What We're Reading: L&D, Training, and HR

Top Highlights

  • Josh Bersin notes that LMS providers are now integrating learning experiences into their platforms, citing LinkedIn Learning’s recent announcement to open its platform to third-party content, and thereby making the LMS relevant again. These learning experiences increasingly resemble TV, using more video content and curated “channels” or “playlists” with courses related to a specific topic.
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) analysts predict that the top three trends in cloud-based training for the next five years will be the continued emergence of mobile learning, an increasing adoption of gamification in e-learning, and the incorporation of social media in training software.
  • Two new reports on education-to-employment pathways highlight “alternative pathways programs” -- defined generally as non-accredited, employment-oriented education and training initiatives that promise a pathway to employment. The reports focus on how these programs are helping low-income adults develop skills and obtain meaningful entry-level jobs.
  • Facebook is testing new online learning features that allow groups in its developer network to upload and deliver courses through the social networking site. Some Facebook users outside of the developer network have noticed they are able to access these new features as well, suggesting that Facebook may make the tool available more widely. Inside Higher Ed argues that instructors may be skeptical of using Facebook as a teaching platform.
  • The New York Times profiled seven higher education institutions that are implementing innovative and collaborative programs to address America’s skills gap. These profiles include “stackable” credentials that can lead to a data analytics degree from Miami Dade College and a 12-week natural-gas technician certificate program at Farmingdale State College in New York.

 

Corporate Learning and Development News

  • The death of the LMS has been greatly exaggerated. After previously indicating that the learning management system (LMS) is “starting to go away,” Josh Bersin notes that some LMS providers are now increasing their relevance by  integrating learning experiences into their platform. One example is LinkedIn Learning’s recent announcement to open up the platform to third party content. Bersin argues that the approach and user experience for these tools increasingly resembles Netflix, Hulu, or similar TV players-- by using more video content and curated “channels” or “playlists” that consist of courses related to a specific topic.
  • Gallup reports on three trends disrupting the workplace, on of which is millennials, who make up the majority of U.S. workforce and who are not staying with their companies for the long term. Gallup suggests that low employee engagement among millennials is due to a lack of professional or career development. However, organizations successfully implementing development programs are using advanced analytical techniques to continually analyze and adapt their learning programs.
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) analysts predict that the top three trends in cloud-based training for the next five years will be the emergence of mobile learning, an increasing adoption of gamification in e-learning, and the incorporation of social media in training software.
  • Udemy published a report that found 58% of workers are turning to corporate training to alleviate stress. To help mitigate employee stress, Udemy recommends training focused on helping employees acquire or maintain in-demand skills, adapt to technological changes, and cope with stress.
  • In the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan School of Management researchers advocate for the “Good Jobs Strategy” -- in which employers not only provide decent wages, predictable schedules, and opportunities for success and growth, but also invest in their workforce to increase productivity and empower employee contributions. The strategy enables companies to adapt to the future of work by supporting the development of future job skills (e.g., critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving).
  • An article in The Atlantic suggests that corporate mentorship programs can be successfulwhen they incorporate an individualistic, company-specific approach. However, the piece notes that the quality of mentorship programs overall has been declining, and investments in these programs are decreasing.
  • According to Deloitte, gamification can play a key role in training and leadership development. Behavioral science research suggests that gamification fuels a person’s need for recognition with instant feedback, increases a person’s ability to concentrate, stimulates a person’s need to achieve by presenting progressive levels of difficulty, and provides instant gratification.
  • Empathy training may be increasingly integrated into corporate training, suggests an HR Dive piece. The article notes that empathy is an important skill for both leaders as well as younger workers who are still developing their soft skills.
  • Great businesses institute “scalable learning” -- opportunities to learn faster together with coworkers, according to two Deloitte researchers in the Harvard Business Review. Scalable learning leads to new knowledge acquired on the job in the day-to-day work environment and is able to adapt to the needs of employees.
  • Two new reports on education-to-employment pathways highlight “alternative pathways programs” -- defined generally as non-accredited, employment-oriented education and training initiatives that promise a pathway to employment. The reports focus on how these programs, including StraighterLine, Flatiron School, and 180 Skills, are helping low-income adults develop skills and obtain meaningful entry-level jobs.

 

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News

  • The Global Information Security Workforce survey predicts that the shortage of cybersecurity professionals is on track to hit 1.8 million by 2022. Two-thirds of cybersecurity professionals reported that there were not enough workers to address current threats, and 70% of employers hope to increase the size of their cybersecurity staff this year.
  • In the past 12 months, LinkedIn job postings requiring blockchain skills have tripled. LinkedIn data shows that about 20% of these positions remain unfilled, suggesting that professionals need to build industry-specific skills to fill the gap.
  • As manufacturing plants steadily adopt automation and robotics, companies are demanding more highly skilled workers. A recruiting specialist for the industry notes that the top three in-demand roles include manufacturing engineers who can work with automated machinery, software engineers who can code and operate the machines, and controls engineers who can monitor and operate all of the controls on the machinery.

