Tips & Strategies For Australian L&D In 2020

Mark Fenna-Roberts, Managing Director, ITC Learning Australasia Looks At 5 Key Trends Shaping 2020

As we close in on a new decade, Australia is facing some trends that will have a profound impact on our industry.

With over 18 years in the Australian industry, I have seen trends come and go, however new technology and a changing workforce – are literally forcing ever faster change.

Here is what HR and L&D leaders can do to prepare and even leverage these trends to create greater organisational impact in the 2020’s.

1. A Skills Shortage, Not A Jobs Shortage.

As the population ages, and the number of Australians available to work drops, where do companies turn for talent?

Training and keeping a diminishing pool of talent is the challenge, and sourcing talent from an increasingly complex landscape of workers who may be in your own organisation, at school, overseas, retired or ‘in the crowd’.

Strategy Tips: There is opportunity in uncertainty, according to The Path To Prosperity: Why The Future of Work Is Human the latest report in the Building The Lucky Country series.

  • HR and L&D leaders have a major role to play in providing a learning culture in order to develop existing talent.
  • Reinventing corporate training involves increasingly agile, tech-enabled solutions, in particular video and user-generated content driven solutions.
  • By raising your organisation’s profile and recruiting talent early through giving talks and engaging in student programs, your organisation can stand out to potential candidates early, rather than in the ‘moment of need’.
  • In addition, experiential learning such as VR, makes eLearning more efficient and effective for students to learn how business concepts are applied in practice, while vastly improving retention and engagement levels.

And finally, a further area to explore, is focussing on skills that your organisation should ‘own’ versus those that can be ‘rented’ or outsourced. We have worked with several organisations to create an eLearning strategic framework that focusses in on the types of L&D content that will specifically and successfully achieve the organisation’s goals.

2. Robots are NOT (really) replacing our jobs.

With talk about technology and its impact on the workforce in Australia, I remind people that technology is much more about augmentation than automation, and many more jobs will change in nature because of automation, rather than disappear altogether.

Strategy Tips: We can use technology to our advantage to create more meaningful and productive jobs involving more meaningful and well-paid work. And by making better choices to facilitate this, could boost national income in terms of GDP by $36 billion a year.

By leveraging AI and machine learning, people need to understand that it can enhance people practices in the workplace, help personal productivity and impact finding top talent for your company.

So don’t be afraid. Instead, be curious. And work with partners who can help you develop a strategy for the roles within your own organisation.

3. All hail the Knowledge Worker

More than 80% of the jobs created between now and 2030 will be for knowledge workers, and two-thirds of jobs will be strongly reliant on soft skills.

Humans still excel at skills like empathy, creativity, collaboration and the human touch. So it makes sense to examine how this looks from an L&D perspective going forward.

Strategy Tips: In The Future of Skills 2019 Report, More than half of Australian employees (52%) indicated that soft skills will be more important for their career.

The report also concluded there was a disconnect in the type of content offered with employers delivering on skills such as Critical Thinking and Industry Specific Knowledge whilst employees feel they aren’t receiving relevant training in growing soft skills such as Adaptability & Flexibility.

Considering that Australian employers also reported that the most significant challenge they face is engaging employees (39%) to learn in the first place, the onus upon designing and delivering engaging content that delivers more human, softer skills is the way forward.

4. The Dominance of A Digitally-Enabled Workforce

We’ve delved into this in recent blog posts, however, the fact is, that in the next five years 70% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials. These Digital Natives expect an ‘always on’, consumer-level tech experience from their organisation’s L&D programs.

Strategy Tips: The organisations that attract the best talent are adept at creating experiences that turn candidates into employees. Australian companies can emulate some of the global leaders in this regard.

There are numerous examples, however, the recent case study of Godiva, the luxury chocolatier, shows how they boosted sales and achieved near perfect post-learning scores through an engaging, video-led eLearning strategy.

5. Out With The Old (Technology), In With The New?

In the Fosway Group’s Digital Learning Realities 2019, it was revealed that organisations had on average, nineteen different learning technologies in use. With new and more efficient technologies coming our way, how does it all fit in with an organisation’s existing tools and systems?

In 2019, the industry saw more investment, through an influx of capital investments and consolidation, in learning experience platforms (LXPs).

