It’s hard not to look back on 2021 without looking back at 2020 as well. As cliché as it is to say now, the Pandemic really did change everything. And we’re still living through its effects every day.
That includes how we work, and subsequently, how we train and develop employees.
The shift to remote work has been bumpy at times, but companies are starting to find their footing. People are more flexible and more productive day-to-day.
And as people successfully made the shift to working remote, the L&D industry followed suite with its priorities. Training teams leveraged eLearning, vILT, and blended programs that made the most of in-person classroom time.
All these changes helped propel new innovations in the L&D space. But as we move into 2022, now’s not the time to rest on our collective laurels. There are still plenty of opportunities for growth and plenty of things we can do better.
That’s why we put together this quick list of initiatives L&D professionals should make a point to focus on this year. These initiatives focus on inclusion, accessibility, pragmatic change, and a continued focus on providing ROI for clients.
4 Trends L&D Professionals Need to Prioritize in 2022
- Incorporate change management
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training
- Metrics and measurements of success
- Focus on mobile
Despite all the challenges, we’ve laid a great foundation for growth in the L&D industry in this new reality. So, as an industry, let’s keep building on that in 2022.
#1) Incorporate Change Management into Your L&D Process
The role of change management in any new L&D project is often overlooked. But in 2022, we need to make change management a part of the process.
If you want your training to be effective, you have to level-set with people before giving the training. Let’s face it, people can be resistant to change—especially if that change affects their job. It can be frightening knowing your job is going to change without knowing exactly how. That’s why you must prepare them.
Set training expectations right away through an effective communication strategy. And speak to them on a human level. Get in front of their fears and apprehensions and reassure them that the training will bring about positive change.
Be up front about the goals of the training, the metrics you’ll be measuring, and the behaviors you’re trying to change. Most importantly, clearly communicate how those goals will help them and the business.
#2) Place an Emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Training
There’s been a major focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) over the past few years in the workplace. And rightly so!
But In terms of L&D, it’s time to go beyond just including inclusive words and imagery in the course work you create. It’s time to infuse DEI language and principles into everything you and your company do.
Make sure your courses are fully accessible for people of all abilities. Include subtitles and audio files where applicable.
People in your organization will be on different stages of the DEI journey. Some may be farther along than others. So, make it a point to meet them where they are with an eye always towards improvement.
The reason this matters is because it’s the right thing to do. It also happens to increase retention. When people feel included through representation; when the training is easily accessible; when we make the point to meet people where they are on their own learning journey—that’s when training sticks.
#3) Continue to Focus on Metrics and Measurements of Success
Training and L&D should never just be a “check the box” activity.
There should always be a purpose to any L&D program. And that purpose and whether the program achieves it should be measurable in some way.
This is easier said than done. Metrics and measurements have always been thorns in the side of L&D professionals. But just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean you should avoid it.
Make sure your L&D and training programs are focused on something that can be measured in the first place. If the topic or behavior change can’t directly be tied back to something measurable, then the training topic may be dubious in the first place.
When you look for something, you usually find it. Make sure that you start by looking to measure success, and you will see success.
#4) Focus on Mobile
People use mobile devices for everything these days. And more and more, people are using them for job training and L&D as well.
The internet shifted to be mobile-friendly a long time ago, and now’s the time for eLearning modules and training to catch up. No matter what you’re creating, always make sure it has a mobile-friendly version.
Giving your learners the flexibility to train any time, any place will only further their engagement in the training. As a result, they’ll be more likely to internalize the information and make changes that will benefit them and your organization.
As you start to pursue these L&D initiatives in 2022, always remember to meet people where they are. Ideas are great in a vacuum, but you can’t force them on people. If you want training to stick, you must gently introduce them to the possibilities.