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29 Nov 2018

Josh Bersin Says Learning Experience Key Focus for L&D Leaders

Learning and career management software is the #1 fastest growing segment in HR technology today. Which may explain why the average learning department has a stunning 22 technologies on offer! While the L&D market might be growing rapidly, innovation in the L&D space is happening even faster.

“It’s very clear to me that we are in a complete renaissance in the learning industry” said industry analyst, Josh Bersin, during his keynote address at L&D Innovation & Tech Fest.

According to Bersin, L&D leaders need to take a holistic view of the learning technologies on offer. “Your focus today should be on the learning experience, not just the technology and the design of one particular program. Employees will find the learning they need if you give them the right experience,” he said.

Career Models in Disruption

One of the key areas of innovation in the L&D space has been career models. Bersin’s Research shows that one of the most pressing questions HR leaders are asking is “How do we build a more developmental, individualised career path?”

According to Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2017:

  • 58% of companies are redesigning or planning to redesign their career model
  • 83% of companies expect to have an “open” or “highly flexible” career model within the next 3-5 years.
  • 31% of companies expect careers to be 3-5 years long and 60% expect them to be 10 years or less


“The learning tech market has redefined itself and now offers a broad range of tools from learning experience and micro-learning platforms, to highly sophisticated virtual reality and digital adoption tools” Bersin said.

Rather than become overwhelmed by the number of technologies on offer, Bersin recommends building an architecture with the learning tools that make most sense to your organisation. “Your focus today should be on the learning experience, not just the technology and design of one particular program. So much of this is self-directed and in the flow of work that employees will find the learning they need if you give them the right experience and culture,” he says.

Explosive Growth in Micro-Learning

Another big innovation in L&D has been in the area of micro-learning.

The modern workday has radically changed as we are constantly bombarded by distractions, emails and messages. Today’s learning offering has to insert itself into the gaps of our working days with micro-learning: bite sized pieces of information intended to be consumed in 2 minutes or less. These may be videos, blogs, or a set of instructional questions. According to Bersin we are seeing more and more organisations producing their own micro-learning content.

Josh Bersin micro learning

The Good News: Learning Creates Confident, Successful, Happy Workers

Recent research undertaken by Josh Bersin and LinkedIn that surveyed 2,400 professionals found that those who spend more time learning are more confident and happier at work.

“Employees who spend time at work learning are 47% less likely to be stressed, 39% more likely to feel productive and successful, 23% more ready to take on additional responsibilities, and 21% more likely to feel confident and happy. And the more you learn, the happier you become.”

Here is a summary of the 7 findings from the research. You can read the full article here.

1. When you ask professionals what inspires them at work, it’s all about the job and growth. (Not the free lunch.)

2. When you ask people why they would leave a job, it’s because they couldn’t learn.

3. Professionals work a lot of hours. So learning on the job is not always easy. Read more about Bersin’s ideas on Learning in the flow of work as a way to overcome this.

4. We waste a lot of time on email: more than a quarter of us are wasting a day a week on messages that don’t contribute to our jobs.

5. Despite all this, many professionals really do find time to learn!

6. The Heavy Learners are more engaged, productive, and successful than their peers. Heavy learners are seeing almost 3-times more positive results than the light learners.

7. This is not just a good thing for you, it’s good for your company. The most successful, fast-growing, digitally enabled companies are differentiated by one thing: they’ve transformed the way individuals and organisations learn.

For more on the innovations shaping the new world of work, read our article Bersin’s Top 5 Digital HR Trends.

About the Speaker

Josh Bersin

Josh Bersin is an analyst, author, educator, and thought leader focusing on the global talent market and the challenges and trends impacting business workforces around the world. He studies the world of work, HR and leadership practices, and the broad talent technology market. He is often cited as one of the leading HR and workplace industry analysts in the world.

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