Now we’re halfway through 2022, it’s time to reflect on some of the key learning and development trends and predictions from learning industry analysts and look ahead to what’s coming next. In “the new normal,” the world of work moves so much faster than ever before.
So, where do we stand on these important learning and development trends for 2022?
1. Hybrid working is here to stay
According to Brandon Hall Group’s new research into hybrid working and learning, 90% of organizations expect to see employees engaging in some degree of hybrid working when optimal return-to-the-workplace strategies are implemented, with just 6% expecting everyone to continue working remotely 100% of the time.
With hybrid working appearing to be overwhelmingly the most popular working model going forward, this brings new challenges for L&D teams. In the same report, 54% of respondents said that learners have too many demands on their time, while 43% said that learners don’t have enough time for learning in general. This is not unique to hybrid learning – regardless of the learning model, learners have always struggled to find the time for training, but hybrid learning requires a more structured, disciplined approach to learning that meets the requirements of both in-person learners and remote learners.
>> Tip: Get the latest L&D research on hybrid work and hybrid learning from Brandon Hall Group.
2. Reskilling is an urgent priority
Organizations face two competing talent pressures: firstly, the last two years have led to widespread change in the way the world works, impacting on how people work and learn. Secondly, the Great Resignation has seen a huge amount of movement in the job market, with many sectors experiencing a mass exodus of talented employees.
In Fosway Group’s recent research paper, The Reskilling Revolution, we discover that a staggering 97% of organizations’ skills agendas have been affected by COVID-19. 59% of those surveyed say that skills have increased in importance to their organization, with 42% saying that talent mobility has become increasingly important. Additionally, 65% of respondents say that their organization has significant skills gaps, which makes both talent retention and reskilling this existing talent an urgent priority for the majority of organizations, and one of the top learning and development trends for 2022.
>> Tip: Linked to reskilling is the need to find the right instructors to do the training. We recently wrote about this challenge – take a look at our take on the war on talented instructors.
3. Customer education is a key competitive differentiator
Extended enterprise learning expert John Leh of Talented Learning says that “Customer education is one of the hottest trends in learning technology because when done right it is a competitive differentiator for organizations small and large in most industries. Delivering strategic customer training helps organizations attract new, educated, qualified leads, convert them into customers, onboard them efficiently and effectively, educate them over time, maximize their satisfaction and drive higher customer renewal rates – all in a measurable way. Simply compare the business metrics of customers who have or haven’t consumed recommended training and the value of customer education becomes obvious to all.”
>> Tip: Training Orchestra’s CEO Stephan Pineau recently spoke to John Leh about simplifying the logistics associated with training for customer education, extended enterprise and L&D alike. Listen to the learning logistics podcast here.
4. Virtual classrooms are becoming normalized
More hybrid research from Fosway Group revealed that 95% of learning leaders believe that L&D has changed forever as a result of the pandemic, with 97% of organizations now using virtual classrooms as part of their training strategies. In particular, there has been a 400% increase in the use of virtual classrooms for external training delivery, and a 3.5x increase in virtual classrooms for internal training.
Virtual classrooms are a vital component of virtual instructor-led training (vILT), as they bring together learners from wherever they are based with no need to travel to a centralized location. However, if you’re not careful, the admin work associated with vILT can quickly add up.
>> Tip: Opting for a Training Management System (TMS) such as Training Orchestra helps streamline and automate the processes associated with setting up virtual classrooms, and enables training schedulers to identify instructors who are skilled in virtual training delivery to ensure the smooth running of your program.
5. Organizations will invest big in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I)
The move toward more diverse hiring practices has been a priority for several years now, but it’s become clear that a more strategic approach is needed as organizations struggle to make it work effectively. According to Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Outlook 2022 Study (and imperatives for improving DE&I), although the outlook for DE&I programs remains positive, strategic planning for DE&I initiatives has been only 39% effective.
Diversity, equity and inclusion training is a key part of these programs and in building an equitable workplace. But what’s important to note, is that building successful DE&I training programs requires being tied to strategies with measurable indicators. Training Orchestra’s TMS supports diversity efforts by helping L&D teams efficiently track and measure DEI training and understand costs. You can also track the demographics of the recipients of your DEI initiatives to make sure that everyone is receiving the right training. And, get better insight into how you are using your instructors, so you can keep an eye on utilization rates, and select instructors according to their skills and expertise, helping to reduce bias.
>> Tip: Better managing your DEI training programs can help you tackle this top learning and development trend for 2022.
6. ILT is back – but not as we know it
Instructor-Led Training (ILT) is back – but it’s not exactly the same as it was before the pandemic. Hybrid training is the new normal. Instead of giant seminar halls with hundreds of participants, organizations are switching to smaller groups, offering more hybrid training, a mix of in-person and virtual instructor-led, and only opting for face-to-face training when necessary rather than as the default choice.
Instead of offering a single training seminar for 100 people, a training team may switch to shorter sessions spread out over longer periods of time, while trying to combine the in-person and virtual instructor-led approach. This is helping participants ease back into in-person interactions, and also gives instructors the opportunity to provide more tailored training.
>> Tip: While this may sound more complex (it is!), the good news is that a training scheduling system will make it significantly easier to build a hybrid training program and help manage training operations such as planning multiple sessions, allocating instructors, resources, rooms and more, giving training teams much greater control over their ILT, vILT and Hybrid Training.
7. Keeping up with the L&D “new normal”
In Josh Bersin’s new report about learning platforms and technologies, we find that the average company has around 22 different L&D tools and platforms. That’s 22 different procurement processes, contracts, and systems to understand… the list goes on. This fragmented L&D platform market makes it challenging for organizations to stay on top of their technology stack, especially when many of these platforms don’t integrate or speak to one another.
According to Josh Bersin, “Every time a new technology is invented, someone tries to use it for education and training.” We’ve seen it happen with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and pretty much every kind of technology imaginable. Organizations must learn to discern between technology for the sake of technology and solutions that add genuine value to their ever-expanding stack, and should be wary of vendors claiming to do it all. Opting for systems that prioritize clean, simple integrations with other tools will help organizations minimize learning admin and maintain accurate, useful data across the business.
>> Tip: Keen to find out how you can manage these emerging learning and development trends for 2022? Schedule your free Training Orchestra demo today to see how we can help.
About Training Orchestra
For over 20 years, Training Orchestra has been helping 600+ organizations worldwide address the complexities of training operations so they can automate and optimize: session scheduling, resource management, instructor collaboration, cost tracking and reporting. As a complement to existing learning technologies, Training Orchestra’s Training Resource Management System can replace all XLS spreadsheets and manual tasks, so you can better manage training as a business.
Interested in how you can improve the efficiency of your training operations and train more with less? Contact us to learn more!