So you’ve returned to work fired up and ready to go for the year ahead – but while you’ve had time to recharge, the L&D cycle hasn’t stopped for a breath. In an increasingly fast-paced and competitive people management environment, it’s easy to get bogged down just as quickly as you were picked up.
While L&D trends and buzzwords scurry around changing as quickly as ever this January, for you it means one thing: you’re going to need to be on top of your L&D “A game” during 2016.
So here’s a helping hand and a way to ensure that you’re not running on empty as soon as February hits you. We’ve identified the three L&D pressures set to keep you on your toes as this year unfolds.
Managing your staff through culture change
Even in the more benign economic climate of today, managing change, especially embedding culture change, will be a constant issue for HR and L&D teams during 2016. For one, the public sector – local government and the NHS in particular – is going through a period of seismic change while in the private sector, competition from abroad and online remains tough.
L&D challenges will include securing buy-in and maintaining engagement during any change process, communicating and embedding change (especially where teams or organisations are being integrated or merged), and cultivating resilience in teams and individuals to allow them to cope with change better.
The rise of mobile learning
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s 2015 Learning and Development Survey last summer found three fifths of L&D practitioners expect the use of e-learning courses to grow, while more than a third anticipate greater use of virtual classrooms and webinars, and a quarter feel the same way about mobile device-based learning.
Along with informal and self-directed digital learning, so-called “m-learning” is likely to be both a challenge and an opportunity for employers during 2016. The global market for “m-learning” is expected to reach $12.2 billion by 2017.
Key benefits of getting this right include giving your employees the freedom to access learning anytime, anywhere, in easily-digestible, bite-sized formats.
Talent recruitment, development, and retention
Recruiting, developing, and retaining the best talent is going to be a key pressure playing on the UK labour market in 2016. Why? Well, firstly, the UK job market is in rude health right now, with unemployment falling to a decade low in the autumn. That means job seekers can afford to be more choosy and, similarly, employees will be more confident of being able to quit and pick up new work if they feel under-valued.
Secondly, wage inflation pressures are building, especially with National Living Wage for older workers set to arrive from April. Finally, the changing demographic of the workplace, especially the ageing of the workforce, is set to remain an ongoing pressure.
This all means getting recruitment and retention strategies right will be a key theme of 2016.
One trend is the recognition that while talent development needs to be focused on high performers, this must not be at the expense of everyone else. Many employees at all levels have the potential to “step up” if only they are given the tools, opportunities, and incentives to do so.
You’ll need to look at what’s going to challenge, motivate and retain your older workers, whether that’s flexible working, better healthcare provision or financial education. With keeping new recruits happy set to become ever-more important, onboarding strategies will need to be on your L&D radar during 2016, if they’re not already.
Avoid the dreaded January lull, motivate your staff, and discover how the right ways of communicating with your teams can go further than you think. Download your free eGuide The Conversational Leader. Thinking together… for a change to get started