The learning and development industry landscape is evolving fast. We’ve taken our own industry knowledge, experience and research, combined it with the insights and discussions we have with our fellow L&D professionals every day, to bring you a list of L&D trends we expect to see develop and emerge in the upcoming year.
Post Covid-19, mental health and wellbeing became a top priority for employees in the last 2 years. As part of that movement, there was a spotlight on DEI (Diversity, Equality and Inclusion) to support staff. This year we believe it will being going further than that and expanding out to champion accessibility (DEIA) within this too.
The concept of accessibility does not just apply to people with disabilities, and there is a huge amount of talent that is currently not employed in workforces, so by prioritising accessibility employers will enable access to wider talent pools.
Thinking about accessibility and embedding this from the beginning will help you to ensure that nobody is being excluded and for it to authentically become part of your company culture. To start, you should ask your employees what would provide them with an accessible, inclusive experience at their workplace. Then evaluate your whole business (including recruitment, products and environments) through an accessibility audit.
You will need an adaptable mindset, as whilst you should absolutely be tackling individual’s issues, you also need to understand that it’s possible someone with new, different needs may come into your business and you need to be ready to adapt and offer them their version of a truly inclusive, fair and high-quality experience at work too.
Takeaway: Accessibility should be part of your company’s identity, not just an initiative.
2. Communication with remote teams
The last few years have taught us that a lot can be achieved online, but with more and more employees working remotely (full time or as part of a hybrid scenario) leaders need to find effective, long-term ways to support and build relationships with their teams.
Keeping your remote employees fully engaged and feeling like they are part of a team is a challenge. But it’s not impossible, and the key is communication.
Building strong relationships with effective communication is crucial to business success, but just having regular conversations is not enough, you need to cultivate a communication strategy.
Leaders need to become a ‘bridge’ between team members, taking the time to encourage personal conversations to help find common ground and understand personality styles.
Furthermore, you can help your remote staff members feel connected to the company and interested in their work by investing in their professional growth. When managing remote team members, it’s essential to be flexible. That means being open to different ways of working and communicating and being willing to adjust your methods to fit the needs of your team.
Finally, creating a communication plan and establishing this with clear hierarchy (e.g. phone calls mean urgent, emails are updates and Teams chat is for more conversational points) can help your team all work on the same page.
Takeaway: When managing remote team members, it’s essential to be flexible and open to different ways of working and communicating.
3. Gen Z approach
The way employees want to learn is changing with every generation, and with the latest entrant, Gen Z, it means we need to re-evaluate our environment and how they work with other team members.
They bring a fresh perspective that can be beneficial to their employers, but only if they are listened to! So, we need to understand what motivates and drives them. A 2022 study by Deloitte found their top reason for choosing a place of work was: a good work/life balance (32%), followed by learning and development opportunities (29%) and a good salary (24%).
Gen Z-ers seek companies who have similar values to them and are not afraid to speak up and hold businesses accountable if they don’t stay true and authentic. They want to truly be a part of a psychologically safe company culture.
How they want to consume information is different too: a technology focused generation that prefer to think visually with pictures and infographics may mean a change in current briefings to cater for them.
Takeaway:You need to embrace the modern workforce transformation, listen to their ideas and support them.
Neurodiversity is a huge buzzword in diversity and inclusion presently. It’s starting to receive, and rightly so, similar levels of attention as gender and race in organisational recruitment and leadership strategies, and we are pleased to see that we’re heading in the right direction to embrace neurodiversity in the workplace.
Neurodiversity, like any other type of diversity, empowers organisations to be more adaptive and resilient. Something that, with the rapid change in market needs at the moment, is imperative to stay ahead of the curve on.
To retain the talents of neurodivergent people, employers need to understand and recognise potential barriers they may face from their workspace and fellow colleagues. Without any education or knowledge within your company culture of neurodiversity, there is a risk it will not be embraced by all.
Takeaway: Ultimately, championing neurodiversity is about changing the narrative around sensitivity from seeing these qualities as a weakness, to asserting them as positive.
Resilience has become a critical topic of conversation, particularly in relation to leadership. There can’t be many organisations that wouldn’t want to have employees who are consistently able to navigate change, deal with difficult situations and understand how to maintain positive mental health.
The good news is that anyone can learn to become more resilient and take adversity in their stride, so organisations need to be actively cultivating this environment.
There’s a lot of change going on, inside and outside of work for people at present, meaning resilience training is already on the increase. It will be important for businesses to provide their people with techniques and strategies to cope more effectively, so the changes they face will become more manageable and will help to protect against mental health and wellbeing issues.
When a whole team is made up of resilient individuals, they will encourage each other to work collectively and adopt a growth mindset to develop new ways of thinking about difficult and different challenges and look for ideas and solutions.
Takeaway: Companies that recognise the importance of resilient employees will be the ones who thrive and come through this current challenging period stronger, with more engaged employees.
6. Personalised micro-learning
Micro-learning is far better suited to our modern workplace, with the increase in hybrid and remote teams and people wanting a better work-life balance. We need to be looking at ways of offering a training programme in smaller, bite-sized chunks of content that feels manageable and doesn’t seem daunting to fit into our busy lives.
On top of that, the way we engage them in their learning journey needs to be innovative and creative. Personalising the experience so the training feels like it’s specifically helping them upskill, will help keep learners interested.
Micro-learning also means the training is easily accessible for the learner and is much more likely to be embedded, as the information they receive is in in small digestible pieces that are drip fed over time, rather than overloading them with too much at once. In turn, this provides the organisation with stronger ROI and the behavioural changes are tangible.
You can learn more about how to create a personalised micro-learning programme with our new mobile learning app BentoBot.
Takeaway: Considering these advantages, the adoption of personalised micro-learning for L&D initiatives will grow in 2023.
If you want more insights into 2023 or would like to discuss your upcoming plans with one of the team at PeopleUnboxed, we would love to support you, please get in touch.