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Hot or not? You decide 2022’s top trends in Learning & Development

Thursday 13 January 2022

Hot or not? You decide 2022’s top trends in Learning & Development

Chloë Sibley
Hot or not? You decide 2022’s top trends in Learning & Development

Since 2014, The L&D Global Sentiment Survey has supported the learning community with in-depth insight into popular topics in Learning & Development. It brings working communities – that are dedicated to the future of learning – together with innovative ideas and productive results. The L&D Global Sentiment Survey is an internationally decisive platform for predicting L&D’s hot topics and takes just 3 clicks in 1 minute for you to have your say.

Donald H Taylor is the Chair of the Learning Technologies Conference and created the annual L&D Global Sentiment Survey for the L&D community to voice their opinions on current trends and topics. The survey explores how people currently feel about L&D, designed to be completed quickly and reach people around the world for the best results. The survey asks you to pick which 3 out of 16 topics are going to be hot that year, with data collected over a couple of months and results published in March. This year’s results will be released at the Learning Technologies online event in March, with further discussion at London’s Learning Technologies Conference from the 4th-5th May. This is where the latest hot topics in L&D will be shared and explored in detail, making Learning Technologies an unmissable L&D event for 2022.


Looking back at 2021

The working world has seen many challenges over the past couple of years, mostly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies across the globe have had to rethink their priorities when training new employees, as well as changing the learning experience for workers that have been with them for years. The impact of Covid-19 brought many changes to the L&D world, as reflected in the 2021 L&D Global Sentiment Survey. For the first time in its then 7-year run, an option first introduced to the survey that year – reskilling/ upskilling – went straight to number one. The top 4 results that followed were collaborative/ social learning, learning analytics, personalisation/ adaptive delivery and learning experience platforms. Let’s delve into the two most hot topics of 2021 and see what this means for 2022.

Reskilling/ upskilling was the top result of the 2021 survey and has been talked about ever since. Upskilling is essentially used to amplify an existing employee’s skillset, while reskilling aims to retrain an employee, often for a new position. The L&D Global Sentiment Survey showed that this was people’s main concern in the workplace in terms of learning, a direct response to the hit of the global pandemic. Donald’s findings showed that ‘…reskilling/upskilling was uniformly popular across the world, making the #1 spot in all but two of the survey’s ‘major’ countries…’ in 2021. The survey results sparked the conversation of reskilling and upskilling, leading to strategic career pathing within companies. Career pathing refers to the plan an employee sets for their development in both their current role and future career. This encourages workers to feel in control of their own learning development, which leads to a better work environment that promotes individuality.

A better work environment is crucial for collaborative learning, which was the second top result of the 2021 L&D Global Sentiment Survey. Collaborative/ social learning as a survey option topped the charts in 2015 and 2016, facing a decline across the following 5 years, until 2021 hit. This was another response to the impact of Covid-19, as arguably one of the biggest effects of the pandemic in the workplace has been the social elements. Many people have adapted to working from home on Zoom calls, rather than face-to-face meetings in an office. Going from rush hour commuting to having your home kitchen a few steps away has been a blessing at times – however, working from home has had a tough impact on workplace socialisation. Collaborative/ social learning has always been vital for employees and employers alike for teamwork and company culture. The results from the 2021 survey displayed a need for innovation in collaborative learning, a way to tackle the limitations of remote working.


Going forward with 2022

Looking at past L&D Global Sentiment Survey results illustrates just how much of an effect the pandemic has had on Learning & Development. This begs the question – what will this year’s results show? The impact of Covid-19 is still relevant, but the world has adapted since 2021, so will the need for collaborative learning innovation still be there? Or will reskilling and upskilling take the lead for its second year running? Get your votes in before the 28th January by following the link below, and be sure to tune into Learning Technologies online in March for the results.


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