LinkedIn has released it this week fifth Workplace learning report, which includes responses from more than 1,200 learning and development professionals and almost 900 learners to provide a new perspective and information on key learning and continuing education trends and how companies should plan for this development.

You can download the full 65 page report here (by email), but in this post we’ll look at some key notes.

First, which comes as no surprise given the 2020 chaos, LinkedIn discovered it ‘Resilience and adaptability’ is now a key focus in learning and development, with technology skills / digital fluency coming second.

We all had to adapt in some way because of the effects of the pandemic, and you can see from these other issues the impact of the WFH change on trends.

The increased focus on digital connectivity has also made digital literacy a key focus.

Digital literacy should now be included in the general education curriculum, as in some countries. Given the wider implications of misinformation and how digital platforms can be used to facilitate such, and our growing reliance on combined tools in all areas, it is undeniably now critical to Life Skills that all young people learn themselves anyway.

The more information we can provide about it, the better.

LinkedIn also noted that ‘skills and retraining’ is now a key priority in learning and development programs, which is also a surprise.

LinkedIn Learning and Development Report

Many people have had to find new roles or change their focus because of the impact of COVID-19, so many workers have had to and are forced to renew their skills.

LinkedIn also found that a growing number of employees switching roles are doing so from completely different career paths instead of interrelated roles.

An analysis by LinkedIn’s data processing team at the World Economic Forum showed that many of the workers who have moved to “rising roles” in the last five years have come from completely different professions. That figure jumps when we look at design roles (67%), content roles (72%) and sales (75%).

New sectors open up new opportunities, and as AR / VR and other technologies continue to evolve, this will continue to expand and guide people from different professional backgrounds to these new paths – and it is worth noting that experience is not so much a factor in some respects.

In many ways, it is impossible to gain experience in these new roles, giving people more opportunities to change their career paths if they want to.

As you can see from the chart, “Virtual Onboarding” is also a key focus, again reflecting the growing change in WFH, which is likely to be a lasting impact of the pandemic.

This is further emphasized by moving away from instructor-led training in favor of self-paced online courses.

LinkedIn Learning and Development Report

Organizations are increasingly looking for varied work arrangements to provide more flexibility, which not only helps attract more candidates through a wider range of options, but also ensures that they can get the best employees, regardless of location. And it may well become a key separator going forward.

LinkedIn also found that younger employees are increasingly looking for career development opportunities

“Gen Z students spend time learning if it can help them perform well in their current jobs (69%), build the skills needed to work in another job (47%), or find new roles internally (hello, internal mobility) – more than any other generation in the workforce. And more than three-quarters (76%) of Gen Z employees believe that learning is the key to a successful career. “

It can play a key role in motivating younger staff, while group learning has also grown in popularity.

“For example, the number of people joining learning groups has increased by 1,100%, and the number of younger generations joining is much higher than their older counterparts. Also, courses shared with students’ professional network increased by 225% and students increased by 121%.”

Here is probably some external validation in the ability to show your latest skills to your peers and colleagues. But it also highlights a key value point – if you want to maximize employee learning, it should be available online, and it should be something they can do with other colleagues or students to help ease a community where many are sorely lacking in locks.

Here are some interesting insights, and if you work in HR, you might want to download the full report and look at LinkedIn’s findings. It can help you develop a better approach to your own learning and development processes and give your company a better position to take advantage of these key changes.

You can download the complete LinkedIn Learning 2021 Workplace Learning report here.

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