Learning and development has been at the forefront of recent efforts to adapt to adversity. LinkedIn’s new Workplace Learning Report investigates how L&D can continue to thrive in challenging circumstances.
Learning and development (L&D) initiatives have helped employees and leaders build confidence and resilience by putting one of the most valuable assets in their hands: skills – especially future-ready skills.
It’s almost one full year into the Great Reshuffle – where employees are rethinking everything – and this means employees are continuing to re-evaluate how, where and even why they work.
Organisations are rethinking their entire working models, cultures and values due to the increased pressure for flexibility as well as diversity and inclusion. Amidst all this change, one thing is clear: learning leads the way through.
L&D professionals lead not only through upskilling, but also through shifting behaviours and mindsets. Ultimately, leadership helps bring humanity back into the corporate world.
Linkedin’s latest Workplace Learning Report sheds light on what it means to be an L&D professional during a time when change is constant, workloads have increased and employee expectations have never been higher.
The report also charts a path forward for L&D. The 1,444 L&D professionals and 610 learners surveyed called for greater commitment and bolder action. L&D professionals are primed to lead organisation-wide efforts, such as skills-first talent development and internal mobility. They’re ready to collaborate more closely and intentionally with colleagues in other HR functions. And as L&D professionals align their learning strategies more closely to business needs, they will continue to keep well-earned seats at the executive table.
L&D leads through major transition
Over the past two years, L&D professionals have stepped up to guide their organisations through unthinkable upheaval. L&D specialists have helped employees and organisations learn new skills and meet the needs of a rapidly evolving world of work.
Among the L&D specialists LinkedIn surveyed:
- 87 per cent had some-to-a great deal of involvement in helping their organisations adapt to change in the past year.
- 72 per cent agree that L&D has become a more strategic function at their organisation.
- 74 per cent agree that L&D has become more cross-functional.
The spotlight also brings heat
For this year’s report, LinkedIn asked L&D specialists to name all the programs they are planning to deploy in 2022. The number of programs increased across all categories from 2021. L&D teams are running programs ranging from diversity, equity and inclusion training to learning competitions – and everything in between.
While it’s an exciting time for L&D to broaden its scope, the truth is that the workload simply isn’t sustainable.
One key process that has fallen by the wayside is reskilling and upskilling for L&D professionals themselves. Compared to their colleagues in other HR functions, L&D professionals spent 35 per cent less time learning in 2021. In 2022, a key priority for these professionals will be reversing this trend.
L&D’s success means business success
This year’s report is full of tips and guidance on how L&D teams can continue to lead their people and organisations into the future of work. Here are a few key takeaways:
Show your impact. Pfizer’s L&D leader Sean Hudson says, “Our top opportunity is to quantify the impact and ensure it is enterprise-wide, so that learning can help lead the way forward.”
Deepen relationships with our HR colleagues. L&D pros are working more closely with talent acquisition and employee engagement counterparts than ever before. But there’s one function that PayPal’s Head of People Analytics Serena Huang and other experts recommend L&D professionals engage with even more consistently: people analytics.
Listen to our learners. It’s crucial to remember that the best source for understanding employees’ wants and needs is employees themselves. Take the time to listen to their concerns and co-create solutions alongside them.
Want to read more L&D insights? The 2022 Workplace Learning Report is packed with plenty more tips, case studies, statistics and more.