What are the Latest Trends in the World of Workplace Training and Development?
The past few years have been anything but typical as the working world has dealt with the pandemic, a massive shift to remote and hybrid work, social unrest, the Great Resignation, and more than we can fit in a single sentence. All of the change in the business world has had a significant impact on HR and learning and development (L&D) teams, which are often considered the stewards of employee experience. So how are L&D teams coping with all this change? Here are four trends that are shaping L&D in 2022.
1. Training and development spending is on the rise
Workplace training and development is a massive industry. Recent estimates put the global spend on corporate training initiatives at $360 billion. It’s a staggering number, especially because it’s down compared to pre-pandemic levels. Even if many organizations temporarily decreased their L&D programs due to global events, we can expect to see a renewed investment in training initiatives as companies grapple with talent shortages spurred by the Great Resignation.
2. Employee engagement is down
The pandemic caused a significant drop in employee engagement — not too surprising, considering the stresses and loss of personal interaction, due in part to working from home. Gallup research pins global employee engagement at about 20%. The good news for L&D professionals is that learning is an essential booster of employee engagement — when it’s done right.
3. HR professionals facing burnout
Over the past few years, HR and L&D professionals have seen their roles and responsibilities grow. Whether it’s transitioning their entire training programs to a virtual setting, expanding their well-being programs and benefits, or trying to support company leaders and employees as they contend with various crises, their jobs have never covered so many responsibilities — nor caused more stress. And that’s why burnout is now a serious concern across the HR profession. Half of all HR pros say they are burned out, and 72% of that share are looking for a new job.
4. Everyone is hungry for learning
As employees consider their next professional steps and companies prepare for the uncertainty of the future, continuous workplace learning helps satisfy both those needs. We’re seeing a large percentage, 71%, of CEOs saying their organizations are preparing for talent transformation. At the same time, employees themselves are also seeking learning opportunities. According to a recent Gallup study, more than half of US workers want to upgrade their skills, and nearly one in every two people say they’re willing to find a new job to pursue those skills. Offering learning and development is critical to meeting workers’ needs and expectations.
Make continuous workplace learning part of your L&D strategy
If the effects of these trends are causing you to rethink your L&D strategy, you’re not alone. “The ‘traditional’ learning program style, in which employees are pushed to sit in an additional class on top of their usual duties, has been falling out of favor for some time,” writes Kathryn Moody in HR Dive. Learning should be available at all times and integrated into the flow of employees’ work, so it feels more like an enhancement than an interruption.
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