Learning and development came back to the fore in 2022. After being side-lined due to the pandemic, L&D came back strong. Businesses needed L&D more than ever as employees returned to office work, new employees were hired and budgets were increased. It wasn’t just a return to the office though, as flexible working became the norm for a lot of employees in 2022, even as pandemic restrictions began to roll-back and return us all to some form of normalcy.
Flexible working is clearly here to stay. This means eLearning is vital with employees working from a place of their choosing, at any time and across any device. So, what can we expect from L&D going forward? In this blog, we share our thoughts on the main trends for L&D as a function going forward into 2023.
Time to learn
One thing that we learnt from the pandemic is that time really is important. Giving employees time to complete eLearning, however, is still not the top of some managers’ priorities. With the potential returns of what eLearning can bring to businesses, you would think that more time set aside for eLearning would become essential. However, this has not been the case for some.
This will change in 2023 as we see flexible working embedding fully into companies around the world. Employees now have the ability to work and learn when they see fit. The traditional 9-5 grind is slowly being phased out. Employees will have the ability to complete any at a time, a place and across any device that suits them. Employers will be wise to allow this as we are all well aware of the benefits of retention rates from eLearning (as high as 60% in some cases).
The returns on investment from eLearning are extremely high. It is simply good business to give employees time to learn that new skill or complete that compliance training when they need to, within reason. The days of claiming eLearning as a waste of time are over. It’s time to let employees learn.
One-way businesses can give employees the freedom and space to learn, especially if time is at a premium, is through micro-learning. We live in a world where convenience and speed are paramount. The rise of video content on social media that is short, snappy and easily digestible is becoming the new norm. This will be of special interest in 2023 as we continue to return to pre-pandemic levels of work.
Micro-learning can have the same effect on an employee in a 10-minute module as potentially a 30-minute module can. This only works with certain topics, however, and ultimately depends on the employee undertaking it. But, it can be a really useful tool if you need to deploy a bit of mandatory compliance training, for example, but don’t have the time or budget for a longer and more expensive module.
This could lead to more micro-modules being deployed to a workforce, just simply shorter in length. Micro-modules are not the only way to deliver quality eLearning, but they are a beneficial one. With work ramping back up to pre-pandemic levels, the need for employees to be up to date with their learning will be key. And with employees working with greater flexibility, the prospect of completing multiple modules that are shorter in length will fit into that flexible model much easier than a traditional 30 to 50-minute module will.
It’s again, all about flexibility in 2023 and micro modules will definitely be a huge part of that.
The pandemic really harmed budgets across the board in every business. L&D in particular was hit hard, as some businesses cut resources and budget from L&D in order to save money. While this was unavoidable in some instances, in others, it could be considered a short-sighted way of potentially recovering lost revenue due to the pressures of the pandemic. This was nevertheless detrimental, causing long-term pain resulting in some employees having skills-gaps in the post-pandemic recovery. However, those businesses that invested or simply didn’t cut L&D budgets reaped the benefits.
The 2022 LinkedIn Learning report highlights how budgets will change in the next year. 48% of L&D pros expect that their budgets will increase in 2023, a 6-year high. This should come as no surprise, as the same report shows that 64% of respondents saw their culture of learning grow in the past year. With learning growing, it’s only natural to expect that this will come with a budgetary increase. However, spending that increase wisely will be key. Managers cannot go back to 2019-era eLearning strategies. They must look to the future and spend in line with new digital trends.
And as previously mentioned, flexible working will only drive that demand for eLearning, and as more and more people globally begin to work their own way, businesses will have to adapt to those needs. eLearning is simply going to become a necessity.
While by no means an exhaustive list. These three trends should give a prediction as to what we should expect in L&D in 2023. And with that demand for eLearning, whether it be micro-modules or longer, bespoke offerings, we here at Huler believe we can offer you the perfect solution to your eLearning needs.