Strategy Tips: As a result, organizations are transitioning to on-demand learning to support employees at the time of need, and AI and machine learning are becoming more commonplace in a range of tools, from delivery platforms (LXPs as well as traditional learning management systems) to chatbot-based coaching tools and content curation applications.

I expect we will see more investment flow into the learning space in the coming year, with a focus on improving the employee learning experience. Understanding the implications of these technologies, their potential built-in bias, and the source and use of learner data will be top of mind for L&D professionals as organisations include these emerging tools in their technology stacks.

The challenge we face still however, is defining L&D’s role in building that learning culture. The C-suite, human resources, organizational development, and learning and development teams all have a vested interest and responsibilities in developing and maintaining the company’s learning culture. The tone at the top is key, and making the level of investment needed to maximize the impact of learning on the company. The challenge is for L&D to make certain the investment is achieving the outcomes we expect it to.


How To Engage Millennial eLearners In 2020 – Case Study

As we approach 2020, it’s a good time to look ahead at what will shape L&D next year and into the future.

A key consideration is the fact that Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce in the next five years.

What this means for Australian organisations, is that this generation alone will be the driver for L&D strategies going forward.

Mobile phone in hand, this cohort plan to stay in their jobs for just two years, and when they choose a workplace, their highest priorities are professional development and the latest technology.

So, with this in mind, how can organisations effectively engage this digitally dependent cohort to attract, train and retain them?

Meeting Technology Expectations

We know that 93% of Millennials expect that up-to-date technology is an important factor when choosing a workplace.

With BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) the standard for new starters in most organisations today, a mobile-first, video-based, interactive and micro-learning focused strategy is key.

Flexible, Accessible and Interactive

Diversity and flexibility are core expectations for Millennials in a mobile learning strategy. Learners demand a multi-platform experience, with the ability to dip in and out of courses whenever and wherever they are.

While the preferred learning style is through multimedia, this can add pressure to course creators to make learning that’s not just informative, but interactive.

L&D professionals can start with implementing strategies and tools that encourage the creation, curation and combination of video, audio and even VR – to deliver a responsive, interactive experience.


Customising learning paths and putting the control in the hands of your learners is key. By implementing a user-centred approach, delivery of content which is self-driven and searchable will also deliver results.

Case Study – Godiva Chocolatier

An organisation that has hit the mark by engaging its Millennial workforce is one of the world’s best known luxury chocolate brands, Godiva.

The company has 600 boutiques and 8000 employees around the world, including in Australia.

Keeping Millennials Engaged

Godiva’s Chief HR Officer decided to develop a training initiative that would inspire and educate their most promising Millennial staff in Godiva Boutiques.

These employees would be rewarded with enhanced roles and responsibilities that would, in turn, deliver a better customer experience and improved store performance.

Godiva started working with the gomo authoring tool to create a custom theme for Godiva’s eLearning courses, which include onboarding training, and its seasonal product knowledge training for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas—peak times for product sales.

Due to their seasonal nature, these courses needed to be rapidly built for a quick turnaround against strict deadlines. Using gomo as their authoring tool was critical to meeting those deadlines.

One of Godiva’s key aims was to engage learners, especially its Millennial employees so the learning program had to deliver an interactive, dynamic and fun experience. To meet the learners’ expectations of how content was delivered, the eLearning, therefore, made use of a range of different interactive activities and media types including audio, infographics, animations and videos.

The design process aimed to inspire and educate Godiva’s mostly Millennial retail staff. As part of a blended learning program, The Godiva Global Chocolate Mastery Program consisted of five eLearning modules and a parallel multi-level game called Chocolate Quest: Guardians of the Cocoa Bean.

The learning was:
• Mobile first, accessible via in-store iPads
• Sensitive to all the different cultures of the learners
• Presented in bite-sized chunks (microlearning)
• Text-light wherever possible
• ‘Scannable’, with the main messages concisely expressed and further opportunities to drill down for more detail
• Bold, contemporary and focused in terms of visuals, with all images carefully chosen to complement and enhance the key messages
• Varied, with videos and animations included to create a diverse learning experience.

