7 L&D trends to expect in 2024

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Learning and development (L&D) teams are acutely aware of how important their department is to the ongoing challenge of training, engaging, and retaining talent. This task is made even more pronounced in the modern global workforce, with high competition between organizations for quality hires across departments and roles, not to mention the necessity to continuously keep knowledge levels up to match business needs. In this article, let’s look at the top trends to expect in 2024 for L&D teams, including how e-learning AI translation, separated into different subclasses: technology, business, and people.

L&D technology trends 2024

1. AI continues to transform and improve workplace learning

The rise of generative AI is revolutionizing various sectors, including Learning and Development (L&D). AI, previously a supportive tool, is now a pivotal force driving conscious transformation in L&D. 

The most promising aspect lies in scalability: traditionally resource-heavy, personalized learning experiences are now feasible on a large scale due to AI. This technology offers user-friendly, adaptable approaches for skill development through machine learning-based skill categorization, AI-driven personalized learning paths, and integrated, real-time nudges in work processes.

Learning leaders require an adaptable tech infrastructure to scale skill development, demanding an agile alignment with business needs and a workforce equipped with relevant skills. According to the Chief Learning Officer at Deloitte US, “organizations should become more agile and innovative in how they develop their people to keep pace as technology change accelerates and enterprises transform and become more purposeful.”

According to a study by Gartner, 68% of executives agree that the benefits of AI outweigh the risks it may present (cybersecurity). Whereas 76% of HR leaders agree that they will be lagging in organizational success if they don’t adopt and implement generative AI in the next 12 to 24 months.

2. Generative AI content generation and translation

Employee engagement remains a big concern for many organizations. According to a Gallup study, which measured thousands of employees' perspectives on the most crucial elements of your workplace culture, only 23% of the global workforce is actively engaged. To be able to create contextualized training programs that resonate and engage with their workforce and its diverse learning preferences, more learning and development teams are using generative AI to create all-new, high-quality content.

AI translation also enables L&D professionals to more effectively produce courses created on Articulate and other course-authoring platforms in any language with automatic XLIFF file translation. In 2024, the adoption curve of the use of generative AI for both all-new content creation and automatic translation is set to become widespread among L&D teams across industries.

By recognizing workforce behavioral trends and capabilities, organizations can create, fine-tune, and drive an effective, on-brand content creation and distribution function. A thorough analysis of employee skills and behaviors allows organizations to see the true content potential within their ranks. This insight can then enable the setting of realistic, highly relevant KPIs for training development.

3. More flexibility with on-demand and tailored video content

Videos in L&D increase comprehension, information retention, and learner engagement. It’s also a format that brings more flexibility by allowing employees to train on demand and access microlearning content remotely on any device. 

Videos can also be easily tailored to suit diverse learning styles, catering to visual, auditory, immersive, or blended learning preferences. According to Forbes, “Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it on video, compared to 10% when reading it in a text.”

To meet the growing need for more tailored learning content, L&D professionals will increase the number of videos they create in 2024. AI video creation and AI video translation will help instructional designers to create content quickly and to a high level of quality. The result is a far faster, smoother video translation workflow. 

To give just one real-world example, AI video translation helped Smith+Nephew to reduce the translation turnaround time of LMS videos for their global workforce by 400%. They also maximized language quality and consistency.

“There was an urgency to have online training localized for our multinational workforce to improve our product-focused knowledge, and selling skills became far more pronounced in recent years. Greater portfolio understanding can lead to accelerated global business growth.” - Barbara Fedorowicz, Translation department manager at Smith+Nephew

4. Immersive learning experiences with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are reshaping the landscape of learning and development (L&D) beyond mere tech trends. These immersive technologies are poised to revolutionize learning approaches. VR provides immersive environments, enabling experiential learning in various settings and a risk-free platform for practicing real-world skills. 

AR overlays digital information onto the physical world, bridging learning with practical application in fields like engineering and sales. Collaborative virtual spaces foster global learning communities, while AI integration tailors personalized learning paths. VR also enhances accessibility, offering unique experiences and leveling opportunities. 

In these virtual realms, immediate feedback guides learners, transforming the nature of learning itself and aligning it more closely with modern learners' needs and potentials. AR and VR can become powerful tools for L&D teams in 2024 to drive employee engagement.

L&D business trend 2024

5. L&D leaders get a seat at the business operations table

The emphasis on productivity demands HR leaders to connect employee development with tangible business outcomes. To elevate L&D to become widely seen as a critical organizational function, demonstrating its direct impact on the bottom line is crucial. 

Deloitte Chief Learning Officer, Anthony R. Stephan said in Thrive Global that “organizations should innovate to stay competitive, but without an investment in L&D, leaders could create a skills gap that keeps them from innovating.” 

This change in perception and importance given to L&D involves articulating how training initiatives specifically contribute to achieving business objectives, not just gaining approval from senior executives but securing budgetary support and establishing HR as a strategic partner in steering organizational success.

Some tips & tools to strengthen the value perception of L&D value in 2024:

  1. Link your employee development goals with your organization’s revenue goals.

  2. Increase buy-in by speaking to what the C-suite cares about most, like gained productivity, upskilled talent, and increased engagement.

  3. Map skill development to strategic business goals, like reducing hiring costs, and track L&D metrics tied to key outcomes.

L&D people trends 2024

6. A focus on culture in light of remote and hybrid work

A critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of human resources and learning and development is building a robust workplace culture that fosters a sense of belonging and value. With an average tenure of just 4.1 years in 2023, organizations must create environments where employees feel connected, recognized, and have opportunities for growth.

To address this, organizations should focus on integrating employees comprehensively during onboarding and continue nurturing their development throughout their tenure. Encouraging open communication, providing continuous learning opportunities, and acknowledging employee value beyond compensation are crucial aspects in retaining talent. 

Improving workplace communication and fostering a culture of constant two-way listening between human resources or learning management teams and global staff ensure that remote workers dispersed globally gain a sense of loyalty and belonging – even when only connected through a computer screen.

7. Diversity and inclusion

The importance of diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) continues to become more apparent to organizations across industries. Quite simply, diversity is good for business. The identification and elimination of unconscious biases are so important as it can help get rid of toxic cultural tendencies within workforces. Such biases can have a detrimental impact on worker happiness, morale, and productivity. In turn, this can lead to higher turnover rates.

To attract and retain talent, as well as to maintain strong productivity and morale levels, treating DEI with the importance that it demands is critical. And L&D team can play an essential role in achieving this. DEI initiatives, while well-intentioned, can often fail to create lasting change for a more inclusive, diverse workforce. In some cases, they can do the opposite of their intended purpose, and entrench discrimination further. This is where L&D comes in.

L&D teams can lead their organizations in 2024 to achieve unprecedented success with DEI initiatives. They can do so by creating training materials and courses that educate workforces on unconscious bias and discrimination, taking a central role in executive-level workforce discussions, and incorporating DEI into all learning initiatives.

Wrapping up: 2024 in Learning and Development

Trends forecasts can often seem to exaggerate just how much an industry or functiion within organizations, like L&D, will be affected. However, in the case of L&D for and 2024, such predictions are based on real-world trends and organizational mindset changes that really do point to the exponential growth in importance of L&D as a critical driver of employee attraction, engagement, and retention. The executive level in organizations is increasingly aware of the crucial role that workplace learning plays towards overall success, and are prepared to give L&D the prominence that it requires both in terms of attention for strategic decision-making and investment. As a result, 2024 is set to be a year of significant advancement for the L&D function.