Embracing different ways of working. Moving from doer to enabler. Anticipating further economic pressures. All the change and uncertainty that L&D anticipates in 2023 can be overwhelming. If you’re feeling unprepared for what’s to come, you’re not alone. Only 17% of L&D teams feel they have the right strategies in place to tackle the challenges they will face in the year ahead.
But what does effective preparation look like? Find out how other L&D professionals are approaching 2023.
5 things the best L&D teams are doing to stay ahead with digital learning in 2023
How can you banish these issues to the past and maximize your impact in the year ahead?
Here are 5 things top L&D professionals and experts thought were critical to staying ahead.
1. Embrace a flexible approach
From gamified digital learning to simple resources, L&D professionals mentioned a wide variety of blended approaches they’re looking to use. Having digital agility allows you to prioritize and pivot based on your learner needs and required business impact.
“With the increase in the demand for creating content for different roles at a fast pace, we need to work in an agile manner by minimizing the number of projects/resources we create, eliminating unnecessary work and seeking to create one size for all whenever possible. This requires more reliance on the use of branching in digital content design.”
Hear Nacho Cerro discuss the benefits of blended learning
2. Look at the big picture
With the huge amount of content out there, employees are struggling to find what they need. If L&D is going to support people to access the right learning at the right time, a bit of housekeeping is needed.
By organizing a full review of your learning, you can rationalize your ecosystem, make sure out-of-date content is removed and gaps are plugged.
“I hope to see a lot more simplification and consolidation in our learning tech ecosystems. Things have been too complex and difficult to navigate for a few years. We’re seeing a shift toward simplification, and I expect that trend to continue in 2023. That means putting a lot more digital learning in the process and systems that are already part of employees’ daily work.”
Hear Lori Niles-Hofmann discuss why cleaning out content is crucial
3. Test things out
L&D has traditionally been risk-averse. A waterfall approach to content creation meant each step had to be completed to move to the next one.
But the new year sees more teams getting agile. By testing things out, you can create resources quickly, receive feedback and improve to maximize your impact.
“Learning teams need to take their cues from the software development world and move away from static, inflexible processes like ADDIE and look to delivering projects in more flexible, agile ways. Something as simple as moving to cloud authoring for content means that multiple authors can collaborate in real time, responding to changing business and learner needs.”
4. Work with new tech
L&D professionals recognize the power of great tech. But they also understand the key to success is using it at the right time, in the right way. Whether it’s AI brainstorming or machine translation, these tools were seen as time savers or starting points rather than solutions in themselves.
“We need AI systems to be extremely compatible with human expertise. At this stage, AI is extremely valuable in stable environments and humans are extremely valuable navigating ambiguity. To maximize the impact of both human and digital systems, we need to make humans smarter, and not just replace humans with smarter machines. Business needs to invest in both smart technology and smart humans to ensure their competitiveness.”
5. Become a center of excellence
Despite an increased influence, L&D isn’t resting on its laurels. Whether it’s collaboration skills or technical abilities, L&D leaders are looking to increase their teams’ capabilities in 2023 so they remain a trusted advisor in their organization.
“Stop throwing tech at the problem and really start to understand the root cause of some of our challenges in L&D. We have a tendency to replace old tech with new tech in the hopes that it’ll enliven our learning experiences, without fully understanding if the tech is even the problem. With shrinking budgets looming, I think L&D would be well placed to invest some time in the learning function itself, through some of our own learning and development. Let’s change before we have to, eh!’’
Hear Lori Niles-Hofmann discuss the important of becoming a 'specialist'
5 trends to look out for this year
What new shifts in digital learning will L&D teams be supporting in 2023?
Here are the 5 corporate training trends L&D leaders say that they’ll be embracing in the coming year.
1. Continuous learning gets a renewed focus
The demand for short and flexible learning content shows no signs of flagging. Organizations need learning that gives employees the information they need, when they need it most – on the job. That’s why we’re seeing more and more L&D teams moving from one-off training events to continuous learning using a variety of methods.
“Continuous learning isn’t about spending half day in a class. It’s about finding five minutes to dip into some microlearning or to start a series of courses, or watch a YouTube video, or even read an article, or whatever it is. Learning doesn’t stop with what we offer on the platform. We need to make people aware that there’s lots of other opportunities out there for them…We’re not asking for a massive commitment, but to do things as a habit regularly.”
Hear Jason Flynn discuss the importance of continuous learning
2. Contextualization brings learning to life
Scenario-based learning is seeing a resurgence in popularity as future focused L&D professionals look to plug emerging skill gaps. Learners can complete all of their learning, but if it doesn’t reflect the complex situations that they experience, they won’t develop the skills or behavior change needed. Use case studies and storytelling to explore the nuance of situations.
“If somebody’s offering you a gift, doing nothing until you can tell your manager is just simply not an option. You have to make a decision at that point. If you think there’s something a bit dodgy about it, how do you reject that gift? The skill you require is how to negotiate and maintain the business relationship you have with that person who’s offering you the gift.”
Hear Jason Baker discuss the important of context
Hear Nick Shackleton-Jones discuss why teams needs to avoid irrelevant content
3. New data, new measurement opportunities
Most L&D professionals recognize the importance of demonstrating the function’s value. As organizations settle into hybrid working, there’s the opportunity to reassess their approach to measurement. Newly adopted tech may offer lots of new data, but that doesn’t mean you have to evaluate it. Be strategic about what you measure. Make sure you show your impact.
Hear Kevin M. Yates discuss why measurement matters
“Prior to designing a training and learning solution, let’s have the conversation about the intention. Let’s have a conversation about the purpose. And then let’s define what purpose fulfilled look like. If we can define what purpose fulfilled looks like, we can measure the extent to which purpose was fulfilled.”
Hear Kevin M. Yates discuss why measurement matters
Hear Melanie Lepine talk about different ways to measure
4. Barriers to learning are being removed
With employees busier than ever, the drive to make learning effective and efficient continues. From elearning and articles to videos and blogs, there’s lots of content online. But with so much out there, finding the right thing at the right time is critical. That’s why a number of L&D teams are looking at how they can make their learning ecosystem more user friendly.
“People are used to finding the answer quickly. So, it comes down to: How do you enable this with guardrails? With systems and rules, you can create a framework that helps shape the creation of content in a way that it makes it searchable and locatable and findable and relevant.”
Hear Zeida Perez discuss her experiences with removing barriers to learning
Hear Nick Shackleton Jones discuss the importance of 'mindset' when removing barriers on the
5. L&D gets proactive with marketing techniques
From transformational tech to training content, there’s no shortage of opportunities for employees to learn. But simply providing platforms and online learning won’t get people engaged. L&D teams that don’t want to see their investment wasted are looking to use marketing techniques.
“There’s a lot of proactive, iterative thinking that exists in the world of marketing that could be very much applied to learning. Ultimately, we’re trying to do the same thing. We’re trying to get people to do things they don’t want to do. And know about things they don’t know about yet.”