2021 was definitely a year for the books. We saw changes to the working (and thus training) landscape on a global level. As we head into a new year, it’s a good time to take a look at eLearning trends for 2022.
Over the past two years, learning and development strategies have shifted focus leading to new initiatives on the horizon.
6 training trends to watch out for in 2022
This year’s biggest L&D trends are a reflection of the changes in working practices and advancements in technology that 2021 brought. They focus on new skills, new training delivery methods, and the new view of the workplace.
Some of the trends included in this list aren’t exactly new concepts. But we’ll explain why we predict they’re going to be more widely adopted and become more popular this year.
With that said, let’s take a look at the top eLearning trends for 2022:
1. Leaning into the metaverse
The rise of the metaverse opens up a world of possibilities for L&D. Virtual reality was already one of the growing trends in eLearning. And now tech advancements are creating a digital space where learners and instructors can interact as lifelike avatars. Employees can join the learning space via VR headsets, mobile devices, or PCs and experience the benefits of group learning—no matter where they are.
The metaverse also offers the kind of hands-on experience that makes learning more memorable. With virtual or augmented reality, employers can, for example, provide employees with realistic simulations. They’ll be able to practice new skills or technical procedures in a risk-free environment. Or, get advanced experience assembling and handling physical products for troubleshooting purposes.
In addition, companies moving some of their work into the metaverse will need to upskill employees on new processes and procedures. Training will expand to cover everything from virtual meeting etiquette to navigating digital environments.
2. Training a hybrid workforce
Many employers are now tasked with rolling out training that serves a mix of in-office and remote workers. As offices reopened around the world, lots of companies chose to continue to offer the option to telecommute. Employees and employers both recognized the value of more flexible work arrangements in improving the quality of work life.
But changing where and when employees work also means changing how training is presented. Training a hybrid workforce requires a different approach. Companies need solutions that offer both in-office and remote workers a quality training experience. They need to focus on communication and inclusion to help those working from home feel like part of the company. And they need to reassess their training and possibly put less emphasis on in-person courses.
The hybrid workplace requires a hybrid training model, aka blended learning. Many companies will roll out self-paced training combined with some live (online) sessions. This kind of compromise reduces the “us vs. them” mentality that can develop in a hybrid workforce while still catering to the variety of work situations within the organization.
3. Supporting collaborative learning
2021 was the year that most companies took their training online—if they hadn’t already made the move. The convenience and effectiveness of eLearning proved a great success. But online learning doesn’t always create the sense of community that’s important for productive teams. People missed in-person training, and more in-person or hybrid learning and development events are happening across industries.
In 2022, we predict that both employees and companies will continue to benefit from the flexibility of online training. But they’ll also likely incorporate more interactivity and collaboration while learning to help retain a sense of connection. Strategies may involve hybrid learning (as mentioned) or virtual assignments that bring learners together to collaborate.
4. Focusing on employee retention
This year, employers are turning their attention to retaining top talent following The Great Resignation. A more remote workforce meant more global opportunities for employees. And those who weren’t happy in their current role were able to pursue a wider array of other options. As a result, many companies will focus more on holding on to existing employees.
Training and development are a big incentive for keeping employees happy. People want to know that their company is willing to invest in them. They also want opportunities for career advancement and personal growth. We predict employers will be focusing more of their L&D efforts on training as a perk worth sticking around for.
That will mean helping employees upskill or reskill for the jobs they have and the jobs they want in the future. It will also mean offering training that improves the work environment. Content may range from technical skills to leadership development to diversity and inclusion training.
Whatever the need, companies can show employees they care about them by designing training programs with their futures in mind.
5. Delivering on-demand and personalized learning
Jobs across all sectors are becoming increasingly specialized. And more robust LMS technology means employers can offer personalized learning on-demand to keep employees engaged. More companies will create customized learning paths that allow employees to learn what they need when they need it.
For example, they may set up training paths for specific roles in their LMS. Then, when employees log in, they’ll see a curated list of courses that relate directly to their jobs.
On-demand and self-paced training will also be on the rise as companies cater to the different roles. More employers will allow their employees to fit training into their schedules rather than taking them away from busy workdays.
They may turn to mobile training that allows deskless employees to log in through the convenience of their own smart devices. Or, they’ll provide options for self-paced learning busy employees can engage in during downtime on the job or even after work when things are calmer.
6. Including more “life skills” content
The kinds of training companies turn to this year won’t all necessarily be tied to the job. Recent experience has shown the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It also shed light on the real risk of burnout to employee health and happiness.
Our prediction is that in the coming months, companies will offer more courses aimed at improving work environments and employee health and well-being. They might include content like fighting burnout and maintaining a work-life balance.
They may also focus on areas of personal development like productivity hacks and mindfulness. Or, even on topics like how to manage your personal finances and decrease stress.
L&D for this year—and beyond
In the future, employee development will encompass much more than just technical skills, compliance, and policies & procedures. Many companies already recognize that training is a core part of a positive and productive workplace. Based on the trends we’re seeing (and those we expect to see) the role of L&D is expanding to support stronger and healthier workplace cultures.
A good training strategy is inseparable from company success. It’s a key element of building and growing your company going forward. Now is the time to emphasize the importance of employee development in your organization—and to revisit your strategy accordingly.