Trends That Will Shape Global Learning & Development 

Soft skills, data literacy, and dexterity in using and teaching the latest online learning platforms. Those are the three trends that will shape global learning and development in 2020, says The Training Industry.

The 21st century has been known as the era that will demand lifelong learners. Organizations that want to compete must be able to harness the abilities of skilled professionals who are continuously learning, and using that knowledge to adapt to the changing challenges of the times. 

It is one reason why human resource managers are always pushing for more training in their department and program budgets. Global mobility managers should do the same, and go beyond the usual list of classes in cross-cultural training and language improvement.

The first in-demand competencies for 2020 are the so-called “soft skills.” These are timeless abilities that can be applied at all eras and in any culture simply because they are universal in nature. They are crucial to developing the traits and behavior that make human beings productive and motivated. 

A few examples of soft skills are communication, collaboration, and creative thinking. (The eLearning Industry predicted in 2015 that creativity in particular will be the “most important job skill” in 2020.)

It is not enough for an assignee to speak and write English fluently, for example; they must be able to articulate their thoughts and ideas and make them comprehensible and interesting to their target markets. Ditto with creative thinking. The assignee will inevitably face challenges on the job that are unprecedented; without a rule book to follow, they must come up with their own game-changing solutions and win.

Data literacy

Every global mobility manager and their assignees must expand their knowledge of data literacy. It does not matter if they have accounting degrees or not. In order to remain relevant, they must learn to organize, assess, and make sense of the numbers that do come their way. (Given all the information that is flooding their computers every single day, the amount can be astronomical.) 

Gartner explains why this skill is non-negotiable: by the year 2020, 50 percent of companies will not be able to advance their business value because they are not equipped in doing data literacy.

Neither is this an exercise in armchair mathematics. The global mobility manager must come up with their own metrics that can analyze the performance of their assignees, or the feasibility of their campaigns. 

The assignee’s data literacy proficiency can depend on their profession. For example, an IT professional located in a tech hub in California can gauge the efficiency of certain IT solutions and infrastructure and compare it against other models. A marketing assignee can study their campaign’s statistics to determine the kind of message that does sell the millennial market on the company’s products.

Dexterity in using learning platforms

Today’s popular learning platforms might be video streaming and webinars. Younger assignees also have an easier time navigating online lessons through their phones, as opposed to their Gen-X colleagues who prefer the relatively bigger screens of their laptop. Tomorrow, the learning model to acquire might be a virtual reality game where the assignee digitally visits the city they have been assigned to, prior to relocation. Language classes might be fed to the assignee’s mind via audio tech while they are sleeping. 

Regardless of how the winds of tech blow, the global mobility manager must be the first to spot which learning platform is needed, master it, and then teach the same to their assignees.