 

General HR News

  • Unsurprisingly, happier employees = better reviews. A new study finds that companies with the highest employee engagement ratings have 35% higher Glassdoor ratings compared to companies with the lowest employee engagement ratings. On Glassdoor, 93% of employees at companies with the highest employee engagement approve of their CEOs vs. 66% at companies with the lowest employee engagement.
  • A recent survey found that while 83% of HR leaders agree that data and analytics should be used to make people decisions, only 37% use data to solve people management problems. Ninety-two percent of HR leaders also reported lacking strategic insight needed to solve retention challenges and other issues.
  • A recent TLNT article suggests that middle managers are finding it difficult to inspire millennials to work in the best interest of the company and not themselves. The author notes that the problem lies in not properly training leadership in soft skills needed to inspire the workforce.

 

Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation

  • Facebook is testing new online learning features that allow groups in its developer network to upload and deliver courses through the social network. Some Facebook users outside of the developer network have noticed they are able to access these new features as well, suggesting that Facebook may make the tool more widely available. Inside Higher Edreports that instructors may be skeptical of using Facebook as a teaching platform.
  • In other Facebook news, the company announced that it will sponsor a free training program on digital skills for Michigan residents. By completing the course, which will feature social media and digital marketing, residents will receive a micro-credential that recognize their new skills. The program hopes to train 3,000 people in two years.
  • The New York Times profiled seven higher education institutions that are implementing innovative and collaborative programs to address America’s skills gap. These profiles include “stackable” credentials that can lead to a data analytics degree from Miami Dade College and a 12-week natural-gas technician certificate program at Farmingdale State College in New York.
  • Udacity launched a new VR Developer Nanodegree Program, developed in collaboration with Google VR, Unity, Upload, Unreal, Vive, and Samsung.
  • IBM announced last week that it is expanding its partnerships with community colleges to train workers for “new collar jobs” -- skilled jobs that do not necessarily require a four-year degree. IBM says working with community colleges expands its talent pipeline and allows the company to reach more diverse candidates.
  • Coding Dojo, a coding bootcamp provider, will open its seventh location in Tulsa, Oklahoma on September 18. The George Kaiser Family Foundation is supporting the opening of the new location, and Coding Dojo is also working with local companies to hire future graduates.
  • Fast Company profiled C4Q, a nonprofit that teaches programming to low-income adultsfrom underserved communities in New York over a 10-month period. Now, the school has asked its students to give back: C4Q’s most recent class of graduates has committed to donating 12% of their salaries over two years to the nonprofit after they get a job.

 

Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

  • Last week, Coursera closed a $64 million Series D funding round. Coursera reports that the new funding will allow it to accelerate product innovation, grow its stackable degree portfolio, and continue to build partnerships with businesses and governments. Following this announcement, Coursera named Jeff Maggioncalda as its new CEO this week; Maggioncalda is the founding CEO and President of financial advisor Financial Engines. Outgoing CEO Rick Levin will stay on as a senior advisor.
  • Shortlist, a talent management platform for managing freelancers and independent contractors, raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Investors include Impulse VC, FundersClub, and Alchemist Accelerators.
  • Private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners acquired True Office Learning, an e-learning provider for corporate training. True Office Learning was previously owned by Intercontinental Exchange, and financial terms were not disclosed.
  • JustCode, a U.S.-based interviewing platform, acquired Jobspire, an online job recruitment platform for job seekers in India. Jobspire’s core products will be integrated into JustCode’s platform to create an end-to-end recruitment solution.
  • BLOOVO.com, an online job recruitment and matching platform for companies in the middle east, raised $3 million in seed funding in a round led by Noble Partners. The platform, which uses a matching algorithm, hopes to expand its presence in the Middle East and North Africa.

 

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy

  • The Trump administration has dubbed this week “Workforce Development Week, with events planned throughout the week to encourage schools and companies to partner on apprenticeship and workforce training programs.
    • On Tuesday, President Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump traveled to Waukesha Technical College in Wisconsin to tour classrooms and the college’s manufacturing center. Trump and Ivanka also hosted a roundtable with students and local businesses during the visit.
    • Today, Ivanka led a roundtable on workforce development with 15 CEOs -- including leaders of Siemens, Cigna, CVS, Accenture, and an SVP from Amazon. The president was also planned to give a speech at the Department of Labor and sign an executive order that would eliminate federal oversight of federally supported apprenticeship programs and propose to double the amount of funding for apprenticeship grants. However, the event was canceled due to the  shooting in Virginia earlier this morning.
    • On Thursday, President Trump and Ivanka Trump will host a roundtable on workforce development with Vice President Mike Pence and eight governors.
  • According to Politico, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) plan to introduce a bill that would provide a $5,000 tax credit to employers that hire participants in federal- or state-registered apprenticeship programs. The senators introduced similar legislation in 2015.
  • Although unemployment dropped to a sixteen-year low last month, the Wall Street Journalsuggests that low wage growth and relatively higher underemployment indicates a mismatch between workers’ skills and unfilled jobs.

 

 

Other

  • Fortune released its annual Fortune 500 list, which put Walmart in the number-one spot for the fifth straight year. This year, the list includes a record number (32) of companies led by female CEOs.