Dunfermline (SCT), January 2022 - After publishing what it believed would be eight "Key Learning and Development (L&D) Trends" in 2022, eCom Scotland, a provider of online training and assessment, has carried out further market research among its clients to gauge the accuracy of its predictions.
Wendy Edie, eCom's Managing Director, explained, "Towards the end of last year, we identified eight trends that we felt would dominate the learning and development (L&D) sector in 2022. So, now we're in 2022, and we thought we'd begin putting these predictions to the test as part of our regular ongoing dialogue with all our clients in Scotland and around the world."
It turns out that - mostly due to the coronavirus pandemic's continuing influence on lifestyles and working arrangements - the trends that are most demonstrably coming to fruition are
- hybrid working
Wendy said, "A recent Gartner survey indicated a 40% performance increase when hybrid working flexibility was introduced. Concomitantly, the continuation by governments around the world to encourage people to work from home where possible - principally to counteract the effects of Covid19 on the population and economy - has seen hybrid working become a major component of working arrangements, especially for knowledge workers. Consequently, some 80% or our clients have incorporated aspects of hybrid working into their 'permanent' corporate culture over the past few months.
"This is benefitting digital-learning and assessment providers, such as eCom, since these technologies are the most accessible and effective ways of informing, upskilling, and assessing a hybrid, dispersed workforce."
- the shift from physical to virtual space and from classroom only to online (including immersive technology)
Wendy continued, "The trends we identified that are influenced by the coronavirus pandemic - notably the shift from physical to virtual space, from classroom only to online and the increase in the use of immersive technology - seem to be ringing true, with some 75% of our clients telling us that these shifts in learning and assessment are producing workforce productivity increases above the norm. As such, this now seems to be an established and escalating practice.
"This trend isn't just about moving from face-to-face to online learning," she added. "It includes elements of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) immersive learning, as well as micro-learning and gamification - and eCom is seeing an increase in interest from clients for development and assessment materials using these technologies."
- upskilling and reskilling
eCom's earlier research indicated that over 50% of its client organisations were saying that, in 2022, their employees will further develop problem-solving skills to support demands from their market and within their industry.
Wendy commented, "We appear to have made another accurate prediction with this trend, especially where our clients in the oil and gas sector are concerned. This sector - and thus all our clients in that sector around the world - are being affected by environmental concerns in the move towards NetZero carbon emissions, highlighted particularly by COP26 in Glasgow last year.
"Not only are these clients having to devise new 'green' approaches to their operations, but their workforces need to upskill and reskill to follow these new procedures, systems, and mindsets."
Continuing, Wendy said, "We've seen less practical and demonstrable support so far for the other trends that we identified at the end of last year. Maybe events such as the pandemic and the climate-change debate have moved things like the 70:20:10 model, outsourcing L&D, and upskilling in-house L&D professionals down the priority order.
"However, five of our eight predictions are proving correct - among our clients at least," added Wendy.