Will 2022 be the calm after the storm and how will this impact leadership and development trends? We will see a whole new shape and outlook for business as we adapt to the new world. This is the year where professionals will be given the long-overdue opportunity to reskill, leverage, change and fulfill their potential. Learning and Development will be 2022’s priority for most.
As we look to 2022, the learning and development trends we can expect based on what we have seen since the pandemic hit are cross-training, focusing on soft skills and building a community, and training at all levels. Here are some learning and development ideas you can work on in 2022.
Leadership and Development Trends
Trend #1 Upskilling, Reskilling and Cross-skilling
In previous articles, we’ve discussed the great resignation. In the ‘Great Resignation,’ businesses are collapsing because they can’t get the talent through the doors. Here’s where upskilling, retraining, and cross-training can help fill the skills gap and meet market needs. There are many leadership case study scenarios that corroborate this.
It requires new tools, new methodologies, new mindsets, new processes, new capabilities, and new certifications. It means teaching employees new skills to become more proficient in their new roles, improving their existing skills to be more valuable and helpful to the team, and learning how to collaborate and support each other with cross-training.
Organizations need to be the pillars of learning and understand how can managers support employees. They must provide the institutional education that their employees lack and stay ahead of the curve. Without lifelong learning and up-skilling opportunities, employees are likely to leave. Due to the talent pipeline bottleneck, retaining and attracting the best people will be crucial.
Creating a culture of self-improvement will not only improve the existing workforce and fill skills gaps internally but will also attract more talented and driven workers externally.
Trend #2 Soft Skills & Building Learning Communities
If you want to succeed in reshaping your team, soft skills are crucial. It’s about having the interpersonal skills necessary to work seamlessly along with technical skills relating to your role. Several studies have shown that soft skills training in communication and problem-solving increases productivity and retention. Soft skills account for 85% of job success, according to the National Soft Skills Association.
This goes back to bringing humanity back into human resources. Humans are complex social beings. That’s why soft skills are so essential. Technology can’t read our minds or nurture a relationship. We’ve seen an increase in technology over the years, especially in the last two years, where most learned to navigate business entirely remotely and have to learn how to keep remote teams engaged.
In 2022, the trend you’ll see is to bring the focus back to humans and how we navigate our relationships and apply that to how we learn. Your team will develop common interests and shared goals by fostering a community around company learning. This way, they can learn from one another, make progress collectively, enhance their leadership skills, and close the leadeship gap.
Whether your organization is restructuring and shifting employees’ positions or upskilling staff, it is vital to cultivate soft skills through learning and development to give more credit to the power of being human.
Now, what about training for entry-level positions?
Trend #3 Training for all positions
Corporate learning and Development shouldn’t be solely about retaining top talent. 2022’s goal is to retain all talent. As all positions experience turnover costs and the pool of talent is limited, your L&D program should apply to all positions. By now you should be aware of the benefits of employee retention in all positions.
As I’m sure you’ve heard before, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” Same goes for the loudest and proudest. Meaning most attention either goes to senior professionals or the most vocal workers. They tend to be the ones getting the training and better learning opportunities.
Unfortunately, learning and development programs tend to be unbalanced and lean towards C-level executives, and the lower positions are often forgotten. It is ideal for every employee to receive learning and development tailored to their career and position. They will learn relevant skills in a way that helps boost the organization, not just from a personal perspective but also for the organization as a whole.
Every member of an organization has a unique opportunity to make a positive difference. The learning and development trend in 2022 will be seeing the importance of developing employees across all levels. Education and Training must be inclusive to address this imbalance. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends, 81% of talent professionals agree that internal mobility is the most critical factor for improving retention.
Expect to see some big money being spent on enterprise learning solutions. Your competitive advantage lies in your learning and development program, and it’s what drives improved business performance.
Since apparent trends are placing pressure on L&D strategies for 2022, it is time to polish those training programs and, even more importantly, to figure out how your training programs can make a difference.
Recommended reading: Leadership trends for 2022