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Claudio Erba is the founder and CEO of Docebo, an AI-powered learning platform that empowers business leaders and employees to rethink learning and professional development in the workplace.

Training in the workplace is changing. Employees are more familiar with the traditional top-down, seminar-styled learning sessions where they take a passive and academic approach to learning. Yet, as we enter this new era of work, organizations need to start embracing a shared and decentralized style of professional development.

In addition to the traditional training provided by human resource departments, the types of skills needed to succeed in this modern workplace are also in flux. This is evident through the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and the increasing popularity of remote and flexible work. It is safe to say that the workplace is evolving. And this is not a bad thing. As organizations brace for disruption, they must not lost sight of their most valuable asset: their employees.

What is this shift and what does “modern” learning look like?

Workplaces need to start embracing a shared and decentralized training approach, rather than the conventional centralized approach that employees are familiar with. The key difference is that one model focuses on employees being passive, while the other actively engages employees to learn. This is the democratization of learning. This is the future.

At Docebo, we strongly believe in the 70-20-10 model. This recognizes that only 10 per cent of learning and professional development in the workplace comes from “frontal” or top-down training traditionally used to train employees (for example, conferences, seminars or mandatory training modules). Progressive organizations recognize that 70 per cent of learning comes from experiential knowledge gained through interaction and being engaged on different projects. And the remaining 20 per cent comes from peer-to-peer and mentored learning. Organizations that recognize how learning in the workplace must change will be more successful in their talent-retention strategy, as the two-year churn is a real problem businesses face.

How can I implement this type of learning at my workplace?

Personalization, flexibility and speed is crucial to implementing this type of learning in the workplace. Providing employees with the proper tools and technology to learn is important, as organizations have shifted to accommodate flexible work hours and remote work options.

Centralized learning that is typically used in large organizations should be revisited, as this is often ineffective and not engaging for individual employees. Instead, a best practice would be for individual departments to own certain components of employee training and professional development. This is not to underscore the importance of human resources in conducting certain types of training, such as soft-skills and compliance. However, in specialized roles, such as customer-facing and lead-generation roles, it is crucial that the training capabilities lie within each department.

This deconstructed learning approach combined with the ability for organizations to be agile is what will separate progressive workplaces from others.

But is it good for my bottom line?

Business leaders should not approach training and development using only a financial lens. Employees are an organization’s greatest asset, and retaining a skilled work force needs to be a priority. This is especially important in countries such as Canada and the United States, where the unemployment rate is extremely low and the fight for talent continues to be a challenge.

Businesses and leaders need to invest in their core asset not because it will earn them a certain amount of extra revenue per quarter, but because if they do not invest in their human capital, it could impact the long-term success of the business. Ensuring that employees feel engaged and valued will ultimately increase productivity and revenue in the long term.

This column is part of Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at

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