In January, The Roundtable released a report, L&D Trends 2022. And, as we are midway through the year, it feels like a suitable time to pause, reflect, and check in on the learning and development trend predictions we made.
A Continuing Trend for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
It’s been proven that better organizational diversity, equity and inclusion can meaningfully effectuate positive corporate culture change. Inclusive organizations are more likely to embrace family-friendly policies and champion diversity.
In our 2022 report we noted that HR and L&D professionals will also have to see that a more diverse workforce is treated fairly —from recruiting to off-boarding —regardless of race or ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age. In 2022 and 2023, diversity and unconscious bias training will become increasingly important for companies.
In the DEI area, we see a continuing upwards trend for the need and demand for leadership development in topics such as:
- Inclusion and inclusive leadership
- Understanding and preventing proximity bias
- Creating psychological safety
- Managing neurodiversity at work
Remote work throughout the pandemic has had leaders and employees struggling to manage work-life balance. Even as things start to creep back to “normalish,” leaders and their teams are still stressed and stretched for time. With the increase in burnout that many organizations are seeing, taking care of the health and wellness aspect of employees has also made its way into the purview of the L&D department.
Communication and a feeling of social connection between team members and amongst leaders are important protective mechanisms against feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety. This resilience-building is something we see constantly at The Roundtable in our group coaching programs. While the cohort members take on challenges relating to strategic organizational priorities, other more personal struggles are shared and tackled, like how to juggle high performance pressure when you have a young family at home.
As we continue on through 2022, L&D will continue to create initiatives to build both personal and organizational resilience as well as learning programs that are collaborative (rather than individual/siloed) to create a sense of connection and belonging.
The Hybrid Workplace
In our report, we said, “In 2022, we will see a mix of employees working from the office, from home or a combination of both. Teams may also have members who work from a co-working space. In other words, flexibility will become the norm.”
While we still stand behind this prediction, we are seeing many companies calling employees back to the office – whether they like it or not. (We’re looking at you Tesla.) As public health restrictions are easing up and companies feel more confident about the return to an onsite work environment, the proportion of Canadians who are working from home the majority of the time is decreasing. (Statistics Canada reports that only one in five employed Canadians were still doing most of their work from home as of May.)
However, progressive companies recognize that flexibility is here to stay — and they’re focusing on what they need to do to support that. For L&D pros this can include doubling down on creating an inclusive, supportive culture that transcends a physical workplace, and group coaching to build communication skills, feedback and manager coaching abilities, and increasing the capacity for empathy.
If you’re curious about how The Roundtable can help develop your leaders let’s start a conversation. And, be sure to download our 2022 L&D Trends Report for more insights into the issues affecting L&D professionals in the year ahead.