Managing Through Change, and a new look at Leadership skills

A long-time client recently asked AXIOM to share our thoughts on the trends that will drive learning and development in 2022. This article is drawn from part of that discussion. If you’d like to speak with us about how we can help align learning and development with the needs of your organization, contact us.

Managing Change, and Leading through Learning

While pandemic-driven full lockdowns and the pressure to rapidly shift to remote learning environments are mostly in the past, we don’t expect the short to remote work (and the increased workplace flexibility this has generated) to revert to pre-pandemic levels in the foreseeable future. As a recent Gartner study predicts, 48% of workers are expected to continue working remotely at least part of the time — a distinct increase above the 30% pre-pandemic rate.

At the same time, the employment market for skilled workers is as competitive as ever. The costs associated with recruiting and retaining skilled staff are being driven up, creating an opportunity (or an imperative) for learning and development to support the organization’s need to retain and develop staff.

What does L&D Need to Respond?

This moment creates an opportunity for L&D to demonstrate its alignment with and contribution to the growth of the organization — but also places new demands on how training is scoped and delivered. As our organizations adapt to changeable economic and market conditions, L&D must be agile and responsive. Employees will require support that’s centered around both the learner’s task and wellness needs, while also being aligned to business objectives; a combination of short-term and tactical on-the-job supports and resources will be needed, without sacrificing longer-term technical or skills development curricula. All of this will require agility in content strategy, development, delivery and assessment.

For all types of workers, managing workplace culture through periods of stress and change will create a new need to develop leadership skills at all levels of the organization. Organizations continuing to adapt to more frequent and prevalent remote working will require new tools in presentation skills, business communication, and mindfulness — to ensure remote and in-person colleagues are equally engaged. A desired outcome of this type of learning support is to support the engagement, resilience and satisfaction of staff as one facet of an organization’s retention and advancement strategy.

Learning and development professionals often ask for a seat at the management table. In this moment, circumstance seems to have created the imperative for L&D to contribute as a strategic asset — that can help the organization control costs otherwise caused by business disruption, staff attrition, turnover and disengagement, while building skills to increase the organization’s ability to connect and innovate.

What do you think? Send me a note and let me know.

Scott Rutherford

Scott Rutherford
Vice President, Marketing
AXIOM Learning Solutions

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