LinkedIn Learning’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report: 8 Things Every L&D Pro Needs To Know
It’s like Christmas morning for L&D people! LinkedIn Learning have published their Workplace Learning Report for 2023 🙌
But like a kid at Christmas, sometimes you just want to get to the good stuff!
So think of us as your little festive elves because we’ve read the report and picked out eight things you have to hear.
1: Aligning learning to business goals is the top L&D priority
Wait, why did you cut off the rest of the top four focus areas!? Because it’s the usual suspects: retention, learning culture, upskilling…
But this is the one that matters, the one that’s been years in the making.
If L&D teams are truly going to demonstrate impact, their efforts have to be built around driving performance and solving business challenges.
We call it proof of performance at HowNow, where the knowledge and skill someone has built through learning is applied to solve a challenge or problem.
Of course, this starts with understanding business problems, and what success looks like when you solve them! And would you look at that, we ran a workshop dedicated to this exact topic recently 👇
2. To align with business performance, a change in L&D measurement is needed
The trouble with point one is that the way L&D currently measures success isn’t tied to performance.
A wise man (our CEO, Nelson Sivalingam) wrote that if what you’re measuring doesn’t tell you how it improved performance, skills, or knowledge then change what you’re measuring!
And this is what L&D needs to do! Move away from vanity metrics like completions or satisfaction and understand behaviour change or performance improvement as a result of L&D.
3. The skills, they are a-changin’ (again, and they will again in the future)
Just look at the numbers below, the world around us is changing exponentially and that’s only speeding up!
If we want to win in this fast-changing world, we have to learn how to learn at speed.
Why? Because, as Nelson put it:
“The rate of change has destroyed all the traditional moats an organisation once considered essential. It is no longer enough to have the highest-quality product, the cheapest price, or the best people.
“Neither is it enough to ‘just’ learn. If you’re not learning, you’re not even in the race.”
If you are going to seize opportunities and disrupt the traditional big hitters, learning which skills you need and building those at the speed needed to win is critical.
4. L&D’s spending power hasn’t taken a huge hit
There’s an understandable fear that when budgets get cut, L&D’s head will be first on the chopping block.
And with the economic uncertainty over the past year or so, we might have expected to see that in the report.
However, L&D leaders don’t expect their budget to decrease and actually have more confidence than the peak pandemic years.
We might have to rebrand Nelson to Nelstradamus, because here’s what our CEO said about the economic downturn in September 2022.
“It might sound very morbid, and it’s going to be a challenging time ahead, but believe me when I say there is an opportunity hidden in there for L&D to add value.”
And he was right. In uncertain times, when we’ve got hiring freezes and redundancies, L&D is more important than ever. If we can’t buy or borrow the talent we need, we have to build it among the people we’ve already got.
If we can show impact with the resources we already have (remember points one and two), we’ll be able to make a great case for more budget.
Watch: How L&D Teams Can Do More With Less In An Economic Downturn
5. Watch out for the Growgetters: Younger talent prioritise growth opportunities
Shoutout to HowNow’s own Emily Mills for coining the term Growgetters, but it really does sum up the mindset of younger employees.
More than any other age group, they are prioritising career development and learning opportunities when they’re thinking about job opportunities.
Interestingly, over 50’s are most motivated by challenging and impactful work, possibly an indication that they feel their growth trajectory is slowing down.
6. L&D pros are elite-level relationship builders
Networking is an L&D superpower! The more you know people, their problems and what they’ve got in their pipeline, the more able you are to support them.
And if you’re going to be a great facilitator or create content that solves challenges, you’ve got to build strong relationships.
As you’ll see below, L&D pros have spent the last year fostering great relationships with the right people, from department heads to talent managers.
Source: LinkedIn Learning’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report
7. People are leaving companies because they’re not learning
There’s no point labouring this point, just look at the image below! Three of the top five reasons people leave companies are a symptom of not learning, growing or making an impact on the company’s performance.
8. Companies aren’t doing enough to support internal mobility
Only 15% of employees said their company had encouraged them to move to a new role in the past six months.
Now this is a hard one to quantify, is it low or is it high? You can’t have 100% of your employees playing career musical chairs every half a year, but this does give a useful indication of the mindset around internal mobility.
Do these people understand that if they stay in the company, they don’t have to do the same role or even work in the same department? We don’t need to encourage every person to move roles, but we do need them to know that it’s an option if we’re going to retain our best, most ambitious people.
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