06 February 2019

Training Challenges Facing Learning Professionals Today – an Interview with Declan Mulkeen

Digital Transformation / The Modern Learner
training challenges



Learnlight’s Global Head of Marketing, Declan Mulkeen was interviewed by leading French HR publication Design RH on the topic of engaging learners with Corporate Training. The interview took place during Learnlight’s Round Table in Paris where three speakers from AXA, Orange and BNP Paribas shared their experience of training and skills development in the digital age. The speakers shared insights on how HR and Learning professionals can adapt their learning strategies to meet the needs of today’s impatient, overwhelmed and distracted employees.

Interview Transcript

What were the three main takeaways of this Round Table for HR and Learning professionals?

I think [that] what they have probably taken away most is that there is a new challenge that they are facing in corporate learning, which is how do they actually engage with their learners.

They’re finding that their current learning practices aren’t really working very well and they’re looking for new methodologies and new training methods that can help them to engage with their learners and to deliver when they’re investing money which is very important. I think that’s number one.

I think the second thing that people are finding is that there are new solutions out there that are very different to traditional face-to-face ones.

One of the guests, for example, spoke about the fact that face-to-face training can actually be worse than digital learning because of the fact it’s so difficult to organize. Trying to bring people together in the same room is very expensive, so I think a lot of people learned today that there’s a new way to deliver training to their populations.

I think the last thing, probably the most important take away from today, is the fact that there’s an awful lot of commonality. People are actually doing things quite similarly and they’re all trying to find their own way and it was very interesting [to see] with our guests and with our panelists from AXA, Orange and from BNP Paribas, that they had a lot of shared goals with their corporate training and there was very much a sense of purpose in what they were doing.

Paris Round Table Modern Learner
Round Table: The Modern Learner
How the Modern Learner is changing the face of corporate learning
Paris Round Table Modern Learner
Round Table: The Modern Learner
How the Modern Learner is changing the face of corporate learning

Is this the end of face-to-face training?

I wouldn’t say it is the end of face-to-face training, in fact we still do lots of face-to-face training and I think it’s a question of what is right for the client at the time. Of course, there are examples where face-to-face training is very effective, for example, a lot of our intercultural training we deliver face-to-face and that’s very effective and very powerful but I think nowadays, with the Modern Learner who is constantly on their smartphone – they’ve got ubiquitous internet connection, they’re on the move, they’re time-poor, they’ve got very difficult work-life balance challenges, I think they need to learn in a new way.

So face-to-face training isn’t dead, but it’s definitely changing and migrating towards a more virtual, digital world.

What is the role of Virtual Reality in today’s training?

Well VR, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, a lot of these subjects, themes, changes are coming thick and fast into the market and we’re definitely embracing them. I think it’s going to be a very interesting next five years in corporate learning, seeing how companies such as Learnlight integrate virtual learning and augmented reality into our learning.

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