Career Development: The Hottest Digital Trend in 2019

Career development is set to be the hottest trend in 2019 and beyond. In today’s digitally disrupted world, digital skills are critical to survival.

For this reason, upskilling, training, and career development have become a central focus for savvy organizations.

Consider the following research:

  • The consulting firm Mercer found that 96% of companies plan organization redesign in the next 2 years
  • Many CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills, according to PwC – 55% of these feel that lack of skills impedes innovation
  • Retraining is the dominant approach for developing these skills – an average of 46% globally

Given the explosion of digital technology in recent years, these statistics shouldn’t be surprising.

Below, we’ll take a big-picture view of career development, examining its causes, why it matters, and what you should be doing about it.

Why Career Development Is a Dominant Trend in 2019

In 2019 and beyond, expect this trend to continue accelerating.

The reasons for this are simple:

  • Digital innovation is continuing to accelerate, disrupting industries around the world
  • Digital disruption feeds digital transformation, making digital skills more necessary than ever
  • As mentioned above, organizations need cutting-edge skills, which fuels the career development trend

However, it is also worth noting that employees also feel the pressure of today’s competitive digital marketplace.

They too are contributing to this trend’s growth:

  • Employees are more disengaged than ever – only 13% of workers are engaged at their job, according to Gallup
  • Engaged employees are far less likely to be absent or look for jobs elsewhere
  • 80% of employees agreed that workplace learning opportunities would increase their engagement

Given the significant ROI of workforce engagement, it’s no surprise that organizations are placing career development high on their agendas this year.

Enterprise Digital Learning Solutions Take Center Stage

It is clear that digital disruption, innovation, and transformation directly impact the workforce.

Deskilling is an unfortunate side effect of digital transformation, yet it also presents opportunities.

For those willing to adapt, reskill, and retrain, career development offers competitive advantages.

However, constant career development is a challenge.

This is why digital learning solutions have become so popular.

They surmount many of these challenges, while offering a wide range of benefits:

  • Contextualized, in-app learning
  • On-demand training
  • Personalized education

Among others.

All of these, in turn, contribute to:

  • Improved career development ROI
  • Better onboarding, training, and orientation experiences
  • More engaged, productive employees

Given the complexity of today’s digital landscape, it’s to be expected that the learning landscape is also complex.

Training options range from learning management systems to learning experience platforms to digital adoption platforms.

We’ve seen the rise of a host of new terminology, such as e-learning, micro-learning, and nano-learning.

What to Focus on with Your Career Development Program

All of these terms sound more confusing than they are.

What everyone should be focusing on is what delivers the best experience and results … for the organization as well as the employees.

An effective digital strategy is the best way to get those results.

That means:

Using cutting edge learning platforms, such as digital adoption platforms. Traditional learning methods have their place. But today’s world is too fast-paced and fragmented for “old school” approaches to keep up.

Choosing the right tools for your needs. Learning management systems have become, essentially, catalogs for online learning. Use AI-driven programs that deliver relevant information, rather than forcing employees to search through mountains of content.

Helping employees achieve their personal goals. This improves productivity, retention, and engagement, as we’ve seen. Creating personalized career development plans is one way to do this. Another is by taking advantage of learning tools that offer personalization features.

Staying innovative in a fast-paced world. In recent years, innovation has become a hallmark of successful companies. But the principle of innovation should be applied everywhere, including career development programs – today, it is a matter of survival.

Becoming agile and lean. Lean and agile business models both place the customer at the center of the equation. In this case, your customers are the employees and the client is the organization. Use feedback and data to define and drive your program.

Prioritize digital literacy. Today, digital skills are in high demand. This doesn’t mean you should teach everyone to program – but digital literacy is a must, since today’s workforce operates in a digital workplace.

Conclusion: Career Development Is No Longer an Option

In the coming years, digital technology will continue to increase the demand for digital skills.

On top of that, automation will add more pressure to low-skilled workers. AI, robotic process automation (RPA), and intelligent automation (IA) will increase the need for highly skilled workers.

By developing a comprehensive career development program, you can help your organization stay competitive.

More importantly, though, you can help your fellow employees stay engaged, productive, and happy.

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.