As we begin another new year, many organizations are preparing to implement strategic initiatives expected to lay the groundwork for continued success. One of the most valuable strategic initiatives is training and development.

According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, 87% of responding learning and development (L&D) professionals had “some to a great deal of involvement in helping their organization adapt to change.” In fact, employee development is a key strategy for change management in all areas of an organization.

How? For starters, the right training initiatives are vital to keep employees agile and ready to pivot as markets change. Team development is also useful in an era of staffing issues, as a means to retain your highest performing employees and as a method to fill existing (and plan for future) skills gaps. So, what were the most valuable training programs in 2022, and what can we expect to see more of in 2023?

There are three areas in which training is most effective in managing change, particularly as we head into 2023.

1. Upskilling Employees

Want to retain your most talented performers? Lay out a clear pathway for professional development and career advancement with internal learning and training opportunities. Upskilling is also important to cross-train team members to step in and fill gaps when made necessary by turnover and other staffing issues. Additionally, upskilling is useful whenever there are systems updates, technology adoption, new processes, or other important changes. Employees who receive upskilling opportunities will not only be more motivated, but more productive when they are given the tools to improve their performance. (Your younger employees especially crave learning opportunities, but older employees needing skills updates to take on new processes will appreciate the support as well.)

2. Leadership Development

The LinkedIn Learning report shows that leadership and management training was the No. 1 focus of L&D programs. (Upskilling was ranked in the second spot.) Why? Because great leaders are vital in the workplace. It is always useful to train management in soft skills, as well as give them a foundation in processes. Training your managers is a great way to scale your efforts because they, in turn, provide coaching to their teams. Additionally, providing internal leadership training creates an upward pathway for your motivated employees. That investment in the success of your team pays dividends down the road in terms of better performance, higher retention and a better workplace culture.

3. Create a Culture of Learning

Is your organization setting aside time for learning opportunities? What about making time for coaching and mentorship activities, lunch and learn sessions, and setting aside time for refresher courses? Is your organization providing on the job reference materials, and allowing open access to learning resources? All of these strategies create a culture of learning on the job that will support all of your other strategic initiatives — be it onboarding, compliance, sales, branding or other training — as employees get to own their development through personal choice and motivation.

Conclusion

To manage change this year, your organization should be making the most of strategic training initiatives.

Leadership and management training and upskilling are key areas of learning for leading organizations. Employees also appreciate increased learning initiatives because they provide opportunities to improve performance, take initiative and advance their careers.

All organizations can benefit from development of a culture of learning that encourages their employees to continually develop their skills and stay sharp to manage change.

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