The beginning of each new year is traditionally an opportunity for a reset, both personal and professional. From a business perspective, this reset means setting objectives and priorities, and making sure to allocate the company budget properly in order to hit those goals within the year.
So, once senior management has identified where your business will go in 2022 and what objectives you should all try to reach, it’s time to focus on the thing that will get you there: employee training and development.
7 training goals for 2022
L&D departments had to do a lot of heavy lifting in 2021, with the working landscape changing so drastically due to the rise of remote work. In many cases, doubling down on employee training, particularly remote employee training, is what kept many businesses able to continue hitting their goals despite the pandemic-induced distractions.
As we enter the new year, there are several eLearning trends for 2022 emerging. And while you should be aware of the trends, at the end of the day you need to pick training goals that correspond to your business needs.
To help you get started, we’ve made a list of 7 training goals for 2022. Come join us as we explore why these particular training goals will matter in the new year and get some useful tips on how to reach them.
Goal #1: Make training more cost-effective
Recognizing the value of employee training does not mean you should spend company dollars uncritically on it. Just like with any other budget allocation, you need to ensure you’re not spending more than you have to—and you’re getting the best ROI possible.
There are many ways to slash costs in training without sacrificing quality and impact. For starters, focusing on remote learning in 2022 will save you $$ in onsite training costs, from venue booking to instructor fees and accommodation.
Another way is to run tests to better understand employees’ knowledge levels and skills gaps. This will ensure the training program you’ll put together will address critical points—and won’t go straight over their heads.
Finally, repurposing existing content and picking a user-friendly LMS that also offers ready-made courses, will go a long way toward saving you money while delivering value.
Goal #2: Get learners to be more active participants
One of the key eLearning trends for 2022 is to optimize your training so that your learners remain active and engaged throughout. This is not as simple as it sounds: different people learn differently, depending on their personal learning style and, often, their age. The key is offering variety in terms of both content and delivery methods.
Studies have found, for instance, that 80% of Gen Z use social media for communication. So with the expected influx of Gen Z employees in 2022 and in the years ahead, you should invest in mobile-first solutions that include some social learning aspects to keep this new generation engaged and constantly learning.
Microlearning, for instance, is a great solution—and not just for Gen Zers. Short, bite-sized lessons and exercises that last between 3-7 minutes generate 50% more learner engagement because they are a perfect match to the brain’s working memory ability.
You should also take into account that employees have experienced substantial burnout and a decrease in productivity due to the pandemic in the last few years. And given that many of them are still working in a remote capacity, offering training-at-their-own-pace solutions would be the key to keeping them paying attention.
Finally, your training program should include different types of content delivery, in order to appeal to different learning types such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
Goal #3: Add a gamification touch
Gamification has been one of the trends in eLearning that’s steadily rising—and for good reason. People learn better through play, in social settings, and during fun activities. Gamification elements in training, specifically, promote friendly competition.
Depending on your budget and your training scope, you can start small in 2022. Creating avatars, for example, allows your users to choose a representative image of themselves, which makes training feel more personal.
You can include badges, a point system with a leaderboard, and rewards like discounts for services, for high-performing learners. Training certificates could also motivate employees to complete various courses.
Goal #4: Provide training on DEI
If the past years taught us anything, it’s that building diverse teams is the way to move forward. Apart from being the morally right thing to do, making a focus on DEI (Diversity, Equality, Inclusion) one of your training goals is also the right thing to do from a business perspective. Diverse teams can rise up to challenges faster, are better equipped to meet the needs of your customer base, and ultimately improve profitability.
DEI in the workplace may start with leadership and HR, with things like ensuring you’re not unconsciously excluding some great talent from underrepresented groups or that the language you use on the job ads is gender-neutral. But to maintain diverse teams and ensure your talent is thriving, DEl training is necessary both for your employees and for your managers.
Managers, especially, need to know how to embed DEI in the workplace by inviting team members to raise topics for discussion. They need to be open about the company’s DEI initiatives and to make managing decisions that are not influenced by conscious or unconscious biases. Thankfully all these skills, from using the right pronouns for team members to holding honest and open meetings, can—and should—be taught.
Goal #5: Double down on cybersecurity training
Cybersecurity is like compliance: it’s not a “sexy” training subject and most companies will only do the absolutely necessary to cover the basics in terms of training. But just like compliance, poor cybersecurity training can have devastating consequences on your company.
When your employees don’t understand and follow cybersecurity best practices, your company becomes exposed to cyberattacks and phishing scams. According to a recent survey on the state of cybersecurity training, 61% of employees who took cybersecurity training failed a basic test.
This happens because cybersecurity training is often offered in a way that fails to keep employees engaged. The language is stiff and overly technical, and the premises are theoretical and don’t include everyday scenarios, leaving learners unable to connect the training to what they do on a daily basis.
So as you plan your training goals for 2022, don’t forget to make cybersecurity training a priority. Use simpler language, microlearning sessions, and follow-up tests to keep learners engaged, so that you can keep your company and its data secure.
Goal #6: Elevate your remote learning sessions
We’ve already seen that focusing on remote training and eLearning will help keep the costs down. But that’s not the only reason to transition to online training.
A recent Gallup analysis sees 37% of desks remaining empty, as many employees will continue working from home or in a hybrid capacity. With so many of your team members in different locations and with different schedules, eLearning is the only way to make sure that everyone gets access to the same training.
But how you deliver online training matters, too. That’s because remote learning can feel impersonal—and that’s the opposite of what you want. Consider creating buddy or mentoring systems that will allow your employees to learn together, whether they’re at the office or working remotely.
Focus on soft skills that will improve communication (check out Goal #7 for more) and make sure to also include instructor-led training sessions that will replicate the classroom experience even via Zoom.
Goal #7: Invest in soft skills training
Soft skills training is going to be big in 2022. With technology changing so fast and work conditions being so unstable, it’s essential to train your team on skills that will help them deal with constant change instead of trying to predict the exact set of hard skills they will need in 2022.
Communication will also be of top priority. It may sound simple or obvious, but it isn’t: we’ve entered an era of asynchronous communication due to remote work—and employees need to learn to navigate this new normal.
But investing in soft skills also serves another purpose: it makes your employees feel more safe and secure in this constantly changing world. By providing them with opportunities to develop their skills, you show your commitment to helping them grow as individuals and professionals. And that, in turn, helps employees stay satisfied and engaged, keeping your turnover low.
From goal to execution
Just like many personal resolutions are already forgotten come February, business goals run the risk of staying on paper. It’s easy to get motivated at the beginning of the year when you build your list of things to tackle—only for that motivation to fizzle out when the day-to-day tasks start piling in.
To avoid that, it’s best to pick realistic goals from the beginning, set priorities, and track progress on a regular basis. After all, your training goals should not exist in a vacuum, but be a part of your overall business strategy. And if at any point your strategy changes or pivots, you might want to revisit your training goals and adjust as needed.
In any case, having a reliable LMS that will do most of the heavy-lifting of your training, will help you focus on what really matters: making 2022 a great year for your business.
Improve your employee, partner and customer training with our enterprise-ready learning management system. Book a demo now and see why our diverse portfolio of customers consistently give us 5 stars (out of 5!)