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0411blog1200In the beginning of 2018, many publications’ year-ahead articles included ample predictions about the transformation of organizational learning and development (L&D). It’s a top issue, for sure, and it will likely remain a priority in the coming years.

But now that spring is here, we’d like to narrow our focus on some of the key trends that have kept our attention. Here are three things business leaders should keep an eye on:

1. Onboarding should be more than just “orientation.”

The onboarding experience is critical to engagement—it sets the tone of an organization, and helps to define and strengthen a company’s culture. But many organizations’ approaches fail to properly prepare employees for new positions. New hires are herded through a standard process that provides little more than a surface-level overview. Onboarding processes rarely focus on quickly building the tech skills employees need for their particular position.

2. GDPR, its looming deadline, and what it means for US businesses.

On May 25, 2018, the rules outlined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was approved by the European Union Parliament in April 2016, will come into effect. Although the GDPR is an EU order, it will nevertheless significantly affect US businesses—if your organization handles data of British subjects or EU citizens from any of the 28 member states, it is required to comply with the GDPR’s complex regulations.

Training will be key to ensuring employees understand the new regulations and comply with them. In addition, training will be critical for artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and other data analytics technology. According to PwC’s third GDPR pulse survey, almost two-thirds of respondents worldwide say they plan to implement IoT and other data analytics technology in the coming year—all of which will require significant work to remain GDPR compliant.

3. L&D vendor selection has become critical.

As L&D needs expand, so too does the demand for learning vendors who can provide quick, personalized, task-focused solutions for every employee, whether they are in-house, remote, full-time or contingent. Vendor selection will become a key issue this year and in the years to come.

A thread connects these three top challenges—they’re issues that often have been overlooked because they aren’t perceived as vital to organizational success. But in this new world of work, the rules are more complex and the path to success changes often.

In the coming weeks, we will explore each of these three trends more in depth. Stay tuned.

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