In this blog post we look at 8 more trends in L&D in 2022 as highlighted by Growth Engineering. If you missed the first 8, we reviewed last week, you can find them here.

As we’ve seen so far, technology is making a huge impact on the way we work, connect, communicate and learn. Even more so since the pandemic. Although these next 8 trends do use technology to some degree, they are more focused on the ‘how’ of Learning and Development trainings. How do we make trainings more effective, engaging, and applicable to in-work scenarios, so that L&D has a measurable impact on business goals?

1. GAME ON

Gamification isn’t new in the L&D space and as learner engagement remains the focus of learning and development, it’s only logical that gamification continues to be relevant in 2022 and beyond.

The trend will move to more thought-out gamification practices, rather than for the sake of it. We believe that gamification doesn’t always need high levels of technology for it to be impactful and engaging. You can create powerful learning games with simple technology like PowerPoint.

Gamification done right has the potential to skyrocket engagement levels, by encouraging healthy competition amongst participants. 83% of employees state that they are more motivated at work after gamified training according to TalentLMS. At TLG we use multiple in-person and online games during sessions to boost not just engagement but long-lasting learning impact. You can check out Metalog Asia for in-person training games and our Tackle the Tech blog posts for information on our preferred online platforms.

2. LEARNING ON DEMAND

Like on-demand entertainment, on-demand training is a trend likely to stick around in 2022. Known as the “Netflix” approach or “Netflixization” this approach to training involves the use of eLearning tools and training portals to offer course material as bite-sized, on-demand services. Learning is much more effective when learners can find resources when they need them, rather than when the company wants them to have it.

A challenge L&D professionals face is deciding what content format to use and how to store or arrange training materials. And employees face the challenge of finding the right information when they need it. As a result, taking a page out of the on-demand Netflix-style learning libraries is likely to gain popularity this year. There are some fantastic folks out there who have created libraries of content which L&D professionals can dip into. So instead of a one-size-fits-all learning pathway, learners can choose what they want to learn and when.

3. DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION

Recent world events have acted as catalysts for improved DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)  training programmes across industries and countries. A positive trend in L&D in 2022.

At The Learning Gym, co-founders Melanie and Shilpa have been doing a lot of work in this space, and consciously try to include DEI into all aspects of their L&D upskilling focus.

LinkedIn’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report suggests that 64% of L&D professionals have made D&I a top priority. With 71% either running or planning to implement a D&I programme. The results speak for themselves. Organisations with effective D&I programmes are 22% more likely to be considered industry leaders with high calibre talent than those without.

As companies across the global continue to re-evaluate their values, goals, learning programmes, hiring practices and demographics to create more inclusive workplaces, L&D will play a big role in integrating these DEI programmes into daily corporate operations

4. LEARNER-CENTRIC EXPERIENCES

TLG has been chanting “learner-centric design” from the metaphorical roof tops from years now, so we’re excited to see that this is now coming to the forefront for the industry. 2022 is the year for focusing on the “how” of learning rather than the “what”.

What do we mean by “learner-centric” anyway? Traditionally, training was a one-dimensional experience, wherein organisations set up training programmes made up of basic mandatory exercises. On the other hand, “learner-centric” design focuses on meeting your learners’ individual needs. With employees now being seen more as valuable assets instead of cogs in a wheel, intellectual capital will be the driver for organisational success, and it therefore makes sense for L&D programmes to shift their focus and approach to more personalised learning experiences.

5. VIDEO-BASED LEARNING GAINS POPULARITY

A popular school of thinking is that our brains process visuals faster than text, so it’s no surprise that videos are a hot training delivery method now.

However, while some predict video-based learning will become integral to online training programmes in 2022, we have noted that there might be varying degrees of “video fatigue” among participants at this point. We believe finding a balance between static and multimedia content will help to keep trainings engaging, interactive, visually appealing, and effective.

6. FOCUS ON BUILDING LEARNING ECOSYSTEMS

As we have seen through the 16 trends we’ve explored, personalisation is the key for learning this year (and beyond). The one-size-fits-all approach rarely works, so taking things to the next level, will put an emphasis on building effective learning ecosystems.

Learning Management Systems although effective can be inflexible and lack control when it comes to the “how” of participants gaining knowledge. Growth Engineering describes a Learning Ecosystem as “a symbiotic environment where your learners can interact with each other, their training content, technologies, and data easily and effectively.” Essentially giving your learners more options as to how they access their training content and interact with fellow participants. This goes beyond the tools you provide though. The Association for Talent Development, suggests focusing on five aspects when creating an effective learning ecosystem:

  • People
  • Content
  • Technology
  • Data
  • Governance

As an L&D professional, you can help create a learning culture (backed by technology) that establishes a healthy learning ecosystem.

7. AT THE CORE OF TRAINING IS EMPLOYEE WELLBEING

The wave of resignations in 2021 dubbed the “The Great Resignation” emphasised a need for organisations to focus on how they can retain their intellectual capital. One solution is focusing on employee wellbeing. It’s only logical that the better you take care of your employees’ wellbeing, the happier they are at work, the higher the level of productivity.

How does this relate to L&D? An important part of training now focuses on the skills and habits employees need to feel happy, both in life and at work. We believe building wellbeing into our programs isn’t just limited to including content around it, but also in how (that magic word again) we facilitate sessions. Allowing for choices (camera on or off for example) could help in creating an environment of wellbeing for our participants.

8. HIGHLIGHTING SOFT SKILLS

Soft Skills has been a buzz word for a couple of decades now and it is still one of the most relevant aspects of training today. Research conducted on Fortune 500 CEOs shows that 75% of long-term job success depends on soft skills, while only 25% depends on hard or technical skills. According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 89% of recruiters say that when a hire doesn’t work out, it usually comes down to a lack of soft skills.

At The Learning Gym we prefer to call these “behavioural skills” and having been in this space for more than a decade now, we know these are certainly not easy to develop. L&D course content will see a shift extending beyond product knowledge training and including more emphasis on different behavioural skills.

CONCLUSION

Most of these trends have been developing for a few years now, and some have developed in an accelerated manner, because of the pandemic. As the digital landscape continues to transform, and integrate with, almost every aspect of our lives including L&D, personalisation and learner-centric design will also be change drivers over the next year or so.

What do you think of these trends? How have these changes effected your work in L&D? Let us know in the comments below what you think. Have we missed any trends you might be seeing in your industry, country?

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