You don’t need a crystal ball to know that 2022 is going to be a busy year for Learning and Development teams.

Hybrid working and learning, skills, knowledge sharing and collaboration, tech innovation, recruitment and retention, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion are important issues L&D and business leaders will face this year and through 2023 as well.

Over the past 12 months we explored the key themes in workplace tech and learning and development. These are big, thorny issues for L&D and organisations need to work through them as they keep evolving.

The workplace of the future is still changing

Covid-19 impacted work as we know it, turbocharging the adoption of digital, workplace thinking and practices. The revolution is far from over. As the pandemic continues to bite, affecting how and where we work, these trends keep evolving. And the workplace of the future, near and far, keeps changing.

We have learnt from the events of the past two years that teams need to address key areas in order to thrive in this shifting landscape. Themes such as agility, technology, continuous skills development and organisational learning are core to what we do and are crucial to understand how our technology has helped learning teams and organisations, even pre-pandemic.

So, let’s take a look at these workplace tech and learning trends.

Our top tech and learning trends for 2022

1. Hybrid working and learning

Hybrid working and learning are the buzzwords of the day. While the concept is new to many, it’s not new to us. Our focus has always been on creating technology that helps people, teams and organisations to work, learn and collaborate digitally, whether onsite or remotely.

The pandemic forced organisations to reassess how and where people work and learn, with many now opting to go down the hybrid route permanently. Hemsley Fraser, an organisation that delivers and manages learning experiences globally and a 5App business partner, is a great example of a company that made the move from predominantly face-to-face to hybrid and at breakneck speed. Hemsley Fraser was already using the 5App Digital Hub, but when faced with the challenges presented by Covid-19, the organisation realised it could use the Hub to achieve more.

Hybrid is the way of the future. But, it’s not a future all organisations are embracing – some are keen to have staff back onsite, full time. While some employees are keen to return to office life, many are not. And if employers are not enabling hybrid working, they could find their employees voting with their feet. There has been widespread reporting of the Great Resignation with record numbers of people leaving their jobs after the Covid-19 pandemic ends (source: World Economic Forum).

A McKinsey insight piece looking back at 2021 warns about a new talent crisis, with 40% of the people surveyed stating they are likely to quit their job within three to six months.

2. Recruitment and retention

Another important challenge companies are facing is recruitment and retention. There’s the Great Resignation to contend with as well as attracting people with the right skills in the first place.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s Autumn Labour Market Outlook found that 47% of employers are struggling to fill vacancies.

Additionally, the BBC reported that the war for talent means some employers are upping salaries in order to fill vacancies.

3. Skills, knowledge sharing and collaboration

Pay is rarely the be all and end all. Flexibility is also a major consideration for many people - which is why hybrid working has become such a hot topic - as are reskilling, upskilling and general career development. Plus, employees want to work in places where they can access and share knowledge easily, where collaboration and communication are the norm. Get all of this right and both the organisation and its workforce will benefit, the first with a seamless communication flow, the second with a more engaging employee experience.

Skills development is not just about retaining talent and creating a great employee experience. It is primarily about organisations having the skills they need.

Last year’s Survey by 5App and Hemsley Fraser highlighted the scale of the skills crisis employers are facing. Over 52% of respondents said they were under pressure due to skills shortages.

4. Technology innovation

Learning guru Donald Taylor likes to conduct L&D surveys on a regular basis. His 2021 People and Technology Innovation Survey asked the question ‘Which HR/L&D issues are you looking to solve with innovative technology?’. Not surprisingly, personalised learning was the number one answer, followed by reskilling and upskilling.

Delivering a personalised learning environment that facilitates reskilling and upskilling requires the implementation of the right technology aligned with the company’s strategic focus. In February, 5App is holding a webinar on how technology can help organisations with their reskilling and upskilling capabilities.

The 5App Hub has helped organisations develop personalised learning and develop upskilling and reskilling capabilities. The real estate management and development organisation Greystar, for example, needed to create a learning culture and started using the 5App Hub. One year after launching the Greystar Business School, 89% of the workforce were accessing the learning platform, with a 24% uptick in performance and productivity, a 90% increase in understanding company goals and objectives and a 35% reduction in employee turnover.

5. Diversity and inclusion

Covid-19 and digital working has been both good and bad for diversity and inclusion. It’s going to continue to be a hot topic for some time to come, so L&D teams need to really understand how technology can be used to improve D&I.

6. Wellbeing

Wellbeing also remains a top priority in 2022 as numerous studies highlight problems with digital fatigue. Technology can be part of the solution if implemented correctly ensuring employees are on board. Research by HR analyst group Fosway found that digital learning fatigue is an issue for over half of its survey respondents and that the majority of respondents did not have a learning platform fit for purpose.

Conclusion

As our overview of workplace tech and learning trends shows, there is a lot for L&D teams to get their teeth into this year and to build on the successes of the digital revolution. Although challenging, some of these issues are not insurmountable. And one thing is certain, 2022 certainly won’t be a boring year for learning professionals.


The Learning and Development Impact Survey 2022 by 5App and Hemsley Fraser is conducted each year in association with HR Grapevine.

If you would like to provide your insights on Learning and Development in 2022 follow this link to take part in the survey.