Which top 5 L&D predictions for 2022 have come true?

Crystal ball

From using smartphones in business, to implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) into existing programmes, 2022 was predicted as being one of the most forward-thinking years for Learning and Development (L&D).

Now 6 months later, we’re asking the question: have any of these predictions come true?

1. Virtual Reality will become the new norm

2022 kick started by asking L&D professionals to imagine VR products as part of their everyday tools. The idea was that VR could allow teams to experience immersive learning, such as viewing intricate machinery, practice simulations for pilots or doctors training in surgical procedures.

But ultimately, the prediction was that VR would offer a way to bring thousands of people across the globe together for personalised learning experiences that they can ‘virtually’ touch and feel – something that was actually a hot topic at the recent Learning Technologies Exhibition in London.

However, whilst VR may not have necessarily taken off in the sense that everyone is now wearing futuristic headsets, VR has made its way into the norm by shifting expectations of where people can work, and how.

For example, pre-Covid, there was still the assumption that employees wanted face-to-face training for what they believed was a ‘quality’ learning experience, whereas now we’re seeing a realisation that studying online, over Microsoft Teams or Zoom, can offer just as much of a quality learning experience, if not more so, than face-to-face learning.

2. Reskilling and upskilling will be crucial to success

Reskilling and upskilling were predicted by UNLEASH to be key watchwords for 2022, as technological advancements were thought to change the working landscape of skills, jobs, organisations and industry throughout the year.

As a result, this means that workforces need to keep learning new skills all the time, and companies have no choice but to reinvest in that learning if they want their employees to remain knowledgeable, and keep their business offerings competitive.

The Learning & Development (L&D) Global Sentiment survey supports this too, highlighting a global, unprecedented desire to reskill and upskill, and that they are not simple one-off initiatives – they do in fact, need to become the continuous norm.

3. Adopting AI will help build inclusive L&D strategies

As more and more L&D professionals embrace working alongside AI, it was predicted that throughout 2022, AI would become an essential tool to help ensure learners can always receive training content based on their personal preferences, current skills and desired outcomes, as well as help make training strategies accessible to diverse learners too, all as part of inclusive L&D strategies.

This is because AI can collate all engagement data and discover which content works for different learners, meaning the AI engine can confidently allocate the most appropriate content that each learner will engage best with. In other words, adopting AI helps guarantee that learners are no longer categorised into a one-size-fits-all training approach.

4. Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) will be one of the most positive trends in the L&D space

In LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report it was suggested that 64% of L&D professionals have made D&I a top priority, with 71% either already having a D&I programme in place or are planning to implement one. Furthermore, companies with effective D&I programmes are 22% more likely to be seen as industry leaders with high-calibre talent.

However, it’s worth noting that whilst D&I training has been gaining momentum in L&D for a while now, recent world events and public opinions have become catalysts for improved D&I training initiatives, making this an important 2022 trend in the L&D space.

As a result, organisations around the world are re-evaluating their values, learning programmes, hiring practices and demographics to create a more inclusive workplace. The more D&I becomes integrated into daily corporate operations, the more L&D teams will need to build programmes that support this change. A trend that is certainly here to stay throughout 2022, and beyond.

5. Mobile-first, optimised smartphone learning will be essential

With 83.89% of the world’s population now owning a smartphone, according to latest Bank My Cell research, mobility has now become an essential part of daily life. However, an L&D prediction made at the start of the year was that the term ‘mobile-first learning’ would evolve even more, switching from an LMS which cannot just be used on a phone, but instead to mean a completely user-friendly and optimised learning experience for mobile use.

After all, with 56% of employees learning at a point of need, and 28% on their commute (according to the Elucidat Bite-Sized Learning Guide), this means that it’s not enough to simply make learning content accessible; it needs to be inclusive, and that includes being engaging, dynamic and optimised in different styles to suit a variety of learner types and reflect their changing habits and busy working lifestyles.

At BuildEmpire, we’re here to help your organisation embrace these trends, through 2022 and beyond, incorporating new and innovative ways of learning into your workforce.

As your technical partner, we will work with you to build an engaging learning environment that fits your needs today, and in the future.

To find out more, contact us today.

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