2022 Learning & Development Trends
With only eight weeks remaining in 2021, we’re close to launching a new year with new priorities to adjust to new trends. And while 2021 was considered the year of resets, the year ahead promises to be less about realigning and more about accelerating forward in a new way. The uncertainties seem behind us, and learning and development teams have assessed the skill gaps and identified priorities for helping leaders, managers and teams feel confident in their roles.
Communication and influence remain a key need, although the “hybrid” work formats have created a broader interpretation of those needs, from helping people brush up on in-person presentations to imposing a more consistent approach to virtual meetings. And for many people, the greatest need is how to handle the constant shifting between both mediums from one day to the next.
Expectations have reset as promotions, broader roles and expanded responsibilities have created both opportunities as well as gaps in confidence and effectiveness in leading bigger teams and influencing bigger decisions.
And that’s why learning and development teams are looking for new programming and flexible formats. Here are three of the programs SW&A will introduce in 2022 to support the expanded development needs.
The Quantum Leap: From Manager to Leader
It’s a quantum leap from managing a team to leading an organization. And one area where it shows up quickly is communication. Most new leaders assume that moving from managing a team to running a division or organization will leverage their existing skillset. But they quickly see that the role is very different and the experiences that they’ve had as managers don’t easily transfer.
Add to the leap an immediacy of high expectations. Leaders aren’t allowed to be “first-time” leaders the way they were allowed to be “first-time” managers. There’s no “on-the-job” training for leaders; you have to show up ready to go.
In the last two years, seasoned leaders have retired at a rate 60% higher than pre-pandemic years. That means more young managers will be promoted into senior roles in the year ahead. And the difference in those who make the leap well will be based, in part, on the support they get to accelerate their own journey and settle confidently into a leadership role.
In 2022, we’ll introduce a custom program that takes a new leader through three elements of impact:
- Step One: The Responsibility of Leaders
- Step Two: The Messages of Leaders
- Step Three: The Presence of Leaders
Managing a Hybrid Workforce
For many managers, managing during the pandemic might’ve been the easy part. After the initial chaos of shifting teams and processes to a virtual model, everyone was more or less working in a similar manner.
But now as companies return to work, there are new expectations on managers. Every company is setting guidelines a little differently, but all companies are looking to their managers to interpret those guidelines and set clear expectations for their individual teams. Hybrid models seem like a great compromise on paper, yet they put more strain on managers. To reset a team, a manager has to become rigorous with process and clearer with communication.
In 2022, we’ll continue our work to give managers an intentional plan for how their teams should work.
The program introduces three steps:
- Step One: Lead the Team
- Step Two: Manage Individuals
- Step Three: Run the Processes
Each step is a combination of discussion and exercises to understand tools, and then we tailor those tools to fit a manager’s team. This provides the opportunity to leverage the thoughts of peers as we consider how the concepts can be adopted by different groups.
Stewarding Your Career
Disruption happens every day in most business settings.
Resets are more frequent and often unexpected. And they disrupt employees who aren’t prepared to position themselves for the next opportunity. It’s why talent leaders advise individuals to take ownership for their own career path and development.
Those who thrive in disruption understand two things that will most impact their ability to navigate disruption and reset their careers: they know how to position their brands and they know how to tell their own stories.
We published the book on disruption in 2021, and we’ll introduce the concepts in a new workshop in 2022.
In this program, we help participants take ownership for their career direction and journey by constructing a compelling career narrative. We uncover the stories within a career and coach participants on how to elevate a brand and illustrate their experiences. And we pull the tools together through roleplays designed to coach the positioning of you and your skillset.
All programs are set to run as full-day experiences, virtual modules, and even 1:1 coaching engagements.
2022 is going to be an exciting year for leadership development and a crucial one for compelling communication. And at SW&A, we can close the skill gaps and help your leaders and managers feel more confident and effective in the year ahead.
Want a free 15-minute consultation with us to see how we can help you or your leaders? Book a call now!