The 2018 Workplace Linked in Learning Report has been published and should be compulsory reading for all CEO’s and learning and Development specialists.  The full report is available from the LinkedIn website, but I want to highlight a few of the key elements that I believe are critical factors in our learning environments in South African, especially given the needs to transform workplaces and build new skills.

These are highlighted here in no specific order of priority and I present them principally because I have find them relevant, not because any of them are ground-breakingly new, but in my 25 years of experience of nurturing and developing people from cleaners to senior executives, they are still relevant – nothing has changed.

So here they are:

1

What are the 3 things most expected and most valued by employees that people managers should do?

  1. TO BE INSPIRED
  2. TO BE MOTIVATED
  3. TO BE A PARTNER

 

 

2  Talent developers are depending more on online learning solutions to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse, multi-generational workforce—and there’s no turning back! Our survey shows that talent developers depend more on online learning solutions than ever before.

SoftSkills2

3  In the LinkedIn Survey, 4000 professionals (1, 200 L&D professionals, 200 executives, 2,200 employees and 400 people managers) were asked?

What do you believe are the most important focus areas for L&D in 2018?

  1. Leadership
  2. Communication
  3. Collaboration
  4. Role-specific skills

4

Making time for workplace learning was identified as the number one 1 challenge facing L&D specialists in 2018SoftSkills3

 

5  Talent development is top of mind for organisations

“Talent developers, executives, and people managers agree that providing resources to enable talent is crucial to the business. There is the consensus that learning and development programs are a necessary benefit to employees and that overall, employees are engaged with those programs.”

Now here is an observation of the local scene that may be quite controversial and I would appreciate some feedback from local L&D professionals about their feelings on this point:

Right or Wrong? What’s your opinion?

As a consultant for 10 years to a range of large, medium and small organisations, I have come across only a few organisations where learning and skills acquisition is truly a strategic issue, in practice. Secondly, I have found very few L&D professionals that are directly involved at a strategic level with their organisation’s people management at the policy-making level. 

I’d like to know what you think.

 

 

6  Training for soft skills is the #1 priority for talent development in 2018

“Talent developers say that training for soft skills is their key focus for 2018. While maintaining technical fluency will be important, demand for soft skills will continue to accelerate. Industry experts and organizational partners agree that this should be the top focus for talent development in 2018.”

7  As companies grow, they dedicate more budget to scalable online learning solutions

Getting employees to make time for learning has moved up to the #1 challenge facing talent development. This makes sense. If employees are not taking the time to learn, then L&D programs cannot be successful.

Our data shows that the #2 challenge facing talent development, “getting managers to take an active role in employee learning”, is a viable solution to overcoming the #1 challenge. 

8  Employees are motivated to learn by manager relationships and opportunities for upward mobility.

SoftSkills4

9  People Managers 

“People Managers are the coaches and the mentors of the organisation. Managers are one of the biggest drivers of employee engagement. They can help to create an environment for continuous learning and guide employees to learning resources in order to develop their careers.” 

10  Like executives, people managers agree that the most important skills training that talent developers can provide for employees are soft skills.

The final word on what all managers should adopt as their personal philosophy on how to engage with their team members: 

Inspire:
Managers are inspired by the potential for learning 

to impact employee career development. Inspire
them by surfacing stories of employees within your
organisation who have utilized learning resources
to grow in their careers.  

 

Motivate:
Managers are motivated to encourage learning when

it effects employee career growth and they can easily
recommend learning opportunities. Tie learning
to career paths within your organization, and offer
solutions that help managers easily recommend
learning to their teams. 

 

Partner:
Managers know it is hard for employees to make

time for learning. Partner with managers to identify
moments when it makes sense to incorporate
learning into existing routines with employees,
such as 1:1s or performance review discussions.

 

I hope you enjoyed this small selection from the LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Survey.