In the age of the Great Reshuffle, learning–be it reskilling or upskilling or opportunities for new challenges at work–is emerging as the key to employee satisfaction and retention, and a requirement if organizations want to be the strong leaders in the post-pandemic reality. The 2022 LinkedIn Learning Report reveals what challenges L&D and other organizational leaders must rise to in order to nurture employees who thrive in their jobs and won’t want to leave.

Many workers are beginning the transition back to the office after more than two years working remotely from their homes. As a result, many employers may find there has been a rather noticeable shift in the attitudes many employees have toward work and what they expect from it.
Throughout the pandemic, many knowledge workers experienced for the first time an event that allowed us, if not forced, to reevaluate their lives, including how their jobs fit in with the rest of their priorities—family, relationships, health, and our need for creativity and curiosity. Learning, it is clear, is a major expectation people have in their careers, putting enhanced responsibility on learning and development (L&D) leaders.
Job satisfaction is no longer limited to salary and title. Employers are increasingly focused on thriving at work, feeling engaged, and experiencing a sense of fulfilment and purpose in their careers. L&D leaders, in collaboration with HR and other departments, must meet the needs of employers and future-proof their organizations through learning opportunities.
What challenges L&D leaders as they help us navigate the Great Reshuffle through learning? Here’s a summary of the 2022 LinkedIn Learning Report findings.

Three key themes that L&D leaders must embrace

Over the last two years, L&D leaders have had their hands full, guiding employees and employers through the transition to remote work. Now that the world of work is opening, organizations are relying more than ever on the guidance of L&D leaders to help them adapt for the future.
The role of L&D leaders is expanding in both scope and necessity as we navigate a world of work that puts more emphasis than ever on employee job satisfaction and what that means. There are three main challenges that L&D leaders must meet in order to be successful:

Understand opportunities and challenges.

The most urgent priority for any organization during the Great Reevaluation is to retain talent, which entails up-skilling and re-skilling. The pandemic sped up digitalization by necessary, as remote work became the global norm, and learning gaps must be closed through training.

HR must be a more holistic field.

To create a work environment with a genuine focus on continued learning, L&D leaders must collaborate with HR to focus on talent development, skill-based planning, and internal mobility.

Unlock keys to success.

This rather broad challenge will entail an ongoing focus on learning and collaboration, including working closely with not only HR but stakeholders and managers, ensuring that continuous learning is a priority across an organization, including with L&D leaders themselves.

Learning is the leading ingredient of engagement

Learning comes in all forms, from mentorship programs to professional development courses. It is the number 1 factor people cite for creating an exceptional work environment. Stagnation and feeling stuck leads not only to dissatisfied workers, but physical and mental health problems, and a is a cause of burnout. L&D leaders are now in the spotlight for ensuring this level of learning opportunity exists to create desirable work cultures.

L&D can no longer be an occasional gesture to tick a box, but it must a daily experience for all members of an organization. Management must display a genuine interest and investment in the longer-term career goals of staff, and provide measurable signs that each employee, by working in an organization, is making progress on their chosen career trajectory.

Methods of measuring success are stagnant

With the new emphasis on L&D leaders, how can success and progress be accurately measured? According to the report, this is an essential element to ensuring L&D is a true priority and not just a promise to staff. Measurement methods, according to the LinkedIn report, are stagnant, and should be revamped to match the increasing role of L&D leaders and they face new challenges, including the underlying causes of the Great Resignation and other important initiatives such as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

L&D must start with leadership in an organization

As employees reevaluate what they expect from a job, management is facing its own new set of challenges adapting the cultural shifts. The quality and impact of a leader has a major impact on employee retention. In companies that struggle with management talent, employees are 50% more likely to look for work elsewhere. For that reason, L&D leaders must not only provide learning experiences to employees, but also to their managers.

Equipping leaders with upskilling, coaching, resources and technology that will help them to better listen to and manage their teams, increase and nurture motivation, and a strong team morale and culture is a priority for businesses in the new hybrid working model, according to findings of the Adecco’s Resetting Normal 2021 report.

The challenge ahead for L&D leaders

As the report states, being popular has its downsides. L&D leaders must play a key role in helping individuals and organizations to navigate the broad changes we are and have been experiencing in the workplace. Together with HR and other leaders in an organization, prioritizing continuous learning and individualized career development and providing effective tools to achieve these will be paramount to recruiting, retaining, and upskilling talent going forward.

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