Learning is a lifelong quest that constantly evolves and improves you. New research reveals that access to employer-paid education is one of the most popular perks that companies can offer their employees, second only to health care benefits.

However, the face of learning has shifted incredibly. Workplace learning is all about getting online, and within that, LinkedIn Learning’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report reveals three major trends that should be on the radar in every business.

Micro-Content Skills
According to the report, workers now rank self-directed learning experiences–that is, bite-size learning like reading articles, watching videos, or attending web conferences they can grab whenever necessary in a short time frame as immediate needs arise–as their preferred learning approach. The preference is highest among Gen Z (43%) and Millennials (42%).

These pieces of micro-content allow workers at all levels to solve problems and fill small skills gaps related to immediate projects. Subsequently, they are able to react with high agility to the real-time demands of the market, meeting short-term goals that contribute to their company’s long-term vision. They also make sense given the rise of freelancing, as teams can use micro-content to bring flexible workers up to speed quickly.

Embracing the preference for micro-content means that you can provide small goals for your team that can boost their confidence, and that you can build many opportunities for one-on-one evaluation. It also means you can encourage workers to be more creative and mindful, as they can explore many options in a present-focused way.

Creativity, Coaching, and Other Soft Skills
While technical skills are still a backbone for business, the rise of A.I., automation, and other technologies means that businesses also are honing in on soft skills–that is, the “human” side of work. The LinkedIn report identifies creativity as the top soft skill companies are looking for most. Persuasion and collaboration rank second and third, followed by adaptability and time management. And leaders who learn online also are focused on soft skills like executive leadership and coaching.

As you take advantage of content related to soft skills for leadership yourself, your challenge is to understand where your operations need a human touch and where technology can take over. You also need to make sure workers actually have opportunities to practice the soft skills they learn online, such as through increased face-to-face interactions, networking, and mentoring. 

Coding/Development and Data-Driven Skills
Certain skills are of interest across generations. For example, coding is high in demand with both younger employees and Baby Boomers, with Python training being the top course both generations watched.

Young employees are focused intently on learning to be developers. Workers with two or less years of experience watched two times more content on programming languages compared with the average learner. And for Millennials, data-driven skills (e.g., visualization, statistics, data modelling) are the life of the party, with this generation watching 1.2 times more content in these areas than the average learner.

Generation also influences how workers get online for their learning. Gen X workers, for instance, learn more on mobile than any other generation, doing 39% more of their learning on mobile than Gen Z workers.

As you try to develop a culture of learning in your company, certain groups of workers  you might be able to get people initially interested in online learning by pitching those subjects on specific platforms. Emphasizing common ground between generations can unify your team and it’s important to note that anyone, regardless of age, background or other factors, has the capacity to use their individual strengths to learn whatever they want.

Source: Inc.