Since the pandemic, our approach to learning and development (L&D) has evolved. Once upon a time, upskilling was considered a useful and meaningful priority for many organisations. Now, it’s a business imperative. Here, we dive into the forecasted L&D priorities for 2021.
Focus on Skill Development in Uncertain Times
The events of 2020 saw rapid, and in some cases welcome shifts to the business landscape. Many employees have come out of 2020 with the understanding that the maintenance and continuous improvement of their skills and competencies is imperative. As a result, we can expect a fair chunk of organisations will be focusing their efforts on advancing their employee’s skill set, and filling any gaps that could impede on the business’ survival in uncertain times. Evaluation of employee skill sets will be completed with the support of technology. Plus, employees will need to have access to their vehicle of learning and development remotely.
Developing Critical Skills for Job Security
Changes to the modern work environment have encouraged the distancing of critical skills from critical roles. Put simply, the skills required to achieve an organisation’s ever-changing strategic goals no longer equate with specific ‘roles’.
As a result, employees will be encouraged to focus their efforts on developing critical skills that will multiply their job options, rather than as preparation for one specific role. This will promote greater flexibility among employees’ roles, their opportunities at work, and their ability to be proactive when responding to the evolving demands of the business.
Employee Development and Performance Outcomes
For many businesses, transitioning to remote work last year was a sudden, jolting process. Some employers had difficulties with parts of their performance management. Issues can arise when employers focus on tracking learning module completion instead of using employee development to deliver performance outcomes.
The Importance of User Experience
Sometimes, it was found that technology was an inefficient method to deliver resources to employees or to have productive conversations. Often user experience with many technology platforms businesses used in 2020 were less than satisfactory. Plus, employees also viewed user experience as one of the most important considerations to make when evaluating technology. This means that, in 2021, more organisations will need to include their employees when making decisions as to what L&D platforms they utilise.
Strengthen Peer to Peer Interaction
While many employees have returned to work in late 2020 and early 2021, working from home arrangements have remained for many employees. Considering the work from home trend is set to stick around, employers need to invest in technology that will support the strengthening and maintaining of meaningful connections with their peers. This will help improve employees’ professional development and productivity, as well as their engagement.
Keeping Track of Accomplishments
Keeping track of employees’ progress is another important trend for 2021. Staying on top of your employees’ progress throughout the year keeps organisations aware of what skills are likely being met and what areas require more attention. It’s also important for when performance reviews roll around.
Employees Want to Spend More Time on Knowledge Sharing
Results from a survey of 1,000 respondents about current and short-term future L&D priorities found that employees are keen to invest less time on traditional classroom training and online courses. Instead, employees in 2021 are keen to invest time in curating content and web opportunities, supporting knowledge sharing, helping their managers with team development, and helping individuals learn from their everyday tasks.
The pandemic has seen immense shifts imposed on many businesses. L&D is more important than ever, to employers and employees alike. Employees expect their L&D efforts will take a highly practical, hands-on approach in the future. They want to drive their learning and the learning of their peers – they don’t want to take the back seat. MyWorkPlan is the learning management system that makes this happen. Whether you have an existing LMS or not, MyWorkPlan is an essential tool to keep your team engaged, learning and productive. Every person is given the opportunity to create and share ideas, skills and knowledge both within and outside your organisation. To find out more about how WorkPlan can support your organisation’s learning, contact our friendly team today.