2022's Top 6 Training & Development Trends to Watch for Service Teams
Hybrid working is slowly becoming the norm at a time when totally in-person, on-site 1:1 professional service team training and development remains largely impossible.
With digital team training and development taking precedence: Corporate and small business employees are getting used to computer-based and self-directed learning. While webinars, e-learning and Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) are increasingly familiar learning tools.
But don't get cozy just yet.
See: We're living through continually unprecedented and disruptive times. The pace of technological, economic, social, political and other changes shows no indicators of slowing down. Yet, these changes (in some way) impact how you (coach, trainer or consultant) conduct corporate team training.
In other words: Now isn't the time to remain complacent. But instead, it's time to pause, analyze the situation open-mindedly, and start following the top team training and development trends in 2022 strategically.
Why Is It Essential for Coaches, Trainers, and Consultants to Stay Current?
When COVID-19 hit, professional service providers everywhere had to pivot (and rapidly) from 1:1 classroom training to computer-based or virtual instructor-led teaching.
Some trainers and coaches had already adopted hybrid or virtual training methods and technology pre-pandemic. Other professional service providers were forced to migrate in-person and on-site team training in the face of COVID-19 and lockdowns.
So what happened to professionals training service teams who hadn't hopped on the completely virtual training bandwagon before the pandemic?
They had a steeper learning curve than their counterparts. And that's assuming they were willing to learn or had the resources to cope with the steep learning curve.
In a nutshell: staying current is essential for several reasons.
1) Trends Come With Savings
Trends result from innovations geared towards fixing existing problems.
And with the problems solved, service professionals can realize time or cost savings. For example, with virtual training: You can access diverse teams in multiple locations without the staggering transportation and accommodation costs.
2) Trends Help Service Professionals Remain Ahead of the Pack
As highlighted above, professional service providers who had already adopted computer-based or virtual instructor-led training edged their peers. Researching and analyzing trends, then determining the ones worth following (and adopting them) can prove worthwhile.
3) Trends Can Help Keep Up With Client Needs
Clients' need evolves with time
Take today, for instance. Reskilling and upskilling are the trending buzzwords as team training and development software evolves and needed skills and competencies change. Couple of months down the line and we'll likely be dealing with something entirely different.
Keeping up with clients' needs is a necessity if you're to deliver an excellent customer experience. And at a time when such experiences are benchmarked with the best in the industry, staying current is non-negotiable.
In other words: If someone else can provide corporate teams with valuable training at their convenience, you had better replicate that. And then some. Otherwise, you'll only be playing a backup role.
So staying current is essential. But how do you identify industry trends?
How Can Professional Service Providers Identify Trends?
You can identify industry trends in several ways.
- You can leverage tools and analytics to track professional service team training statistics and records. Then project where the industry is heading through analysis.
- You can sift through the latest industry research reports like Mettl's State of Learning Report and Elucidat's Corporate Training Trends Report. Then use the insights to determine the team training and development trends important for your business.
- Or you can conduct your own training trend research:
- Talk to people in the professional services industry
- Conduct expert interviews (Be sure to solicit opinions from business, science, and other experts for a holistic view.)
- Attend or organize workshops with industry experts and other stakeholders
While you’re at it, you’ll need to take the challenges that necessitate corporate or small business team training into account. After all, these challenges pave the way for novel solutions. That then fuels your team training trends in 2022 and beyond.
- employees are resigning at high rates. In 2021, more than 4 million United States-based employees resigned a month. A trend that's now dubbed "The Great Resignation of Modern Times."
- Couple that with increasing reports of potential hires accepting job offers and ghosting employers. And you'll understand why in reaction: HR leaders are rethinking their reskilling and upskilling strategies.
So, now you know how to identify industry trends.
But you shouldn’t have to muddle through this kind of rigorous process, at least not today.
We’ve done it for you: scoured through multiple team training and development resources to bring you a rundown of what we deem the top service team training trends of 2022.
What’s Happening in the Professional Service Team Training Market in 2022?
In a nutshell: 2022's team training trends reflect the changes in working arrangements and training technology advancements in 2021. They revolve around new skills, delivery methods and views of the workplace.
Here's that rundown.
Service Team Training Trend 1: Focus On Continuous Skill Development
According to the World Economic Forum predictions, 85 million jobs will be displaced and 97 million new jobs created by 2024.
The created jobs will require new skills, hence the need for continuous team and corporate skills development.
The need for continuous learning also taps into the reskilling and upskilling buzzwords we mentioned earlier.
Reskilling refers to developing new skills to keep up with changes in the tech space and job market. Upskilling is further developing skills an employee already possesses.
A 2021 LinkedIn Learning Report highlighted that 59% of training professionals considered reskilling and upskilling a priority in 2021. But as the pandemic ranges on and the economic crisis escalates, the need to acquire new skills increases.
Skills development and lifelong learning go hand in hand in a new environment.
Training, work, and upskilling are no longer linear. Instead, they take place in a looped cyclical model. And trainers will do well to reflect that.
And that's not just for technical skills.
Teams and companies seek soft skills seek soft skills, even for team members who are not in client-facing roles. You can attribute that to their role in seamless collaboration. According to a Mettl L&D 2022 Report, communication, empathy and ownership are the most sought-after soft skills. (In that order.)
Beyond ensuring teams are up to date with the needed competence: Embrace continuous learning, reskilling, and upskilling internally. If only to deepen skillsets such as data analytics & measurement, marketing & communication, training technology and cloud-based platforms.
