How to boost agility with learning and development

LinkedIn reveals insights from its latest Workplace Learning Report

How to boost agility with learning and development

In 2022, we saw learning and development (L&D) become more central to business strategy across the globe. This year learning leaders are taking it a step further, and have focused on ensuring that their people, business and L&D strategies are all aligned.

LinkedIn recently released its 2023 Workplace Learning Report, where it found that aligning business and learning goals has become the number one priority for most Australian organisations. They are also investing heavily into creating a culture of learning, upskilling their employees and improving engagement.

After several years of turbulence, it’s no surprise that businesses are looking for ways to ‘future-proof’ and stay resilient. For HR leaders, creating agility has been a significant focus point - and according to LinkedIn, L&D is in a prime position to deliver on this. For organisations wanting to increase their agility, the Workplace Learning Report pinpoints three key drivers - creating more skill on an individual level, boosting internal mobility, and offering opportunities for career development.

“Our world is moving fast,” Johnson & Johnson chief learning officer Sandra Humbles says. “A dynamic learning and development ecosystem ensures that people can move with it.”

Taking a different approach

While large upskilling and re-skilling programmes take time, the Workplace Learning Report suggests that organisations can create a “lighter-weight cultural shift” to open up new paths for employees. This could include rewarding employees who undertake learning, and providing career development tools on an individual level.

The Report showed that employees’ number one motivation to learn was to “progress towards career goals,” and so it’s important for L&D to go hand-in-hand with progression paths and internal mobility. Seeking opportunities to learn was also a top reason why APAC employees look for a new job, making L&D a strong predictor of talent retention rates.

With retention and talent attraction still a key concern for businesses, LinkedIn director, APAC learning and engagement Georgina O’Brien says that hiring for skills and offering progression pathways is going to be vital to business strategy.

“Companies that hire for skills and cultivate a culture of internal mobility by investing in upskilling and learning opportunities will find it easier to attract and retain top talent,” O’Brien says.

Speeding up the journey

While leaders are recognising the value of upskilling and re-skilling, the Workplace Learning Report found that progress on major initiatives is still slow.

Organisations reported only a “slight uptick” in progress between the early and mid stages of L&D programmes, and the percentage of organisations crossing the finish line had actually decreased. To help L&D lead the way for organisations, LinkedIn identified six key priorities for businesses to consider in 2023. These include investing into cross-functional relationships, prioritising L&D as a key focus, championing diversity, equity and inclusion, and prioritising your own learning.

Johnson & Johnson chief learning officer Sandra Humbles also suggests building an L&D strategy on the ‘three E’s’ of learning - education, experience and exposure.

“Education includes programs and resources employees can use to build the skills needed to be successful,” she explains.

“Experience includes employees considering projects, assignments, or tasks they can take on to increase their skills and prepare for future roles. Exposure encourages employees to be intentional about interactions with people, business areas, or organisations that increase their visibility and give them a holistic view of [your organisation].”

To find out more about how to supercharge your L&D strategy and increase agility, read the full 2023 Workplace Learning Report.

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