Designing a Mobile-First Learning Solution

Employees within the Boutiques had no individual email addresses or computers. In most cases, they didn’t even have their own desks to sit at while learning. Some stores provided access to shared desktop computers, but the content had to work for busy employees working on the shop floor, primarily on in-store iPads. The eLearning modules were therefore designed to be consumed on a variety of devices, making full use of gomo’s built-in ability to offer 100% responsive digital learning.

The design solution further capitalised on the mostly-mobile audience with features like vertical scrolling navigation and parallax scrolling. This helped to create a very modern, familiar and interactive experience for learners.

The Result: Greater Learner Engagement and Improved Sales

Employees embraced the eLearning, giving it an average rating of 8.9/10.0 and individual course modules rated as high as 9.4/10. A time-delayed learner survey saw a 17% increase in self-reported confidence to talk about the Godiva brand to colleagues and customers.

Post-learning scores on ability (from explaining where Godiva sources its beans from and its stance on sustainability, to guiding customers through a tasting) saw an increase from average to good scores (5.1 to 7.7 out of 10), to near-perfect scores of between 9.3 and 9.5.

And, most importantly, a follow-up evaluation proved that learners were applying their new knowledge in store, which contributed to Boutiques represented on the program growing significantly faster year-on-year than Boutiques that weren’t.

“As a global company that is over 90 years old and counting, to be able to offer a digitised learning experience that mirrors a gaming environment, while challenging the learner and reinforcing key learning points from the digital module, enriching their jobs, improving customer experience and increasing sales is a true three-way win,” – Karina Chiechi, Learning & Development Manager Godiva Americas


Want Behaviour Change? Top Things L&D Can Learn From Marketers

These days, learning professionals increasingly have more in common with marketers.

For starters, the battleground is for attention, and it is the ‘first line’ when it comes to getting people to think and act differently – and ultimately – to change behaviour.

In today’s noisy, distracted digital world, where messaging gets lost like so much wallpaper, both marketers and L&D professionals must compete for mindshare by engaging their audience if they have any chance of being memorable, much less, influential.

Great marketers, like Leo Burnett, understand how to leverage creativity. And these days, that requires going beyond slides and bullet points – leveraging both multimedia content and technology – to tap into the psychology of emotions. Continue reading “Want Behaviour Change? Top Things L&D Can Learn From Marketers”

2019 Benchmark Studies Show Companies With Learning in Their DNA Deliver Growth

New key benchmark studies from globally renowned Towards Maturity Index’s, The Transformation Journey, and Fosway Group/360 Learning’s Digital Learning Realities 2019 respectively reveal that companies with learning in their DNA lead the growth pack

It doesn’t take a genius in macro trends to work out that one of the greatest impacts on business today is technological change and the sheer pace of it.

Never before have we heard the words “disruption” and “transformation” used so interchangeably. Whether that be Business Transformation or Digital Disruption, it’s change, it’s here, and unless your business is run by AI and drones, optimising your workforce for the impact as well as the opportunities – is likely at the top of your agenda.

And that’s not all. For the first time, four generations are working together – Boomers, Gen X, Y (or Millenials – the biggest cohort at work) and Z. And while it can be amusing to hear a Boomer refer to ‘The Interwebs’ or observe a Gen Y messaging a colleague sitting 20 centimetres away – these technological and cultural divides make for some interesting challenges in learning and development.

Continue reading “2019 Benchmark Studies Show Companies With Learning in Their DNA Deliver Growth”

Will LXP Kill The LMS?

Move over LMS, here comes LXP – or the Learning Experience Platform.

In early 2018, L&D thought-leader and founder of Bersin Deloitte, Josh Bersin, spotted a trend and coined a new phrase: ‘in the flow of work’.

The idea behind this was that the employees want to learn something in the moment of need, and apply it instantly. And this is at the heart of the learning experience Platform or LXP.

Bersin naturally predicted that LXP will replace the veritable LMS. And that’s because LXP encompasses all of the varied ways that individuals learn in that flow of work – which includes lunchroom conversations with colleagues and social learning. Imagine how this changes the learning experience, and how it differs from conventional Learning Management Systems.

But if this sounds too chaotic, you might have some company amongst the in-the-know L&D professionals who are left wondering how the likes of workplace communication tools like Slack and Udemy are going to be calibrated into learning analytics.

Continue reading “Will LXP Kill The LMS?”