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Addressing Learning & Development Trends in 2023

Quiet quitting.
The Great Resignation.

We’ve all heard these scary buzzwords. As your company locks in budgets for the upcoming year, you’re likely looking for opportunities to “trim the fat.” Far too often, training is the first place that cut occurs.

But failing to invest in your people is the quickest way to lose the most productive and powerful players in your organization. Instead of cutting your training budget for the upcoming year, let me make a case for expanding that budget instead (it could end up saving you money in the long run).

wooden blocks show the year 2022 being changed by a person's hand to 2023

Investing in your workforce increases employee retention and entices new workers.

In 2022, opportunities to learn and grow became the top driver of a great workplace culture — 87% of millennials rate career and professional development opportunities as “important” to them in a job. Yet most also report that they have not learned anything new in the last 30 days.

I could quote dozens of other sources to back this up — your employees want to learn and grow. Give the people what they want!

But we’ve all experienced being forced through yet another instructor-led session that we don’t feel applies to us.  What’s the key to delivering learning your employees actually want? We find encouraging a hands-on approach to determining their learning opportunities drives engagement and creates a positive learning culture. Put a stop to the “quiet quitting” epidemic by keeping your workforce engaged in defining their own career path.

Suggested learning paths: I recommend bringing this to your workforce. Are there relevant industry or role certifications that they’ve been eyeing? Soft skills they feel they could improve on? Don’t just ask about their own role — ask what they feel those on their team could benefit from. And, although the answers for this one may be a bit hard to swallow, take time to talk candidly about what they feel their leaders could improve on as well.

Training for transferrable skills now sets your employees up for success in future roles.

As we continue to navigate the fallout from what has been dubbed “The Great Resignation,” companies are still seeing increased movement within their ranks. Longtime employees are retiring, and others are taking the leap into new career paths outside their current industries. This means existing employees are being promoted at a faster pace than we’re used to, up to 9% more this year according to LinkedIn Economic Graph research.

Providing training on skills that are transferrable to new roles not only helps to guarantee success when employees are promoted, but also builds loyalty to your company. It takes new employees up to 12 months to reach their full potential, but up to 25% of new employees leave within the first year (many in the first few months). Moving existing employees into these roles while setting them up for success can greatly reduce this onboarding time. It also ensures you are getting an individual who is a good fit for your company’s culture.

Suggested learning paths: For this one, consider looking at the job responsibilities for roles above an employee’s current position. Are there industry or skill certifications that would help them move into taking on more responsibility? Are there task or software-based skills that could be added their skillset? Communication, time management, and conflict resolution are skills that are often overlooked in training but are important at every level in an organization. EQ and soft skills trainings can also be beneficial throughout your entire workforce.

A group of business people are taught by a female instructor at a whiteboard

Well trained managers = happy employees.

This may seem basic, but it’s often overlooked when companies are planning learning strategies. While the L&D industry is seeing a definite increase in leadership training in the past few years, as many as half of all managers say they have received no formal training… and 57% of workers think their manager could benefit from training on how to be a better people manager. Poor leadership consistently shows up on exit interviews across all industries, but it doesn’t have to.

One key thing that many businesses overlook when considering their leadership training programs is that leadership isn’t a one-time skill. As your team members grow, so should their leadership. Even the best leaders can benefit from continued education.

Suggested learning paths: Start with a leadership basics program (if your company doesn’t already have one in place). Once everyone is aligned on your company’s leadership values, create a year-long learning plan that utilizes a variety of reinforcements to continue the momentum. This should be an ongoing priority year over year — don’t assume that once is enough!

Henry Ford famously said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” In this new year, focus on keeping the minds in your workforce young. Provide them with opportunities to learn and grow… your organization will most certainly reap the benefits.


Coming soon…

Great news, you’re moving forward with a new budget that prioritizes training. In our current landscape, how can you make sure you’re getting maximum efficiency from your training projects? Keep an eye out for Part 2 for our top tips.

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