Businesses in 2022 acknowledged the urgent trends of inclusiveness that redefined how modern employees respond to their work. While some businesses consider diversity, equity, and inclusion (known collectively as DEI) as being limited to hiring a more racially diverse and sexually inclusive workforce, businesses in 2023 will be expected to go beyond these definitions. Therefore, employment decisions based on an evolving and expanding definition of DEI are those that will acquire and retain talent moving forward.
In this article, we reorder the trends in DEI that businesses should be aware of in their hiring, education, training, and leadership practices, including the ways in which a learning management system can help sustain them. Businesses that stay close to the cutting edge of trending desires for a broader definition of inclusion will be those that create and maintain social credibility in their expanding workforce in 2023 and beyond.
Workplace Trends from 2022 to 2023
The perception of the value of DEI has changed in the last few years. While many companies acknowledge the importance of including DEI in their hiring and training structure, not all companies provide enough resources to maintain DEI in their everyday work environment. Companies with an idea of inclusion restricted to a quota for gender and race miss the evolving concept of the positive work environment that modern employees demand.
This concept redefines the workplace as a continuous learning environment that supports not only different kinds of people but different kinds of learners. Modern employees desire to be upskilled in their industry, to be considered a moving piece of the machinery of their workplace environment that has a necessary purpose. DEI now must include the modern employee’s desire to be treated as part of an evolving workforce, no matter their learning style.
Learning Trends that will Continue from 2022 into 2023
Trends from 2022 point to 2023 as a year where employees will desire more leadership training, assertiveness education, and critical thinking/problem-solving education through their jobs. To cater to different styles of learning, businesses must structure their training programs to include as many types of learners as possible.
Styles of Learning
Three styles of learning that are crucial for the corporate learning and development structure in 2023 are social learning, microlearning, and personal learning. In a business’s L&D structure, these learning styles should be considered three parts of one inclusion initiative to cater to different learning styles in the continuous learning environment of the modern workplace.
Social learning is a style that favors group discussions, conferences, social media, and daily interactions. It describes learners who absorb information best when learned in practice through the actions and conversations of others. It is often closely related to microlearning, which focuses learning in short 3-5-minute sessions. Modern technology integration favors microlearning for its ability to use multiple learning formats quickly, such as in a multimedia learning course on a smart device. Easy access and quick completion are priorities in the microlearning environment.
Personal learning, which focuses L&D on the needs of an individual learner rather than a group standard, is not mutually exclusive with the other styles mentioned. As learning becomes more social and accessible, it also becomes more personal because employees have more control over the means and the results of their learning.
All three styles lean on the diverse needs of employees to create a more fluid learning and development structure. Employers may lose direct control over employee learning by shifting out of conventional learning methods, but they stand to gain a more devoted and engaged workforce.
Structure of Training Programs
Importantly, it may not be practical to present learning materials in every medium possible to cater to every possible learner. Not every lesson can be released as a video, memo, meeting, audio file, video game, and text. However, modern technology offers employers the ability to use the principles of personal learning to tailor their objectives to a broad spectrum of learning styles. Programs like Learning Path allow multiple users to enroll in multiple training courses assigned to them based on their progress and their learning needs.
Since research shows that a third of employees desire training every three months and 12% want ad hoc training programs that can be accessed anytime, a learning management system that includes Learning Path and other DEI strategies can help your business extend L&D beyond the initial training period while catering to several broad styles of learning.
Skills Employees Want to Learn
When employers can tailor courses to multiple learning styles, more employees can acquire the skills that research shows they want to learn. Skills such as leadership training and problem-solving, which frequently lead the pack in surveys about desires for upskilling, can be integrated into learning and development programs to maximize the results of the education.
What HR/L&D Teams Care About
The success of any business’s L&D strategy is not only how efficiently it presents material but also how much employees engage with it. To promote engagement, businesses should strive for a combination of relevance and accessibility in their courses. Remember that the goal of creating a continuous learning environment is to make learning a priority in the workplace. This requires the learners to be able to access their material easily and retain the knowledge learned from it over time.
Continuous learning not only prioritizes new skills but also enhances engagement through accessibility. DEI in 2023 includes creating an environment where different types of learners can engage and absorb L&D materials as often as needed.
LMS Functionalities From 2022 That Will Continue to 2023
Learning management systems in 2022 equipped to deliver this accessible continuous learning environment shared several attributes. These will continue to be valued in 2023 for their ability to encourage inclusion, productivity, and accessibility in any business’s learning and development process.
Gamification – This quality describes how an LMS can use concepts of game design to encourage engagement. Examples of gamification include leaderboards, reward systems, and friendly competitions.
Mobile access – Mobile access is a straightforward concept to understand that can be complex to implement. However, an LMS that gives employees access to their learning on mobile devices (including phones and tablets) allows learners to engage with their material more often, encouraging both personal learning and microlearning.
Learning paths – Learning paths assign courses together based on the learner’s progress, allowing multiple learners to progress through multiple courses at the same time.
Customization of the system – A custom LMS helps an organization utilize diverse content types, feedback, audits, and more to engage their employees in their company’s objectives through learning. Being able to use assessments to change the course of your company’s L&D is a major factor in its usefulness.
User-friendliness – Including different types of learners and learning situations in the LMS is crucial to satisfying the need for DEI as well as encouraging a continuous learning environment for every employee.
What Should Rise in 2023
The LMS has the opportunity to grow in 2023 to match changing demands for DEI in the workplace. The features that are expected to rise in importance include the functionality of discussion forums, which pair with the increased desire for social learning, and the programming efficiency on multiple types of devices.
Additionally, reporting and analytics are expected to be more efficient in accurately gauging the needs of learners and the efficacy of the current systems. This includes course surveys, which were a new addition in 2022 but should rise in application in 2023 as HR/L&D teams learn to better qualify the results of a sophisticated custom survey and change the courses accordingly. An LMS able to capitalize on the DEI trends of 2022 while evolving with the rising needs of 2023 will be better able to create the continuous learning environment that modern employees crave.