SumTotal Blog

Ivonne Smith (1 Posts)

Ivonne Smith

Ivonne Smith began her career in learning 20 years ago as Learning and Development Manager at a high tech software organization. In in 2001, Ivonne joined SmartForce (now Skillsoft) working with Fortune 500 customers to design, develop and implement successful eLearning programs tied to organizational imperatives and business goals. Her special interest in learning strategy development led her to global and strategic consulting position working with top Skillsoft customers creating Learning Strategy Blueprints to assess learning needs, define learning strategies, and cultivate learning programs to, again, ensure alignment to business. Today, Ivonne serves as the Senior Manager of Field Marketing for Skillsoft. Follow Ivonne on Twitter @IvonneSmith!

What’s Happening In The Workplace


As we all stare down the road of another new year and plan our calendars and develop strategies accordingly, I think now is the ideal time to peer inside today’s workplace and see what are the emerging hot issues and what are those perennial ones still snapping at the heels of our HR and L&D teams.

In fact, we already looked. Our 2018 Global Learning & Development Trends: Workplace, Talent and Learning survey asked Skillsoft and SumTotal customers from a myriad of industries and locations to give us the complete lowdown, the latest thoughts and trends from the world of work.

Their responses illustrate what anyone working in this area has long known, namely that the way we work, learn and hire is perpetually in motion. This means those of us working in the industry need to also continuously maintain a similar momentum, one that is always at least one step ahead of these changes. And although I am aware that this is an obvious outcome, I am also very aware that it is not always an easy one to achieve.

In 2018, what changes can we expect

-at the workplace?

It’s a tech-driven life, and companies will start accepting it This is a given, but what is new is that employees now expect the same software experience at work as they have at home.

Time is precious, workforce productivity is power – Josh Bersin is convinced that HR will lead the charge on this and suggested that in time HR might be known as “the productivity department.”

Upskill, reskill…just keep “skilling” Investing in your people benefits everyone. The organization gets the talent they need to stay competitive and employees see opportunity for career development.

Diversity. Talk the talk AND walk the walk – Devoting time and resources to dealing with unconscious bias and promoting a more inclusive workforce is moving center stage this year as we see more and more companies’ launching  diversity programs.

Culture is key, if not, employees will hop – Thanks to sites like Glassdoor and Linkedin, organizations are acutely aware that their brand is significant, and represents their culture and values to the customer and potential employees equally.

-in the world of talent?

First impressions last – onboarding has become a litmus test not just for employers, but for employees, many of whom will decide in their first week(s) if they made the right choice.  It will also spill over to include opportunities to continually onboard existing employees throughout their career.

HR’s coolness factor will rise – Employees expect a unified, modern, consumer-based “hire-to-retire” experience that should begin with the application process and grow throughout their time with the company.

Digital skills still in big demand – In the “digital ready” world, the demand for employees with solid digital skills including coders, software engineers, and developers will continue to increase.

Because when your employees FEEL good, they DO good! Wellness programs and solid benefits will become a top priority to attract and retain top talent.

with learning?

Digital skills beyond the tech geeks – To fully connect learning efforts to business results, it is imperative that all employees, not just those in the IT teams, are given digital skills training.

Give them the learning and make it fast – The demand for microlearning platforms and collaborative social learning is driving a push for organizations to offer employees learning opportunities that replace the traditional compliance-based classroom training with personalized and easy-to-use online tools.

Mobile IS where it all happens – The phenomenal growth and popularity of apps means employers are under pressure to offer similar experiences as part of their learning and development programs. Period.

The more we know the more cyber-secure we are – The pervasive threat of breaches, coupled with the very nature of these breaches, demands that all employees receive cyber-security awareness training.

Whatever way you read this data, and I hope most of you recognize the trends highlighted and have already begun adopting or implementing the changes, the bottom line is that regardless how ‘digital’ the workplace becomes, the very central role paid by people must never be underestimated.  Humans are still number one, are still the beating heart of every organization. The task is merely to ensure you have equipped your talent with the skills necessary to thrive in the new digital world of work.

Click here for the 2018 Global Learning & Development Trends: Workplace, Talent and Learning survey infographic