Don't let a lack of time prevent employees from developing.
There's no question that L&D practitioners were put to the test in 2020. The L&D function was mission critical to helping organizations navigate the degree of change that hit the workplace. Udemy's The 2021 Workplace Learning Trends Report: Learning Leads the Future of Work highlights key metrics from 2020 and sheds light on what organizations will need to focus on this year.
Based on responses from more than 500 professionals around the world, the study found that the majority expressed satisfaction with their organization's L&D function. However, nearly half said there's room for improvement.
The report reveals that, last year, L&D practitioners focused on numerous goals, including increasing job satisfaction and driving organizational growth. For two-thirds of respondents, closing the skills gap ranked as their number 1 objective. And the number of employees upskilled more than doubled in 2020 compared with 2019.
Although those figures reflect great progress for the workforce at large, L&D leaders encountered various challenges—such as proving return on investment and budgetary constraints—that prevented them from making an even greater impact. Employees' lack of time topped the list of barriers.
To overcome the challenge of finding time for learning, Udemy advises incorporating learning into the workflow. Ask employees to create learning goals, allocate time dedicated to learning, and provide workers with access to online platforms and learning experiences to help them grow.
With 2021 now in full swing, organizations should look to prioritize L&D. Doing so will enable them to build a workforce that can readily adapt to new challenges and ongoing change. Further, prioritizing learning promotes innovation and enables businesses to keep up with workplace transformation. As the report points out, L&D is now not "just an employee perk, but also business critical."