For HR managers and learning and development (L&D) professionals, the start of the year provides a golden opportunity to evaluate your existing processes and deploy new strategies to improve your delivery teams. To start you off on the right foot, PM-Partners’ Nekta Vamvoukakis shares his insights on what’s shaping the training landscape in 2023.
With the new year under way, now is the time to prepare for the next 12 months to ensure you hit the ground running. From using technology to refine your L&D programs to tackling the skills shortage head-on, here are the top five trends to help you deliver a capability uplift in 2023 and beyond.
1. Forging flexible learning pathways
L&D leaders and HR managers are masters of adaptation. According to the 2022 Workplace Learning Report, 87 per cent of learning and development professionals have played a key role in helping their organisations adapt to change. So you are in a prime position to support your people to change and grow in their own careers.
Providing employees with flexible learning and training opportunities is the best way to help them learn according to their individual needs. It also means they can learn at a time that best suits them, and with microtraining they can continue to adopt new skills without disrupting their regular work routine.
You may also be interested in the benefits of multi-modal learning. As Training Industry Magazine puts it: “[O]ffering training in multiple modalities can increase training outcomes. Using a variety of delivery methods increases the likelihood that an employee will receive training in a preferred method, which can increase learner engagement and knowledge retention.”
2. Addressing skills shortages
Major industries across Australia – and indeed the world – faced a growing skills shortage in 2022, and experts predict these challenges will continue into 2023. Given that this trend puts employees in a position to demand more from their employers, it’s no wonder that “81 per cent of leaders are changing their policies to offer greater workplace flexibility,” according to recent LinkedIn data.
But closing the skills gap requires more than just allowing your people to work remotely. You also need to ensure your clients are getting the same level of service and quality they expect from your organisation. So for HR managers and L&D professionals, this year demands you roll out strategies that help staff upskill and reskill your people. Taking a holistic approach to continual learning should be top of your to-do list in 2023.
3. Technology for data-driven feedback
Technology is changing the way we work – with modern solutions eliminating manual, repetitive tasks and allowing staff to focus on more creative and client-facing work. With the workplace perpetually evolving, that means L&D leaders must take advantage of the wealth of data at their fingertips in order to meet the changing needs of their people.
Especially with remote and hybrid work options now the rule rather than the exception, you need to find ways to keep your teams connected and engaged – even if they are working across various geographies. Data capture and learning analytics can help you identify areas for improvement, and where you need to fine-tune areas of your learning programs
4. Building hard and soft skills for leadership
Hard skills are crucial for leaders and managers, particularly technical, analytical and project management skills. In recent years, however, there’s been widespread conversations around the value of soft/non-technical skills for this cohort. To effectively perform their roles and support their staff, they must also possess high levels of emotional intelligence, communication skills and have the capacity to adapt to any situation.
According to LinkedIn’s latest Workplace Learning Report, L&D is “tapping the power of managers”, with many organisations adopting new strategies in order to uplift both these hard and soft skills dimensions and strengthen their leadership teams, including:
- Delivering learning programs to managers about leading through change / change management: 29 per cent
- Increasing the number of training and support activities for managers: 29 per cent
- Focusing on strengthening managers’ coaching skills: 33 per cent.
5. Heightened focus on career mobility
HR managers know better than most how important it is to tap into their existing talent pool to fill open roles. Beyond the significant cost of hiring new staff, there is much to be gained from allowing your people to be internally mobile. By moving to the most appropriate role for their skills and ambitions, they can forge their own career path while remaining loyal to the organisation.
Skills mapping can help you identify the qualities required for specific roles and advancement opportunities. After all, you want to ensure that any internal shift is the right move for all parties. Assessments should therefore be integrated into L&D programs to identify skills gaps and make sure that internal candidates have the skills and proficiency to make the move a successful one.
While challenges such as the skills shortage will continue to affect most industries in 2023, the start of the year provides ample opportunity for you to assess your key needs and refine your L&D strategies. By giving your people the chance to upskill, reskill, be internally mobile and forge unique career paths, you can hold on to your best staff while becoming a more attractive employer to external talent.
If you want to take advantage of these L&D trends in 2023, we can help you measure and improve your team’s skills and capabilities in agile, project management, change management and more. Contact the experts at PM-Partners or call 1300 70 13 14 to learn more.