Vendors Personalize Learning as Training Budgets Rise

Remote Learning

Employers are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to training workers to cope with automation and AI. A new report shows that nearly half of U.S. companies plan to raise their learning budgets to align worker skills with the way technology is changing many jobs. Only 16 percent expect to reduce their training budgets.

That alone should make learning technology platform providers happy. So should the findings that most employers are looking to technology-driven learning as a means to close the growing skills gap.

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The research—commissioned by Genesys, a Daly City, Calif., provider of contact center solutions—found that employers and employees aren’t that far apart on the question of whether that skills gap exists: Twenty-five percent of organizations recognize it, as do 20 percent of workers.

For their part, workers are roughly split on whether or not they’re ready to work with AI and other new technologies. Just over half—52 percent—believe they have the skills necessary to work in an AI-centric workplace. The other 48 percent doubt they have what it takes: Twenty percent say they don’t have the right skills and 28 percent say they’re simply not sure.

Interestingly, Millennial employers surveyed are more likely to say they’re satisfied with their workers’ skillsets than are Baby Boomers. Among employees, Millennials are the most likely to believe their current skillset will meet any AI-driven challenges. While a full third of combined Gen X and Baby Boomer respondents say they don’t know if they have the right skills, only 19 percent of Millennials harbored the same doubts.

Personalizing the Learning Experience

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It should surprise nobody that closing a skills gap requires more training. Ironically, AI and automation—among the levers of workforce and workplace transformation—are proving to be parts of the solution, as well: Learning technology companies are incorporating more advanced features into their solutions. Many take the form of highly customized—and hopefully more engaging—experiences.

Saba, for example, recently announced a new platform, Saba me:time, which offers a “highly personalized” learning experience based on the interests of each individual learner. The company said me:time was designed to help organizations “meet the new demands of the future of work.” 

me:time is the opening gun in Saba’s effort to meld its learning capabilities with personalized delivery channels. The company said its goal is to connect employee development to organizational outcomes such as internal mobility, reskilling, upskilling and retention.  

Meantime, BetterUp announced new features, including an AI-powered coach-matching algorithm and localization in six new languages. The goal is to “enhance [its] ability to deliver hyper-personalized coaching and people analytics to organizations.”

“People are at the heart of organizational transformation, but much of the $200 billion that corporations spend each year on learning and development is ineffective,” said BetterUp CEO Alexi Robichaux. “To increase the effectiveness of the learning investment, it must be highly personalized, adaptive and measurable.”

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