2020 brought unprecedented challenges to the workplace, and 2021 will be about defining the most important lessons learned—and how to effectively adapt to them. According to Gartner, an overwhelming majority of L&D professionals say that 40% of their workforce has had to leverage new skills in light of the pandemic. 

Because of this shift, a number of training and development trends from previous years, such as reskilling and engaging virtual environments, continue to be a top priority. However, even established practices come with new challenges in 2021. Learn more about the top L&D trends for training and development below.

Trend #1: Reskilling 

The demand for quick, adaptable learning was already high before 2020, but the global crisis caused many companies to table L&D projects. However, retraining is critical to addressing long-term uncertainty and future leaders still need to brace for changing market demands. Organizations that provide virtual courses can kickstart dormant L&D programs and prepare their workforce for the future. 

Sensei On Demand is a leader in meeting skilling and reskilling needs with virtual, engaging Lean Six Sigma courses that prepare professionals and future leaders to tackle changing market demands.

Trend #2: Performance indicators 

With budgets strapped and no time to waste, it’s important to have real-world performance tracking to know which solutions are most effective for skilling and reskilling. To meet those needs, look for digital training and development platforms that provide reporting and tracking, in addition to recommended tracks.    

Reports should allow you to see how individual courses and employees are performing, as well as measure the overall ROI of your investment.

Example course and individual performance indicators:

  • Course completion rates
  • Assessment scores
  • Employee survey results

Example ROI tracking performance indicators:

  • Cost of training as a percentage of payroll
  • Impact on productivity, quality, or sales
  • Time elapsed before experiencing business impact

Trend #3: AI for development training

Data-driven training—that focuses on where learners (and particularly leaders) have an opportunity to grow—is becoming a rising trend in the L&D techstack. 

Modern L&D platforms now come with tracking abilities designed to give learners and overseers insight into performance. With the Sensei On Demand Dojo, learners can track their progress, schedule one-on-ones with coaches and mentors, and see what’s next in their training and certification anytime, anywhere.  

Trend #4: Engaging virtual training  

Virtual experiences will continue to grow in 2021, and quality will be a key priority. With converted classrooms and sessions now being commonplace, it’s critical to find out how to make the most of virtual learning for both instructors and learners. Mike Maher, managing director of Human Capital Advisory at KPMG, says it’s vital that virtual learning initiatives are “uniquely designed to minimize users’ time commitment, offer relevant content, and are tailored to employees’ individual learning preferences.”

At Sensei On Demand, we take a multi-pronged approach to maximizing the virtual environment through microlearning modules, community engagement, and virtual coaching and mentoring sessions.

Trend #5: Learning consultants

In the past, business leaders have led learning and development strategies based on what is needed to accomplish certain KPIs. In 2021, more and more learning consultants will partner with business leaders to understand how to streamline operations and boost performance from an organizational standpoint. 

Created by HKPO, a leading Lean Six Sigma and leadership development provider, Sensei On Demand was designed to meet business demands by tailoring learning to the modern workforce. To see how our platform can be customized for your specific needs, schedule a free consultation.

Trend #6: Integrated learning  

With the growing need for smarter, less time-intensive solutions, integrated learning will grow as a trend through 2021 and beyond to prepare employees to deal with complex issues, changing demands, and fluctuating timelines. Many companies are already helping learners focus on skills that increase creativity, prioritize agility, and adapt the skills needed to learn from one situation and apply it to others.

Trend #7: Productivity solutions

Guaranteeing employee performance in a remote work environment has moved up in priority. Leaders who are trained to manage from an office are now tasked with assessing performance from a distance. 

Lean Six Sigma training is one of the most impactful ways for professionals to assess the skills required to be successful, and learn new ways to better understand employees and their performance.

The top priority for 2021 is fine-tuning the ability to adapt.

The common thread throughout the L&D trends of 2021 is clear: Accept change and learn how to be productive at the same time. Even before the pandemic, companies were experiencing the benefits of reskilling; organizations that invest in it are twice as likely to feel prepared to address potential role disruptions when compared to those who don’t. If you’re looking for ways to skill your workforce in an efficient, engaging, and results-oriented environment, reach out to us today.