‘Time and tide wait for no man,’ or so the saying goes, and never is this more evident than at the passing of a year. As we move into 2017, the world of eLearning is transforming. The old ways of doing things aren’t entirely redundant, but companies that want to stay ahead of their rivals should use a junction like this to examine their staff development.

The new year is the perfect time to map out your training plans for the next 12 months, and to set some clear, achievable goals for your staff, your business and yourself.

Doing that requires an understanding of where the market is heading, which is something The Creative Engine’s training experts spend a lot of time studying.

They have identified three key trends that show how the market is developing, which should inform your training plans for the year ahead.


It’s all about the app

Deloitte’s report, Consumer Usage Patterns in the Era of Peak Smartphone, found that “apps tend to be most successful for processes or tasks which are used regularly”. If you want your staff to dip in and out of your training programme whenever they have a spare moment, consider an app.

Not only do they let you wrap up your content in an entirely predictable interface, but they also earn you a valuable spot on the smartphone home screen, where your content is just one tap away. With no need to navigate bookmarks or enter a web address, staff can pick up where they last left-off the next time they’re waiting for a bus, boiling the kettle or – and we’ve all been there – sitting in the bathroom.

The trend towards living our lives entirely through a small smartphone display shows no sign of easing as we move into 2017. A dedicated app, either solo or as a supplement to a traditional LMS, is a must for companies that want to put staff development at the centre of their strategy for growth.

The Creative Engine produces apps and mobile-optimised learning content, including our flagship Accelerator product for companies as diverse as Sonos and Doroob.


Contracting out

The last 12 months have seen a rush of companies outsourcing their eLearning programmes, which is something we expect to see continuing into 2017. When we pioneered online training in 1999 by rolling out Internet-based courses for BT, most of the market was still focused on optical media. Back then we saw that physical training products were approaching the end of their usable lives and within the next two years the rest of the market followed suit.

A lot of the biggest users of digital training products saw this as an opportunity to set up their own in-house eLearning teams, but these did little more than port their existing content to the web, with scant consideration for the medium and how it had changed the way that training worked.

More than ten years on, all but a handful of die-hards have realised that this doesn’t work, and either re-thought their strategy or outsourced their work to companies like The Creative Engine. As one of the most experienced players in the field, we have clients as different as Intel and Hotelplan, and we bring the wildly divergent experiences we gain from working with each of them to all our other client’s products.

The switch from in-house to external eLearning provision is getting faster.  As an agile, flexible supplier, The Creative Engine is perfectly positioned to help you affect that change in your business, too.


Augmented education

The most effective training solutions are the ones that don’t feel like training at all. We have already seen how gamification has helped Duolingo make language learning a mainstream spare-time activity – and a fun one at that, while Pokemon Go did its bit to help kids get fitter without them even realising it.

The next step will fully integrate eLearning into each employee’s working life so that on-the-job training isn’t something new recruits do in their first few weeks, but a career-long series of small steps towards being more effective at every customer interaction.

The rise of wearable tech is key to achieving this, with smart watches issuing discreet, time-based reminders to perform a learning task, and location-sensitive notifications delivered with reference to each employee’s position at work.

The new year is the perfect time to re-evaluate your training needs. Is your current plan working? How could it be more effective? We can help you answer these questions – and more. Call The Creative Engine on +44 1483 799200 or Talk to us today to discuss how we can work together to bring out the best in your staff in 2017.