By: Chris Eigeland, Go1’s CRO and Co-Founder
1. Short form corporate learning content enters the mainstream: Over the last few years, we have seen apps such as TikTok and features like Instagram Reels grow in popularity. These short-form style videos have taken how-tos and hacks to the next level by showing people all over the world how to uplevel their interview skills or tips for dealing with burnout (or my favorite – learning short historical facts). Additionally, they have proven that it is possible to deliver a strong message and clear learnings in under three minutes. This type of short-form content has had a real impact on younger Millennials and Gen Z and needs to be recognized by organizations as an effective strategy for workforce learning and development (L&D) practices. In 2022, L&D programs will experiment with shorter form, ‘just in time’ content, in order to improve the accessibility and relevance of workplace learning. This will encourage employees to upskill and to explore new L&D topics that are important to them, such as interpersonal skills and horizontal topics of interest.
2. Learning in the flow gains a foothold in enterprises: When L&D programs are accompanied by resources like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more, it creates an opportunity for employees to learn in the flow of their workday. Employees have demanded time and resources to work on their professional development, and this method is an opportunity for organizations to plug into the resources already available to employees. Learning in the flow will not only allow employees to develop their skills when it is convenient for them, but as we continue to transition to a hybrid workforce, it will support an efficient work and learning environment. As L&D programs evolve over the next several years, the industry will see a strong uptick in content accessibility that will create upskilling opportunities and continued education resources that fit within their day.
3. Opportunities for growth will retain quality talent within the workplace: As we continue to push through The Great Resignation and the transition to a hybrid work model, organizations will invest in employee professional development to retain quality talent. Today, employees are constantly looking for opportunities to reskill and upskill. Employers should be playing an increasing role in providing resources and allotted time to grow into their next position and within their respective careers. Gaining additional skills will be high on their list when considering new opportunities.
4. L&D departments will take on holistic employee care: In 2022, L&D programs need to take ownership of more than just developing employees’ skills and performance. It needs to tackle employees’ personal growth as well. Next year, we will start to see mass adoption of programming that is centered around creating healthy personal and professional lives, which will lead to better employees and teammates. Topics such as dealing with burnout and mental health awareness have become more relevant than ever, but we will see it go a step further. Learning how to manage stress through mindfulness, as an example, is a training and educational resource that supports employees’ mental and physical health. These types of additions to L&D programs will become more standard and stand out as employees search for opportunities within their company resources to support their broader wellness goals.
5. Immersive learning becomes a part of the emotional intelligence toolbox. Over the past decade, industries and organizations have shifted towards ethical and emotive leadership with much of the demand generated by customers and consumers. As such, empathy has become a defining leadership trait, increasingly necessary in a modern workplace. With the convergence of digital work tools combined with a mobile, distributed workforce, immersive learning has come into view, and it can play an integral part in emotional skill building. We’ve seen the sophisticated use cases of AR and VR tools for learning across healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, etc. for training on core functional competencies, but what about critical emotional intelligence? There’s a great potential to literally step into someone else’s world experience for a dimensional understanding of one’s employees, the work community and the organizational culture in relation to all that is happening in the broader world.
6.Diversity becomes top of mind for designing learning. Supporting neurodiversity is vital to any successful D&I program. Estimates show that about 18% of the population have neurodiverse learning needs. There’s a surprisingly effective role that L&D can play to meet these learners at critical junctures of their professional journey. Firstly, a holistic approach is vital, rather than viewing neurodiverse learners as an entirely separate category. Additionally, a learner needs assessment can be helpful to support neurodiversity in digital learning to focus on the content areas most lacking or difficult to comprehend.
7. Skilling is essential to future proof small businesses. The dramatic financial impact of the recent market shifts on small businesses has been well documented. And now for these businesses to steady themselves against ongoing pressures coupled with minimal resources is an uphill climb. So, learning and development is often seen as a luxury and never a necessity. However, with owners having to ensure business continuity with smaller staff and fewer specialized roles, the need for skilling and training is on par with enterprises. This is where the right investment in HR technology will hold its weight for streamlined, intuitive learning experiences. It can not only help small businesses reduce their training cost per employee but avoid outsourcing of training and maintain compliance and accreditation (the toughest of operational duties) as they navigate the digitization of their businesses.