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L&D predictions for 2023 and beyond

Finalising your strategy for 2023? In this latest blog we take a step into the future and predict what’s going to be on the agenda for modern L&D teams to focus their efforts on next year.

Cassie Gasson Chief Marketing Officer

Tarot cards on a table

1. User-managed skills 

In the next year we expect to see skills remain at the forefront of the conversation, but forget skills taxonomies ruling your approach. More and more organisations will begin to empower their teams to drive their own skills progression and adopt a more user-generated skills framework.  

This calls for your people - and especially your managers - to be in the driver's seat. They will be able to add, progress and choose which skills they want to grow as well as explore who (SMEs, coaches and mentors) and what content can help them level up. 

A key part to explore here is how a person's role or job description doesn’t define how or where they upskill. 

Recognising this will make way for cross-departmental upskilling as well as better nurturing people's passions, which won’t only encourage better retention but more internal promotions too!  

We’re already seeing this happen at THRIVE, where we’ve supported training secondments from Marketing to Tech and from Customer Success to L&D.

But what does this mean for L&D teams? It means you’ll start to get an accurate representation of your organisation’s skills landscape and your people’s progression in real-time. 

 No longer will L&D have to rely on a top-down approach that misses critical existing information. The big shift is pushing the mindset to your end users. 

Sticking to the way it’s always been done isn’t going to drive change now, is it?

 2. Data = development

Data literacy is improving across organisations, but making more use of data in decision-making is going to be so important in 2023 as we get even smarter with our approaches. 

Learning Platform features will have to evolve to support this too. 

We’re hoping to see more vendors leverage the data in hand to support activity such as the ability to run multiple campaigns with different parts of the same audience at once. 

Across the board, we’ll see L&D teams get even more personalised with their approaches and in turn have to be in a better position to measure its impact, but with this predictive analytics will become way more accessible.

3. Zone in on accessibility

Accessibility is by no means a new thing. But did you know the majority of learning content produced today remains inaccessible to people with disabilities? According to Jonathan Hassell’s “Inclusive Design for Organisations” it excludes an estimated 12% to 26% of our learners, which simply isn’t good enough. 

But the optimists we are, we believe things are changing. L&D teams and vendors alike are speaking about it more openly, highlighting its importance and making the necessary changes to adhere to best practices.  

We’ve recently seen LinkedIn roll out auto-generated captions on all its feed videos too, so what can we take from this? It’s all about user experience and that includes delivering equal access and opportunity to all users the best we can. 

At THRIVE this year, we’ve undergone an accessibility review across our Learning & Skills to ensure it exceeds industry standards and we’re even developing our own open source L&D accessibility toolkit for teams to sense check their learning content… More details to come soon. 

4. Coaching, community and mentoring

There’s already a lens on how coaching can lead to greater development impact, we’re actually hiring for our very own Internal Coach at THRIVE because for us, doing more to tap into our people’s potential is one of our key priorities. Coaching will feed into talent development, increase learning opportunities and help businesses to achieve their wider objectives.

But on an industry level, it’s not only coaching in isolation that’s the answer. 

Mentorship can contribute to achieving a similar impact.

Connecting people across a business via a mentor/mentee relationship allows knowledge sharing to occur internally and people to learn from your own internal experts. What would be even better is being able to recognise who is available as a mentor based directly on the skills you want to develop. We’ve heard there will be a solution for that soon…

5. You got the power skills 

It’s time soft skills are no longer undervalued for their more tangible counterpart, hard skills.  

We’re seeing more and more customers request content mapping and pathways around topics such as communication and collaboration. As they recognise without soft skills, hard skills can only get you so far. 

That’s why we’ve rebranded them power skills. They provide your teams with the boost you need to create a more well-rounded skill set.  

Because of this, we expect to see more organisations focus on hiring for power skills too. The trick is being able to spot an individual’s power potential. We know skills are changing more than ever, remember what we spoke about earlier with transparency of skills and expecting to see more cross-functional upskilling too?  

Well power skills like flexible thinking, adaptability, and collaboration are evergreen and will always be invaluable to any team.

6. Social learning adoption

In 2023, we’ll see learning technology deliver even easier ways to share knowledge. Simple. 

This is key to the bigger picture and direction that successful Learning Platforms, LXPs, LMSs, whatever you want to call them are going and will take this year – making better use of people’s expertise. 

We already know unlocking knowledge sharing within your organisation is essential if you want your experts to share important information with their peers and new recruits, so they can ultimately ramp up faster. But more teams will take that leap with user-generated content and trust their teams to adopt real social learning. 

Skills are intrinsically linked to knowledge sharing too…

Managing skills within your Learning Platform is one of the most effective ways to ensure your employees can build the specific skills they need and enable identifiable experts and encourage them to share knowledge on a business-wide scale. 

We’re already starting to see a divergence in this area between tools which try to match learning to a global database of skills versus tools which encourage knowledge sharing and identify the unique skills within an organisation over time. That’s more our bag, read about our Agile Skills approach here.

That’s all for now! 

If this topic got you all excited, we’re going to be talking way more about how to practically plan for our predictions next year and beyond in a LinkedIn Live on January 17th 2023, wow that already feels weird to say, with our Head of Learning, Helen Marshall and Co-Founder, Mark Ward.

Watch out for sign-up very soon 👀

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