The Future of Workplace Learning


As reported by Forbes magazine, approximately $130 billion was spent globally on corporate training in 2013, up 15% from the previous year.  Workplaces are recognizing the importance of  training to close skills gaps, raise employee satisfaction and ultimately increase productivity.  But with so many options to choose from, how should a business spend its hard-earned training dollars?

The past few years have seen exciting advances in the tools used to deliver quality training, such as mobile technology, gamification or adaptive learning strategies.  However, according to Unboxed Technology, the trend for 2016 is strategy and execution. Companies will focus on:

Alignment with Business Goals

Begin with the end in mind.  -Stephen Covey

Training for the sake of training is not going to achieve desired outcomes in the workplace. Rather, companies are keeping their big-picture objectives in mind to ensure that training leads to observable, measurable results in productivity and engagement.

Rather than jumping on the latest training bandwagon, organizations are trying to better understand their employees’ skills gaps and find real solutions to performance issues. A training program that can drill down and identify workplace needs and offer a targeted solution that will result in positive outcomes will be a huge asset in the world of corporate training.


Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.  -Steve Jobs

Collaboration across departments may have been overlooked in the past, but businesses are realizing that a company-wide, shared vision is key to achieving long-term workplace objectives.  Training that focuses on teaching people to work together in a collaborative manner increases transparency, efficiency and profitability within the workplace.

Essential Skills Training

Essential Skills are the foundational skills we use to carry out tasks in the workplace, and 9 Essential Skillsthey are the building blocks we need to learn new ones (Source: Workplace Education Manitoba).  In a study that focused on Canada’s hotel industry, Essential Skills training produced an average 25% return on investment, with some companies reporting an ROI of up to 300%.  According to the The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development:

about 13% of workers are under-qualified for their jobs, significantly affecting productivity at your firm. Low literacy and essential skills is a compounding problem because low-skilled adults benefit less from other training that sits atop basic skills—and their skills remain weak or deteriorate over time. “Differences in the average use of reading skills explain around 30% of the variation in labour productivity across countries,” states the OECD study Skills Outlook 2013. In Canada, the opportunity to improve is immense—the number of people with inadequate literacy skills has increased to almost one in two the past decade. (Source: Canadian Business)

The companies who will benefit most from training in the upcoming year are those who are willing to uncover the root cause behind performance gaps, improve Essential Skills, collaborate across departments to reinforce shared goals and objectives, and measure tangible results in performance and productivity.

With 25 years experience, and a strategic focus on embedding assessment and evaluation strategies into workplace Essential Skills training plans, Workplace Education Manitoba is committed to providing cost-effective, skill-building training solutions that will have measurable positive impact to your bottom line. For more information about upcoming certificate training programs please go to