2021 was all about keeping our heads above water.

From moving training from in-person to online, to onboarding new hires remotely, L&D teams had to make snap decisions and do their best to survive. Often with fewer resources and budgets than they had before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. 

Now, as we try to navigate this new normal and adapt to hybrid working, L&D leaders have an opportunity to reexamine the crucial role L&D teams should play in 2022 and beyond, with a focus on making the most of limited resources and prioritising the skills needed to facilitate great learning programmes in this new world. 

We recently teamed up with 360Learning during a recent webinar to offer advice for doing just this. We’ll explore the highlights below. 

L&D Managers will play the role of learning coach, not course creator 

Traditionally, learning has been top-down and centralised, with training departments sourcing topics from managers and creating courses. But more and more organisations are moving away from this traditional approach, and are favouring a Collaborative Learning approach that is bottom-up, decentralised, and impact-driven. 

Diagram of Collaborative Learning Approach for L&D Teams
Collaborative Learning Approach Diagram

Collaborative Learning places more emphasis on employees participating in the learning process and encourages everybody within the organisation, no matter their role, to create content. Employees identify their own learning needs, and subject-matter experts create courses to address those needs. 

With this approach, L&D managers play the role of learning coach rather than course creator, providing employees with the right tools and resources to develop their own training. Having learners take a more active role in course creation significantly frees up L&D teams’ time — time which would have previously been spent creating course content — and ensures courses are more timely and relevant. 

Want even better training programmes? Put subject matter experts at the heart of content creation and ensure they have what they need to deliver great training programmes. 

 

Subject-matter experts will make the best course creators 

Institutional knowledge is going untapped. In 360Learning’s recent study, 77% of learners say they have valuable knowledge to share at work but aren’t being asked to share it. For both L&D teams and learners, this is a real missed opportunity.

In 2022 and beyond, course content will be created by subject-matter experts for the broader organisation. Why? Because courses created by subject-matter experts are 100% relevant to employees’ context, right down to the local level.

An expert-led approach makes it much easier for L&D teams to capture institutional knowledge than with off the shelf content or distributed content from a central HQ, because these run the risk of losing relevance to teams. 

If you want to leverage subject-matter expertise in the upcoming year, there are four main steps you need to follow: 

  1. Fast course creation – If you’re using solutions that don’t support fast content creation, then you run the risk of your subject-matter experts losing interest. Using a collaborative learning solution allows experts to quickly share knowledge.
  2. Make it easy to declare learning needs and respond to those needs – By making it easier for people to declare their learning needs and address the needs of others, you can deliver relevant and engaging learning opportunities and build closer connections between teams. 
  3. Iterating on courses over time – With the right platform, you can build and refine courses that are relevant to all teams, with content that’s relevant to their local environment. 
  4. Combine subject-matter expertise with engagement features – You can add quizzes, questions, gamification, and social components like discussions and reactions to your training programmes for increased impact.

 

Screenshot of 360Learning's engagement features and collaborative tools
Engagement Features Example

Another key skill your L&D teams need to succeed in 2022? The ability to focus on skills and outcomes, not roles.

 

Agile organisations will focus on skills and outcomes, not roles 

At Jam Pan, we saw a 40% decrease in requests for Instructional Designers and a 50% increase in requests for Learning Experience Designers. What does this mean for L&D teams? Successful learning organisations are focusing more on the full learning experience and are identifying the skills rather than roles needed to produce great learning resources—they’re turning to other industries to see how they’re producing learning content more efficiently and effectively. 

Which skills are coming out on top? Here are the five in-demand skills we found: 

Five in-demand L&D skills for 2022

  • Copywriting – Condense, filter, and produce the relevant information, in the correct format, quickly  
  • Responsive Course Development – Understand the components required to produce a responsive experience for learners through mobile learning
  • Data Analysis – Understand the impact of L&D on the business and what the return on investment is
  • Content Curation – Ensure content is right for the context of the learning that is required amongst a sea of information
  • Marketing – Provide an engaging message and test with users to make sure learners are getting the right information they need

L&D teams with access to these five key skills will be invaluable in producing relevant training content in a way that’s concise and valuable to your learners and your organisation.

Want to develop your content curation skills this 2022? Check out our free Becoming a Learning Content Curator Course here.

 

Successful L&D teams will adopt a hybrid team mindset 

But how do you ensure you can actually get access to these skills, particularly if missing skillsets exist in your L&D team

For the best results, successful L&D teams will carry out internal analysis to better understand the skills needed to meet the learning demands of employees. L&D leaders can pinpoint what the must-haves for internal placement are and what associated skills could be facilitated by external support. 

The easiest way for L&D leaders to do this is by exploring what the schedule of demands are for learning requirements, identifying what content and training support is needed for employees to learn, and when it’s needed. 

Embracing a hybrid team mindset, and calling upon internal and external resources, will put you in an ideal position to help employees acquire new skills and develop their knowledge. The key to success is to think about the needs of your learners and to leverage every resource you have to give them what they need to enhance their careers.

 

Bottom line? Leverage the resources around you

If you want to create successful training programmes, you need to use all the resources you have at your disposal. Taking a collaborative learning approach and encouraging subject-matter experts to play an active role in course creation will help you create timely and relevant content, whilst freeing up L&D resources.

Finally, making the most of your budget in 2022 will be critical. That’s why adopting a hybrid team mindset will become a key focus. L&D teams need to clarify what are the must-haves for internal and external placement and understand how much support is needed and when it is needed. 

To find out more about the key L&D skills needed in 2022, including how your L&D team can develop an effective collaborative learning approach and how to adopt a hybrid team mindset, check out our webinar replay here. 

 

The Key Skills Your L&D Teams Needs to Succeed in 2022 Button

About 360Learning

360Learning empowers Learning and Development teams to drive culture and growth through Collaborative Learning. Our Learning Platform combines collaborative tools with the power of a Learning Management System, enabling high-growth companies to unlock learning based on collective expertise, instead of relying on traditional solo-based eLearning. 360Learning is the easiest way to onboard new employees, train customer-facing teams, and develop professional skills–all from one place.

360Learning powers the future of work at 1,500 organizations. Founded in 2013, 360Learning has raised $240 million with 300+ team members across New York, Paris, and London.