Yet, organisations often grapple with effective design and implementation of skill building initiatives. The traditional approach to skill building, which was to mine the data and look at learning trends and learning behaviours periodically, has become outdated. Today’s business challenges are changing real-time, and learning and development insights must be gathered continuously to tackle this dynamic environment. For this, L&D leaders must deep dive into the key learning trends.
Upskilling and reskilling have become a business imperative, with a focus on the following:
- Amidst uncertainty, self-mastery is a valued skill: Amidst the pandemic, there has been a growing demand for productivity and wellness skills, for example, a 4000% increase in consumption of anxiety management courses. Anxiety management, resilience, and stress management are the top three consumed wellness courses, while organisations are enabling their people to build productivity skills such as time management, motivation and focus mastery. Upskilling is a must to avoid burn-out due to the blurring of boundaries in remote working.
- Remote work makes collaboration a priority: organisations are bringing together diverse teams of specialists to solve complex problems through innovative solutions. Hence the rising demand for softer skills like collaboration. For example, the software and tech industry has seen a 3201% increase in Listening Skills. Leadership skills are another hot skill, as leaders ask themselves, “How do we continue to impact business and building efficiencies while working remotely?“
- Data literacy is the new computer literacy: A clear understanding of dashboards, visualisations, and analysis will soon become a default required skill set for any employee. As the complexity of business increases, interpreting data, drawing insights, and communicating the insights to stakeholders will be invaluable skills for people and organisations. This reflects in the statistics - a 1411% increase in Business Intelligence skills consumption. organisations are moving away from a siloed data science approach and incorporating data literacy into mainstream business.
- Automation skills let data scientists focus on strategy: With the move towards data automation, data science teams are shifting focus to the strategy front. Businesses want to leverage their internal and customer data by enhancing their programming libraries and machine learning techniques. Hence, leaders are upskilling their teams in data automation tools. Machine Learning Automation Skills and Data Automation Tools are some of the highest consumed learning modules at Udemy.
- Farewell silos, hello hybrid tech roles: Leaders are turning to Agile Project Management and moving away from single domain expertise. To align with this shift, leaders are encouraging employees to build expertise in multiple skills, making hybrid roles across DevOps and Cloud Computing the norm.
- Cybersecurity training takes on a new urgency: As the pandemic normalized work-from-home, the consumption of digital security related learning courses spiked. Topics such as information, network, wireless, and web security saw notable growth as IT teams of all sizes crafted a safe and secure remote workforce. There has been a phenomenal 6343% increase in the consumption of Cybersecurity courses, mainly driven by Ethical Hacking, DevOps and Docker Certified Associate training.
The pandemic accelerated the learning focus, wherein “learning became for survival”, and not just a good-to-have. Today’s employees are compelled to continuously unlearn and relearn, while aligning self-learning with the larger organisational learning goals. Organisational learning is often seen playing catch-up as technology advances. It is therefore essential that L&D leaders carve out a sustainable learning strategy, by offering customised and flexible learning offerings to engage learners.
A learning pull can be created by developing a collaborative and homogenous learning ecosystem. This will help directly impact the bottom line. While L&D creates such an ecosystem, ownership and accountability must be shared with business heads. Learning is integral to the transformation journey, and today’s L&D leaders must move ahead towards continuous engagement and learning. This can happen by looking at skills as currencies, encashable in different business opportunities and aligned with the organisational strategy.