HR Retail 2021

June 14 - 15, 2021

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, CA

Four New Training Methods to Deploy in 2020

Brought to you by WBR Insights

Staff training is an important function of any business. Whether it's onboarding brand new staff members or facilitating ongoing training for existing staff, making sure your people have the knowledge and skills they need to perform their role effectively should be a top priority.

As with many corners of industry, digital technology is providing new ways of doing things. However, there will be more to training in 2020 than simply deploying technological solutions. New strategies and techniques are also in play, making the third decade of the 21st century one to look forward to for human resources departments responsible for training.

Let's have a look at some of the hottest trends in training and why you'll want give them serious consideration in 2020.

#1 Classroom Learning

We've already discussed in previous articles in this series how the contemporary generation of employees appreciates and actively seeks out jobs where they can manage how and where they work - within reason, of course. It probably won't surprise you to learn that they also want their learning and development programs to follow suit.

People tend to learn better in a social context. While technology helps us connect with our peers wherever we are in the world, it's face-to-face collaborative learning that produces the best results. Online learning environments will continue to be important (see the next point), but a good balance of digital and classroom learning seems to be the best bet.

Learning in a classroom environment will allow your employees to bounce ideas off one another and solve training problems as a team. It has the added effect of allowing you to identify natural leaders as they emerge, as well as team players, and discover your employee's strengths and weaknesses around which you can build custom training programs.

#2 Mobility and Flexibility

While customized and flexible face-to-face training will be important in 2020, employees also need to be able to complete training from wherever they are in the world. As remote working becomes ever more popular, training programs will have to change to match.

This means that not only should a proportion of your training be available online, but the software in play should be formatted in such a way that it can be accessed from any connected device - including smartphones and tablets.

Employers that make this functionality available to their staff will find that engagement with training programs increases as they can be completed at home, during the commute, or at any one of a dozen other opportunities during their lives outside of the nine to five.

#3 Digital Skill Training

As companies continue to go through their digital transformations, the skill sets required by many employees are going to change drastically. This means that employers will benefit from making training in these areas available to their staff.

Don't think that because you're a retail brand you're safe either. As more and more technology permeates this industry, you're going to need these skills on board. Acquiring them could also help your employees avoid the risks to jobs posed by automation.

Your marketing team could use lessons in search engine optimization, social media, video editing and more. With these skills in their toolbox, they'll be able to create amazing promotional campaigns, without the need for outsourcing. Likewise, your analysts could use programming language skills to allow them to create their own software, allowing your brand to glean ever more detailed insights from data.

Offering these kinds of digital skill classes will not only make your business run better than ever, but it will also make your company more attractive to job seekers who will leap at the chance to acquire these increasingly crucial skills.

#4 Leadership Training

Another type of training we're going to see more of in 2020 will be focused around developing leadership and managerial skills.

People want to know their entry-level job is the start of a career and they aren't afraid to change companies regularly to find the perfect fit. By offering training in management and leadership, you will empower your employees to be their best selves while simultaneously demonstrating that your brand is committed to developing their careers and should be considered more than just a stopgap.

With a dedicated team of people trained in these skills, you can be sure of long-term success for everyone and more profitable organizational goals.

Final Thoughts

Here you have four hot training trends to look forward to in 2020. As you can see, while technology does run through them, there are many other factors to consider alongside it. Those brands which are able to incorporate most, if not all, of the above will have a very bright new year indeed.


Training and development are set to be hot topics at HR Retail 2020 being held in April at the Hilton Austin, TX.

Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.