It’s no surprise how much the world has changed in the past two years, including in the learning and development space. In this insightful webinar, David Perring, Director of Research at Fosway Group, and host Nick Ramsay of Go1, took attendees through the trends and learnings they are seeing in the world of corporate learning and offered tips on how to prepare for the next disruptive moment.
Jumping off from a recent Forbes article entitled, “Don’t Blink: The Next Crisis is Closer than you Think”, attendees were asked what disruptors were impacting their businesses. The results were broad and included everything from hybrid working to The Great Resignation and business transformation; demonstrating powerfully the breadth of challenges faced by organisations, not to mention the specific impact this has on L&D teams.
Not only do organisations now need to adapt their learning approaches to accommodate a new-look workforce but they also need to build in considerations of skills and knowledge that weren’t previously on the businesses' radar. Sustainability was called out as a great example of this. Increasingly industry is putting environmental consideration high up procurement criteria, which means organisations need to have their house in order as well as equip teams with the skills and knowledge to have the conversations during procurement processes that demonstrate a credible understanding of the issues.
This is just one example of the disruptors that L&D teams face and David was keen to stress the importance of everyone working through a list of disruptors that could impact their workplaces. Not only is this crucial from a business planning perspective but also, most pertinently, from a stance of anticipating the L&D needs of employees in the coming weeks, months and years. As well as equipping teams for the future.
The need for future-proofing was called out several times throughout the webinar. From a business stand-point, the ones who adapted best to lockdowns and disruption were those who were most agile, which points to greater agility for other businesses hoping to be better prepared for any further disruptions the future might hold.
And from the perspective of employee engagement and retention, priorities have shifted; increasingly people are searching for more meaning in their professional lives. That can often fall onto the shoulders of L&D teams who need to invest in their workforce to ensure they feel supported and engaged, better equipped for the future and their careers whilst also able to train the next generation.
The relationship between junior and senior team members was a hot topic that cropped up on several occasions, called out by David as being one of the most important. Manager and mentor relationships were seen by a large proportion of the attendees as being at the forefront of employee engagement and training, proving a vital ingredient for continued investment and success for HR teams. Going hand-in-hand with this was the importance of peer-to-peer learning, fostering a working environment where constant learning is possible through a collective responsibility to develop and remain engaged.
This behaviour, David pointed out, needs to start from the top. C Suite leaders need to embody the behaviours they want to see throughout their workforce and HR teams need to be prepared and ready to bring to the top table what they see as being the biggest priority. Every organisation has a unique requirement of in-depth, high investment, bespoke and personalised training blended with more generic, lower-lift and, often, bought in training. HR is where the balance of this blend is decided before it can be implemented, bought into and embodied by leadership. Which puts a great deal of importance on the L&D function as it pertains to the working environment of the entire organisation. Whilst the future is hard to predict, L&D can help train for new disruption.
David concluded the seminar with a poignant moment of philosophical hope: “We’re all here to make the world a better place.” He said, “Take away stress and help people fulfil their potential.” With that belief, and with the wave of innovation in the L&D space, there is much to be hopeful about, no matter what disruptions the world might throw our way.