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Insight 05 May 2022

The Transformation of learning and development according to LinkedIn Learning

The transformation of L&D according to LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning recently published its annual research report on the state of affairs in learning and development. This year’s Workplace Learning Report – the sixth such report - is all about transformation, acknowledging that as our world of work changes, so does L&D.

The report reveals that leaders in L&D are breaking down organisational silos to work together towards a more holistic view of HR, which means exploring new ways to link the development of skills to career development, internal mobility and staff retention. And they are demonstrating a new kind of caring and humanity on topics such as wellbeing, diversity, and inclusion.

We have summarised the main findings of the report for you:

1) L&D gained more influence within organisations

  • 72% of L&D professionals surveyed said that L&D played a more strategic role within the organisation in the past year
  • 87% helped the organisation to adapt to change
  • 62% say L&D will focus on rebuilding or reshaping the organisation in 2022

2) Employees see learning and development opportunities as the most important factor in a good organisational culture

In 2019, having learning and development opportunities ranked 9th in the list of most important factors for a good organisational culture, but this year it’s escalated to number one for employees.  Opportunities for personal growth now outrank a feeling of 'belonging' (second place) and organisational values (third place). Fortunately, 62% of the L&D professionals surveyed indicated that the learning culture within their organisation had become stronger in the past year.

3) The top focus will be on leadership development in 2022

Leadership development and management training will be the primary focus area for L&D programs in 2022. Other priority areas include: Employee upskilling and reskilling; Digital transformation; and Diversity and inclusion.

4) Skills gap concerns

More than last year, L&D professionals are concerned about the gap between the skills available within the organisation and those needed:

  • 46% say the skills gap has widened (up from 42% in 2021)
  • 49% say leaders are concerned that their people do not have the right skills to execute the business strategy (up from 40% in 2021)

5) L&D plays important role in DE&I strategy

COVID-19 made us more aware of the inequality between people – in health, wealth and opportunity. This shifting mindset also increased the focus on diversity, equal opportunities and inclusion in the workplace, as a fundamental basis for psychological safety and the path to better performance. L&D plays an important role here: 55% of respondents indicate that L&D is fully (12%) or partially (43%) responsible for their organisation's DE&I strategy.

6) Managers plays a decisive role in employee wellbeing

The report highlights that another important issue for organisations is to go further to ensure the wellbeing of employees. The decisive factor revealed is the manager, which is why 49% of L&D professionals paid more attention to training and supporting managers in this area last year. But there is room for improvement: only 25% say their organisation prioritises training for leaders on the wellbeing of their people, despite the fact that organisations with less caring managers are almost 50% more likely to see employees looking for other jobs. Attracting and retaining talent requires good people skills, especially from manager communities.

7) Making an impact with skills-based workforce planning

According to LinkedIn Learning, building skills through skills-based workforce planning is the way to move your organisation forward. Organisations that start doing this have a unique opportunity to accelerate the creation of a learning culture and successfully tap into trends in L&D, such as the link between talent development and internal mobility. Some key trends include:

  • Employees who feel that their skills are not being properly utilised are 10 times more likely to look for a new job
  • 79% of L&D professionals say it’s less expensive to upskill an existing employee than to hire a new one
  • Organisations with an internal mobility culture are able to retain their employees almost twice as long as those struggling in this area. Other benefits of internal mobility include increased engagement, agility and reduced recruitment costs

Tips for successful transformation of L&D according to LinkedIn Learning

The LinkedIn Workplace Learning report is geared towards helping L&D leaders make an even stronger impact for their people and organisations, which is why the report also provides top tips to successfully navigate this transformation:

  • Work together with colleagues who are involved in DE&I, Employee Engagement, Talent Management, Recruitment & Selection and HR Analytics
  • Get a seat at the boardroom table
  • Provide sufficient budget
  • Activate managers, for example with learning programmes on leading change or by helping them develop stronger coaching skills so they can better support their employees' development
  • Listen to what employees have to say
  • Keep investing in your personal development as well

Click here to view the full report.

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