Every year, over 50 reports covering L&D trends are launched. That's in addition to millions of articles published daily. Staying on top of how our industry is progressing is hard. So we decided to try and summarize what we learned from all the reports we could find from 2022.
Current, prevailing trends.
Short-term perspective, a trend needs 1>5 years to enter the mainstream.
Medium-term perspective, a trend needs 5>20 years to enter the mainstream.
Long-term perspective, a trend needs >20 years to enter the mainstream.
Whether we're talking about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, about accessibility, or about bringing your whole self to work, the world wide conversations are pressuring organizations to become more inclusive, and design an environment where individuals can thrive, while still keeping their mental health. Although in the future we might see more advanced conversations around decentralized organizations, that lack formal hierarchies, and organizations designed as communities, for now we'll still be taking care of the basics.
Trends: burnout, DEIB, well-being, mental health, psychological safety, accessibility, career portfolios, sustainability, behavior change practices, workplace as a community, decentralized autonomous organizations, peer learning.
In a world where the change is the only certainty, lifelong learning is the key mega trend. The question is how can organizations support lifelong learning? Conversations move toward the importance of learning how to learn, supporting employees in the flow of work, going back to the fundamentals through learning sciences, or looking past the traditional CV and to career portfolios.
Trends: self-paced learning, learning how to learn, microcredentials, learning sciences, peer learning, learning in the flow of work, career portfolios, self-leadership, build your own degree, cohort-based programs.
Technology will continue developing and L&D will be impacted because they can use it as an enabler of their workflows, and because the skills they need to support their colleagues in acquiring are balancing more toward the once upon called soft skills.
Trends: virtual-led training, artificial intelligence, machine learning, MOOCs, LXP adoption, automation, power skills, no-code technology, virtual reality, augmented reality, digital skills.
As we're facing high-changing environments, so is the need of organizations to clearly identify the competencies they need, the ones they already hold through their employees, and to become more flexible and fluent in how they use them. Although now we're seeing more frequent conversations about transparent career paths and the talent marketplace, the trend career portfolios and rapid teaming for even more flexibility.
Trends: transparent career paths, gig economy, talent marketplace, microcredentials, career portfolios, rapid teaming.
Although L&D has been struggling to prove their impact for years, in 2022 we're still facing an inability to measure ROI. In an economical downturn, that's not good news for our industry. So the mega trend of performance consulting through data analysis, systems thinking, sales enablement, among others, will be with us for a while.
Trends: learning in the flow of work, on-going performance reviews, inability to measure ROI, data analysis, marketing tactics, design thinking, systems thinking, sales enablement.
We don't have the time. That's something we hear in L&D quite frequently. The solution to this problem is not more content, is not more programs, but rather a more careful personalization of what learners receive on their plate. Technology is and will continue be in favor of personalization, so will keep on seeing words like AI, Machine Learning, close to the more recent learning and coaching bots.
Trends: machine learning, artificial intelligence, automated content curation, coaching bots.
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