Editor’s Note: L&D Takes the Lead

By Debbie Bolla

Learning and training approaches cover a wide spectrum of employee development and nowhere does this feel more apparent than our June issue. Inside our 25-page special report, we tackle everything from mentorship and learner engagement to virtual reality techniques, coaching for the leadership pipeline, and the shift to digital learning.

And it’s bound to come in handy as LinkedIn Learning’s 5th Annual Workplace Learning Report finds that L&D budgets are back to pre-pandemic levels, with 33% of respondents reporting that they expect their budgets to increase. The study found that the top three areas of focus for L&D are:

      1. Upskilling and reskilling (59%)
      1. Leadership and management (53%)
      1. Virtual onboarding (33%)

The strategy of blending online learning is also going to rise. With the shift to hybrid workplaces, learning practices will have to accommodate the change. In fact, in early 2020, 38% of L&D leaders expected to spend less on instructor-led training and 57% expected to spend more on online learning. Those numbers are even higher this year, with 73% of L&D pros expecting to spend less on instructor-led training and 79% expecting to spend more on online learning. For advice on how to guide your strategy, see Going Digital on page 28.

Managers will be under the microscope when it comes to L&D outcomes. The report finds that only 40% of learners say their managers challenged them to learn new skills in the last six months. Micro-learning is a solution that reinforces new skills while reducing manager stress. Learn more in Solving the Leadership Development Crisis on page 36.

It’s clear that D&I initiatives have become a priority for organizations and they are bleeding into L&D programs. According to the survey, when asked about initiatives they plan to run in 2021, L&D pros rank D&I as top priority in North America. In fact, 28% of respondents say L&D and D&I teams work closely together on a joint D&I strategy. The Full Spectrum on page 33 shares best practices to build a more equitable culture of continuous learning.

No matter how you approach L&D programs, they are a great way to empower and retain talent.

Tags: Editor's Note, June 2021, Learning, Magazine Article

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