For your coaching team training and development to be practical: Appreciate that people are busy. That means there's no room for lengthy lectures, which brings us to the next trend.
Service Team Training Trend 2: Microlearning With a Touch
LinkedIn Learning reports that 25% of respondents to their study praised microlearning as the training approach that yielded the best results in their organization.
Small-chunked training content is also popular with busy corporate teams needing to fit continuous learning around their workday. It's then not a wonder that the average training session times are now only eight minutes.
But it's not all about reducing your training sessions to under eight minutes.
See: We're in an era where employees have access to almost infinite learning resources, programs and causes. When that's coupled with employee burnout, workforces are increasingly experiencing digital fatigue.
To combat burnout and digital fatigue, you must adopt value-centric and human-centered training methods. Combine action learning sets, practice, rehearsals, flipped classrooms, peer-to-peer coaching, expert-led training, etc. And get creative with training materials. Combine in-app walkthroughs, daily tasks and short videos.
Beyond ensuring your training program is valuable, human-focused and bite-sized, take it a notch higher by delivering training content in the most significant moment of need.
Service Team Training Trend 3: In the Moment Learning (or in the Flow of Work Learning)
Learning in the moment provides teams with support right when they need it.
Instead of employees spending time on "what if" skills development, they get to learn in the moment, using their daily work as real-life experience.
Learning in the moment can help retain more knowledge. For one, it's interactive and practical, allowing learners to connect the instructor's feedback with the problem at hand.
Given that and other benefits, it's understandable why companies are increasingly encouraging learning in the moment. (A trend we expect to continue in 2022 and beyond.)
For you, that means a need to find ways to deliver informal, on-the-job coaching. It could be via online courses, interactions with subject-matter experts on the job, or something else.
According to the LinkedIn Learning Report, 15% of respondents are exploring artificial intelligence to try and deliver training materials as needed. The logic is that: AI can leverage employee data to provide adaptive learning paths. So training professionals can then plug the results into the teams' work in the moment of need.
Beyond leveraging data: You need to implement strategies geared toward understanding your students thoroughly. You need to know the members well enough to intrinsically link your training programs to their work and personal objectives.
And since we're discussing team training, we can't overlook social learning.
Service Team Training Trend 4: A Boost in Social Learning
We, humans, are social beings, even when learning new concepts.
Ninety percent of respondents noted that teams that learned new skills via peer-to-peer and collaborative methodologies were more successful.
That coupled with how distributed and disconnected corporate teams have become, it's no surprise that professional trainers are adopting the online community-based business model to intensify engagement.
Groups packed with people of varying experience levels. A fertile ground for collaborative and peer-to-peer learning. And a space where teams can make collective progress and further develop their mentoring and leadership skills.
Besides online communities, you can host in-person or virtual workshops. In the latter, you can leverage hybrid training technology such as video and Metaverse. Think of employees joining your training sessions via VR headsets and experiencing the power of social learning regardless of their location.
Group learning calls for diversity and inclusion.
Service Team Training Trend 5: Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion
A recent study by McKinsey & Company showed organizations with more diverse managerial teams to be more profitable than their counterparts.
In the study, organizations with the highest gender diversity were 21% more likely to outperform the market average. In contrast, those with the highest ethnic diversity were 33% likely to outperform the market.
Different people have diverse realities. So embracing diversity and inclusion brings into the business fresh ideas and perspectives.
It's about time you look into standalone diversity and inclusion topics. And incorporate diversity and inclusion elements into other training programs.
And since no amount of skills and development can make up for an unhealthy workforce: well-being makes the list.
Service Team Training Trend 6: Well-Being as a Priority
Leave it to us to blame all our current world struggles on the pandemic. But there's no denying that the need to embrace continuous learning to keep up with market changes can be stressful.
For that and other reasons, employee well-being is taking priority.
So it's time for you to go beyond delivering technical skills-related training and development and embrace human-centered learning programs based on employee well-being.
For example, teaching geared toward enlightening employees on working conditions. Teach them to recognize signs of mental health issues (anxiety, stress, burnout and depression) in their teammates and themselves.
Team training and development can also build mindfulness and productivity skills or foster more balanced team mindsets. Or, your team’s well-being training can even foray into personal finance to help employees cultivate a healthy relationship with their paychecks and benefits. And, consequently, reduce stress.
(And lest you forget, you're dealing with a hybrid team of people working in the office and at home. You’re going to need to think about hybrid training, or blended learning, approaches and software)
With our list down comes the dreaded question: Which industry trends (if any) do you focus on?
Sometimes trends can point to the next big thing that'll disrupt professional services for the better. Other times, not so much. How do you differentiate the real deals from the shiny objects?
Tips on Choosing the Industry Trends to Follow
In a nutshell: Focus on the training and factor in the business outcome.
Sure, it's easy to get excited about artificial intelligence, Metaverse, learning in the moment and other trends. But if the team in question is not benefiting from it, it's not worth it.
As the team lead or team trainer, select the trends that can boost your practice: team training and development materials, performance objectives, and the target teams' learning preferences.
A real solution > cool. More so because you'll need to demonstrate the ROI of your team training and development courses and programs at the end of the day.
Get the Curious Learner’s Advantage With Profi
Moving into the future: Team training and development will encompass more than just compliance, technical skills and company policies. The role of professional training is expanding to support healthier workforces and workplace cultures. So to succeed in 2022 and beyond: You must put people at the center of your training programs.
To make staying current easy and enjoy the curious learner’s advantage, try Profi yourself (free for 30 days).
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