The Future of HR Tech: How AI is Delivering New L&D Experiences

The increasing demand for highly qualified and skilled talent has been constantly fueling the growth of the human resource (HR) technology market in recent years. Valued at $24.02 billion in 2021, the global HR technology market size is expected to reach a value of $35.68 billion by 2028, says a recent survey by growth consulting firm SkyQuest. 

With growing investments, it’s clear that HR technology will continue to play an important role in developing and maintaining a successful workplace in the months and years ahead. There’s already been tremendous chatter around HR tech for maximizing data and improving health and safety. But there is one area not being discussed enough: delivering new L&D experiences.

Hello, AI and Goodbye, Antiquated L&D

Results from a recent Corporate Learning Network (CLN) survey and conversations with learning leaders show that while e-learning courses and Learning Management Systems (LMS) are still staples in learning, many companies today aren’t structured (whether through organizational design or operations) in a way that unleashes the true talents and abilities of their workforce. As their report states, “Gone are the days in which traditional one-size-fits-all learning and technology methods can be used: The disconnected systems, bureaucratic processes, and robotic training curricula that were once stereotypical of L&D are no longer conducive or synonymous to providing an impact on the learner or the business.”

Traditional methods like scenario-based guides, skills and personality assessments, lectures, panels, surveys, and pre-recorded videos are no longer considered the de facto standard in L&D. These tools and techniques might be helpful in disseminating information, but they fall short when it comes to fostering team building, inclusivity, and cultural intelligence, mainly because they occur as one-offs, siloed approaches that don’t focus on the ins and-outs of everyday work life and the connections between people.

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What’s missing is real-world recurring experiences that allow humans to practice and continually develop core skills such as communication, listening, vulnerability, empathy, and compassion. 

Today’s employer requires new ways to deliver L&D experiences at scale, while meeting every employee where they are. Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping to bridge this gap, providing a myriad of opportunities to make L&D more immersive, inclusive, and fun.  AI is taking L&D to new levels by providing personalized, adaptive, and scalable learning experiences, leveraging data analytics and machine learning algorithms to deliver tailored content, real-time feedback, and skill assessment, enhancing learner engagement, knowledge retention, and skills development.

Using AI to Maximize L&D and Meet Employees Where they Are

Today, natural language processing (NLP), a form of AI, gives machines the ability to read and interpret human language and deliver the perfect content that meets the learning style of each individual employee. Using AI, for example, HR leaders can connect to any training content database and be given the perfect content without having to search through millions of courses or training material…

HR leaders must also consider that working remotely or hybridly has changed the daily workflow of employees. It’s important to think about solutions that consider diverse learning styles and meet every employee where they are. AI allows HR leaders and employers to meet employees where they are by offering personalized learning paths based on individual needs and preferences, providing on-demand access to training materials, utilizing data-driven insights to identify skill gaps and recommend relevant learning opportunities, and enabling continuous learning through games, virtual simulations, chatbots, and intelligent feedback systems, ultimately maximizing L&D opportunities and ROI by enhancing employee engagement, knowledge acquisition, and professional growth.

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AI + Games = Immersive Experiences and Effective L&D at Scale

One L&D method being tested and implemented at some of the world’s largest organizations is AI-powered gamification utilizing AI. Google, Mayor Clinic, and Bayer are just several multinational companies utilizing the power of games to prompt openness and facilitate connections among their teams.

Gamification is rooted in psychology, sociology, reasoning, and logic because it maps, leverages, and exploits the complex and intricate relationships between human behaviors and what drives them. This is why L&D leaders have begun applying gaming principles and mechanics to what they want to achieve – to get the most out of the “player.” 

Games inspire employees to exercise key skills without feeling like they are “working the muscle,” while offering both rules and randomness that mirror the real world. Games also tap into the brain’s reward center and typically require quick thinking, which traditionally disarms players. And, games are about the luck of the draw, allowing participants to enjoy a sense of freedom while still feeling in control. Each participant is likely not going to win every time, but the desire to work harder the next time they play is usually present. 

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Games are a great way to not only foster inclusion, but also deepen understanding and retention of information and skills learned. These types of solutions are effective because they make personal development and growth enjoyable to the point that it feels like dynamic team-building versus static, independent learning. We all began our educational journey learning through play more often than not alongside a classroom of friends.

AI facilitates L&D gamification by providing:

  • Personalized Challenges: AI can analyze learner data to create customized gamified challenges tailored to individual needs, interests, and skill levels.
  • Real-Time Feedback: AI-powered systems provide instant feedback, progress tracking, and performance analytics, enhancing the gaming experience and promoting continuous improvement.
  • Adaptive Difficulty: AI algorithms can dynamically adjust the difficulty of game-based activities based on learner performance, ensuring an optimal level of challenge and engagement.
  • Virtual Simulations: AI enables the creation of realistic virtual environments and simulations for experiential learning, allowing learners to practice skills in a risk-free, immersive setting.
  • Intelligent Rewards and Recognition: AI can intelligently design rewards, badges, leaderboards, and incentives to motivate learners, reinforce positive behaviors, and foster healthy competition.

AI also helps L&D be more scalable by providing:

  • Automated Content Creation: AI can generate and adapt gamified content at scale, reducing the time and effort required to develop and update learning materials.
  • Personalization at Scale: AI algorithms can handle large volumes of learner data, allowing for personalized gamified experiences across a wide range of employees.
  • Data-Driven Insights: AI analyzes learner performance data to identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement, enabling HR leaders to make informed decisions and scale effective gamified learning strategies.
  • Global Accessibility: AI-enabled gamified learning platforms can be accessed remotely and across different time zones, facilitating scalable L&D opportunities for a geographically dispersed workforce.