With so much disruption between 2020–2021, it’s hard to imagine a static condition to which organizations and their employees will eventually return. As an industry, L&D has been mostly scrambling and putting out fires to provide continuity to their learning programs and continuing to engage and excite learners as best they can. However, as circumstances evolve towards operational stability, we’re seeing a growing need to identify and develop the critical remote skills required in the virtual learning and working environments. Read our post on How to Empower Employees Through a Shift to a Hybrid Culture for a closer look at what issues your employees are likely dealing with.
Post-pandemic, it’s become increasingly clear that employee skills requirements are changing to accommodate hybrid work and ongoing uncertainty. As we start to gain clarity and move towards 2022, we’re getting a vision of the future that includes a consensus on what skills employees most need to thrive in remote environments.
At the highest level, many leaders and managers will admit that their employees need obvious skills in:
- Remote project management
- Communication and collaboration
- Basic computer skills
And yet, we’re noticing some shifts in thinking around this. Based on recent trends in the corporate learning industry, we can make educated predictions regarding the types of remote skills your employees are going to need as the transformation continues towards remote work and learning.
Remote Skills Beyond Technology Training
As this Questionmark report suggests, there are a number of skills needed that aren’t necessarily tied to technology-related training. Rather, there are important categories that focus on thinking and cultural transformation. “Thinking” skills include critical thinking, problem solving, data literacy, communication and creativity. As an extension of critical thinking, we can also call out “cultural” skills that include accountability, collaboration and teamwork, and compliance. A team that moves into a new hybrid workplace is undergoing a significant cultural shift that requires not only a new way of working, but also of thinking and feeling. These are oftentimes under-appreciated skills that many managers and leaders overlook during these times of crisis. Mainly because maintaining business, work, and learning continuity are extremely important and need to be addressed first. As the dust settles, L&D leaders and company executives can now take the time to address the stress of this shift—the human factor.
The Trend Towards Soft Skills Training
As this McKinsey global survey suggests, many companies are reskilling employees with a focus on social, emotional, and advanced cognitive skills. The top areas prioritized being:
- Leadership and managing others
- Critical thinking and decision making
- Project management
- Adaptability and continuous learning
- Basic digital skills
- Interpersonal skills and empathy
It appears that there is as much emphasis on soft skills and human-focused skills like empathy and collaboration as there is on hard skills such as IT. With that in mind, we can be fairly confident that these areas should be in your learning road map for 2022. As we approach the new year, why not take a fresh approach to your learning strategy?
Kick-start Your Strategy With a Learning Road Map
With 2022 quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to begin building a learning strategy to address the coming challenges of remote work and learning. You may already have existing programs and course content that you can package together to build a full remote work program. As well, you may want to enhance your program with off-the-shelf courses that are pre-designed to provide your learners with high-impact learning experiences. But before you start delivering content to your employees, consider the strategy behind your learning objectives and programs.
The key to a successful learning implementation is building your Learning Road Map. The recommended five-step process that will promote successful results is as follows:
- Needs Analysis. Assess the current state of your professional learning environment to identify institutional goals and objectives, technical knowledge and content, identification of KPIs and business impact.
- Learning Architecture Analysis. A diagnostic framework that identifies the curriculum needs through interviews with SMEs, content review, etc. Based on interviews and current institutional knowledge, define audience groups and training recommended for each group.
- Design Solution. Your learning architecture analysis will generate its own unique design solution. In general, some of the key elements of a design solution are: identifying competencies; analyzing existing training; defining learning objectives; planning and cost issues; and more.
- Delivery Modality. Select the appropriate digital delivery modality that drives transformational change, improves employee performance, supports business goals, and promotes growth.
- Evaluation. Develop a learning evaluation program using the recommended Kirkpatrick Model to assess the value of your learning event or training, whether formal or informal. To provide your business with measurable results and tie learning to ROI, you can capture data to answer the questions: Did learners enjoy learning? Was the learning absorbed and retained? Was learning applied and did it produce a positive behavioral change?
Get Your Free Copy of Our Playbook
If you’re interested in learning more about developing your own Learning Road Map, our team of learning experts have created a useful and practical manual to help guide you through the many complexities and issues you’ll need to understand. Contact us to receive our Learning Strategy Playbook to kick-start your 2022. With a strong, responsive L&D strategy, your company will be equipped to meet any training challenge head-on.