Respondents voted for three of 15 suggested options, plus a free text ‘Other’ option. 3,518 voters participated from 112 countries.
The results show how Covid-19 has both set challenges for L&D, and made it hard to tackle them.
From the foreword:
This year’s L&D Global Sentiment Survey, the ninth, shows L&D at a turning point, as the result of two forces. One is the demands of organisations, as they emerge from the pandemic, for more training delivery, very often with unchanged or reduced resources for L&D. The other is the need to deal with the emergency measures put in place in 2020 to deal with the immediate impact of COVID-19.
This sense of practitioners being under pressure is amply illustrated by responses to the free text question ‘What is your biggest L&D challenge in 2022?’ 40% of respondents answered, with the answers painting a picture of practitioners being asked to do more, in difficult circumstances, to support the learning of overworked employees and uninterested employers.
It is tempting to see this as a return to business-as-usual for L&D. Hasn‘t it always been the case that the department needed to fight for the attention of both executives and employees? Behind this undeniable reality, however, there are definite signs of longer-term trends emerging.
Last year’s survey demonstrated a global, unprecedented desire to reskill and upskill. This year that trend continued, with Reskilling/upskilling once again topping the table (albeit with a reduced vote). Identifying other, underlying trends is what the survey, and this report, are all about. In doing so, we must avoid jumping to easy conclusions too quickly. For example, Collaborative/social learning‘s share of the overall vote had been in decline since the first survey, until last year, when it unexpectedly recovered, a trend which continued this year. Coaching/mentoring, new on the table in 2020, has also risen over the past two years.
Does this suggest a strong desire to return to more human contact after two years of lock-downs and remote work? Possibly, but in the 16,827 words used answering the question on the challenges of 2022, the word ‘human’ occurs just once (see page 16 for more discussion on this). The key cautionary point remains: we must always fight against over-extrapolating from the data. It appears more likely that those in workplace L&D are less focused on ‘humanising’ learning than on helping individuals learn, albeit at the cost of demonstrating organisational value.
This year we are delighted to see Africa join the survey, with a cohort of over 400 voters from 23 countries. With South America joining the survey last year, this adds a wider set of experiences to help us understand how the world sees L&D each year, and gives us more to learn from each other.