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LinkedIn: COVID-19 Boosts Employee Learning and Development

An overwhelming amount of L&D professionals think employee learning and development is more important post-pandemic.

Yessi Bello-Perez

Leader

Unleash Your Curiosity The pandemic has supercharged the need for employee learning and development — providing a clear opportunity for HR tech platforms in the space.

  • An overwhelming amount of L&D professionals think employee learning and development is more important post-pandemic.
  • Employee wellbeing is at the top of the agenda.
  • The top skills required in organizations today include digital fluency and emotional intelligence.

The vast majority (75%) of learning and development professionals in the UK say that community-based learning is more important to their business today than before the global pandemic. 

According to a new report by LinkedInLearning, 84% of professionals said it improved employee engagement and a staggering 94% agreed that teams that learn together are ultimately more successful. 

Key areas of focus for L&D programs in the UK this year include uspkilling and reskilling (52%), leadership and management training (51%), diversity and inclusion (33%), and employee wellbeing (31%). 

[Read more: Making the most of talent in a skills-driven future of work]

Interestingly, 77% of the 150 L&D professionals surveyed said senior executives had made diversity and inclusion the top focus area. Over a third (36%) said they were working closely with D&I teams on related strategy, programs, and learning course content. 

Janine Chamberlin, senior director at LinkedIn, said: “Many of us have spent the last year being physically distant from friends, family and colleagues, which can feel lonely and isolating. 

“Humans are social creatures and crave community, and this is top of mind for companies as they consider employee development given the current circumstances. Our research finds that UK organisations are encouraging employees to learn skills together which can have a positive impact on engagement and foster a sense of belonging. 

“L&D programs are also crucial to helping organisations overcome the burgeoning skills gap. We know that reskilling employees is often less costly than hiring new talent, and the investment can spur internal mobility, boost retention and improve engagement.” 

The learning agenda for 2021

According to L&D professionals, the five most important skills employees will need for the future of work are: adaptability (55%), digital fluency (41%), communication (31%), leading through change (30%), and emotional intelligence (28%). 

Concerns in the C-suite 

Some 41% of respondents said business leaders are concerned about access to the right skills within the organization — 38% believed the skill gap had widened since the outbreak of the pandemic.  

Employee wellbeing is top of mind 

Given the current climate, wellbeing is one of the key focus areas for employee development. 

As a result, UK L&D teams are promoting learning resources on mental health and wellbeing (71%) and remote working (59%), driving employee engagement surveys (59%), helping managers support the mental health of their teams (55%), and setting up live sessions on physical and mental health (49%). 

An overwhelming majority say that engaged learners are happier at work (92%), perform at a higher level (93%), and are more likely to be receptive to internal mobility (87%).

[Read more: Look busy — a robot might take your job]

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