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What does the modern learner need?

At its core, it’s a simple question. However, as L&D professionals, we often forget to ask: what does the modern learner need? This question should be front and centre of your decision-making process, driving any strategic moves. Let’s take a closer look at the modern learner’s needs.
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Go1 Content & Editorial Team
2021-04-14

At its core, it’s a simple question. However, as L&D professionals, we often forget to ask: what does the modern learner need? 

It’s easy to get caught up in shiny new toys or engrained thinking habits and forget to factor in our learners’ needs. This question should be front and centre of your decision-making process, driving any strategic moves. 

Let’s take a closer look at the modern learner’s needs. 

What are the modern learners’ L&D options? 

As we know, the modern learner is used to viewing high-quality media in everyday life, with access to learning through Google, YouTube, and other modern technologies only ever a click away. 

With so many options competing for their time, L&D teams have less time to grab learners’ attention. For example, research suggests that Gen Z have developed 8-second content filters. As such, if you don’t grab their attention in the first 8 seconds, you may never get it. 

Unfortunately, L&D doesn’t always offer a learning experience that considers these factors. The modern learner has many options, so to meet their needs, your L&D offering must stand out immediately in a crowded marketplace.

How does upskilling impact the modern learning environment? 

Technology is also having another impact on the modern learner’s needs. You’ve probably seen this a million times, but the point still stands: technology adoption is driving a need to upskill staff. And the best talent will fuel the best-performing businesses. 

Accordingly, upskilling and reskilling are at the heart of almost everything that the modern learner needs. 

For instance, 48% of L&D employees say their team is underskilled to deliver on business needs. What’s more, 54% of employees will require extensive upskilling or reskilling by 2022. 

In other words, the modern learner is desperate to be equipped with the right skills to get ahead in a changing world and deliver what is needed within their teams. 

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What skills does the modern learner need? 

To keep up with these demands and attract the best talent, the World Economic Forum predicts that learners will need the following skills by 2025: 

  • Analytical thinking and innovation
  • Active learning and learning strategies
  • Complex problem-solving
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Creativity, originality, and initiative
  • Leadership and social influence
  • Technology use, monitoring, and control
  • Technology design, and programming
  • Resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility
  • Reasoning, problem-solving, and ideation

Similarly, LinkedIn’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report identifies leadership management, creative problem solving and design thinking, and communication as the top three skills for the future. 

The common link here is that soft skills have surpassed hard skills as a priority for the modern learner. To meet the modern learner’s needs, focussing on the above skills is an excellent place to start.

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How can the modern learner stay up to date with changing skill requirements? 

As we’ve seen, the modern learner needs many general and subject matter specific topics to support their professional development. 

For example, a new sales manager may have to be upskilled in HR processes, IT skills, and project management. However, they may also need diversity and inclusion training as part of a broader company initiative.

Further, they may want or need to become better at closing sales online, competitive analysis, or online contract negotiation.

Adding to the modern learner’s challenges, they may have as little as 30 minutes of formal learning time per week as they juggle meetings, customer requests, and the need to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

How can the modern learner keep up with these challenges? 

To summarise, the modern learner is faced with a mass of appealing learning options but often has limited time for formal learning. Adding to this, they have diverse subject matter needs and require upskilling to stay up-to-date in a changing world. 

Most importantly, the modern learner needs structure and support to help them learn efficiently. That’s where Go1 comes in, offering comprehensive support for the modern learner’s needs. 

Our customers cover the majority of their learning outcomes with off-the-shelf courses from the Go1 Content Hub, while we continuously add new, award-winning content providers at no additional cost to the customer. 

This means more time to focus on learning, with the breadth and quality of content required to grab the modern learner’s attention and satisfy their varied skills needs. 

For further insights into the modern learner’s needs, be sure to read our articles on closing the L&D skills gap and how technology has changed the way we learn

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