Podcast | Realistic L&D Trends For 2023

December 22, 2022
June 26, 2023

Does it matter if L&D teams learn less than others? Just how much is legacy tech holding us back? Have we seen the end of compliance culture?

These are just some of the trends and challenges Nelson and Gary tackled in this episode of L&D Disrupt.

Based on relevant research published in 2022, these are real challenges that L&D can expect in 2023, rather than pie in the sky, exotic trends that won’t apply to your daily life and challenges.

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Running order

0:00 Introduction to the episode

2:43 L&D spends less time learning on average

12:17 The problem with legacy tech

16:37 People can’t find resources they need

25:15 Why people don’t embrace new tech

36:12 L&D can build your employer brand and better culture

46:25 Being more data informed in 2023.

52:58 More cost effective content creation.

Seven takeaways on 2023’s big L&D trends

1. L&D spends 23% less time learning on average, but does it really matter?

According to the LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2022, L&D people spent 23% less time learning than active learners on LinkedIn and 35% less than their HR counterparts.

But time spent learning doesn’t equate to knowledge gained! What does perhaps matter is perception…

“It’s ironic because it points in the direction of time as a measure of learning’s effectiveness – which is flawed… Someone who did 10 hours of learning in a single sitting vs. someone who frequently did 20 minutes of learning every week: which one would you say is better?

“The person who spread out that learning more frequently and built more of a sustainable habit around learning. So just looking at the time of learning and not the frequency doesn’t tell the full story.” – Nelson Sivalingam, CEO, HowNow

Time spent learning shouldn’t be the single source of truth. Why not measure things like daily active users to understand the frequency, like a consumer-facing app would do?

L&D teams should remember that we are learners too, and how do we want to learn? That should influence how we design learning experiences and what we measure.

2. 57% of employees are frustrated by legacy tech: Don’t stick with tools that no longer work

“It’s about the opportunity cost of sticking with something that’s not working. When uncertainty and risk are high, we tend to not change because change seems more risky than sticking with the status quo that’s not working for us. Which actually isn’t the case.”

If we’re making the right change and progressing in the right direction, we can be better off and get better at spending our budget.

So we’ve got to be careful when the business suggests sticking with what we’ve got even though we know it’s not working. We have to tell that story of what we’re currently wasting.

3. Our need for a company brain has never been bigger: 56% of employees have been unable to find documents remotely.

“Every company needs to find a way of digitising their company brain so that people can access that collective knowledge… A lot of companies have a lot of tools. For example, L&D launch a platform for the company, but they don’t realise the sales team is using something completely different.

“There’s so much duplication of effort and expenditure going on. Not only the obvious problem of cost… but also you end up with silos within the company. And so you need to be able to break those silos and work across functions to make sure we’re not duplicating effort and cost.”

4. L&D should cut down time to value for end users

“Any tech that you’re launching, where it feels like there’s going to be a long time to value, the business is going to look at it as a high-risk investment.

“They’re highly likely to say, if it’s going to take us nine months to see any value from this investment, let’s not make it now. Because people are going to be more budget conscious going into next year.”

For L&D and HR teams, this means reducing the time it takes to reach a point of value. Let’s show value more often and earlier!

5. 57% now state personal development is their primary reason for learning

In a MindTools study, only 20% named personal development as their reason for learning in 2018, but in 2021, it was the highest by far at 57%.

Compliance, on the other hand, decreased from 59% in 2018 to just 29% in 2021.

Nelson made a great point that L&D ownership is now shared! Employees are being empowered to learn and aren’t simply a passenger on that journey anymore – and they’re demanding more from employers, as we’ll see below.

6. L&D can play a huge part in attracting, engaging and retaining talent

“L&D right now is your biggest leverage to attract, engage and retain employees! 41% of people said they left roles for a lack of career development and learning opportunities… 34% of people were leaving because of uncaring and uninspiring leaders. 31% were leaving because of a lack of meaningful work.

“So many of these can be tackled and L&D can play a significant role!”

If people are leaving companies for these reasons, they’ll be looking to join companies who offer them – and L&D can help us build an attractive employer brand.

7. The next stage of data maturity for L&D is building a narrative with it

A lot of L&D teams are collecting data beyond course completion, now we’ve got to start building stories that communicate impact with it.

What does the business care about? Connect that data to outcomes with a compelling narrative, and that’s how we get people to buy into L&D.