Learners are spending increased training time on pragmatic skills.
It's easy for workers to focus on short-term L&D objectives: to either gain new skills or enhance existing skills. But what about the long-term goals? What do employees do with their newly acquired skills? With organizations emphasizing L&D to transform the workforce, Skillsoft's 2023 Lean Into Learning report highlights the need for practical training.
Among its millions of learners, education technology company Skillsoft has seen a 37 percent increase in total time spent upskilling, with 16 million badges issued to recognize learning achievements. That aligns with global trends: Lean Into Learning shows a 32 percent increase in learners' time spent upskilling their leadership, business, and power skills.
"Everyone today is craving growth. Employees want more enriching and rewarding careers, while organizations want a sustainable, future-fit workforce. A social compact has emerged, creating a skilling revolution underpinned by learning," says Skillsoft CEO Jeffrey R. Tarr. He explains that a social compact is "one where employers, their people, and their communities are leaning into learning—and growing—together."
Learners aren't just upskilling without a goal in mind, however. The top five skill areas of interest—written communication, unconscious bias, virtual work in the new normal, working remotely, and communication essentials—reflect their desire to keep up with the evolving, hybrid workplace. "The businesses that will thrive tomorrow and in the future are the ones that embrace a culture where employers, their workforce, and their communities are leaning into learning and growth together," Tarr says.
It's also become important for learners to develop and expand their technical skill sets. Technology is rapidly evolving, and as a result, Lean Into Learning reveals that learners have increased the time they spend developing their technical skills by 39 percent. The report notes that every company now is a technology company because of the accelerated digital transformation the workforce has experienced.
That requires additional upskilling for workers to keep up in the workplace. The report explains that employees have taken heed: Seventy percent of the top 10 technology and developer skill areas of interest revolve around infrastructure, cloud, and security.
Failing to meet the skills demand could put $11.5 trillion in potential gross domestic product growth at risk during the next decade, according to an Accenture citation in the report. That, combined with a predicted talent shortage, makes it even more urgent that companies preach practicality in training.