content is stable. Third, given the accelerated demand for training to be delivered just in time, traditional training takes too long (p. 472)


4. How does the use of a learning management system better link training to business strategy and goals?


Answer: Because the direction in training is away from learning as the primary outcome and more toward learning as a way to enhance business performance, companies have started to purchase learning management systems (LMSs) that provide training administration, development tools, and online training. LMS software contains learning analytics, or analysis tools, that can track learning activity and costs and can relate learning results to product revenues or sales goals. Hence, the use of a learning management system better links training to business strategy and goals. (p. 477-478)


5. What is cloud computing? How does it enable just-in-time training delivery?


Answer: Cloud computing refers to a computing system that provides information technology infrastructure over a network in a self-service, modifiable, and on-demand.


Clouds can be delivered on-demand via the Internet (public cloud) or restricted to use by a single company (private cloud). Cloud computing gives companies and their employees access to applications and information from smart phones and tablets rather than relying solely on personal computers. It also allows groups to work together in new ways, can make employees more productive by allowing them to more easily share documents and information, and provide greater access to large company databases. From a learning perspective, this means that tools for conducting workforce analytics using metrics on learning, training and development programs, and social media and collaboration tools such as Twitter, blogs, Google documents, and YouTube videos will be more easily accessible and available for use. Cloud computing also can make it easier for employees to access formal training programs from a variety of vendors and educational institutions enabling just-in-time training delivery. (p. 478)


6. How will social learning and social networks influence employee expectations about learning, training, and development?


Answer: Social learning refers to learning with and from others. We can learn from others in face-to-face interactions occurring in classrooms, conferences, and group meetings, as well as online using social media such as Twitter, blogs, and social networks such as Facebook. Potentially, through sharing ideas, information, and experiences, we can learn more with others than we can alone. Social networking platforms will be part of learning management systems. This will allow managers to determine which learning content is in most demand and take content developed by social network contributors and use it in formal training courses.


Social learning via shared workspaces, social networks, and wikis (learning from others) will supplement traditional training, encouraging employees to learn from each other, from trainers and instructors, and from other work experts. (p. 467; 474; 476)


7. What are the implications of virtual work arrangements for training?


Answer: Virtual work arrangements include virtual teams as well as telecommuting, work that is conducted in a remote location (distant from central offices) where the employee has limited contact with peers but is able to communicate electronically. The critical feature of virtual work arrangements is that location, organization structure, and employment relationships are not limiting factors.


There are two training challenges for virtual work arrangements. First, companies have to invest in training delivery methods that facilitate digital collaboration. Social media and the web enable employees to access training from their desktops and to collaborate with others on an as-needed basis. Virtual work arrangements rely on digital collaboration. Virtual team members need training in teamwork skills and understanding cultural differences, as well as in the technical skills and competencies needed to perform their jobs. Second, for companies with virtual work arrangements, having knowledge, knowing which employees possess it, and sharing it within and across functions, teams, and individuals are critical for effectiveness. Teams and employees must be provided with the tools that they need for finding knowledge—knowledge that can be used to provide a service, develop or manufacture a product, or refine a process. (p. 470-471)


8. How can training contribute to a sustainability initiative?


Answer: Sustainability refers to a company’s ability to make a profit without sacrificing the resources of its employees, the community, or the environment. A growing number of companies have made sustainability an important part of their business strategy. Training and development can contribute to companies sustainability initiatives by providing learning opportunities for employees in organizations in developing countries that lack the resources, providing development experiences for employees in poor and emerging countries that benefit the local community, and teaching employers to protect the environment. (p. 468)



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