The ROI of employee training and other learning programs

A new Skillsoft report finds that the job market remains tight and companies should encourage upskilling and other learning paths for employees to achieve digital transformation and other goals.

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According to Skillsoft’s newly released Lean Into Learning report, hiring costs can be as high as 50-200% of an annual salary. The cost of hiring as well as employee interest has prompted organizations to place a greater emphasis on learning and development to drive workforce transformation.

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“Employees want to work for organizations that are committed to and provide growth opportunities and learning and lean-into-learning developments that lead to enriching and more rewarding careers,” says the report, which assesses the state of digital learning and the most in demand examines skills and competencies for the working world of the future.

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The trainees continue their education in five areas

The report shows a 32 percent year-over-year increase in the time learners spend improving their leadership, business and power skills. When analyzing the total number of leadership and business courses completed in the past year, the top five competency areas reflect learners’ desire and need to adapt to the evolving, hybrid workplace:

  • Written communication.
  • Unconscious Bias.
  • Virtual work in the new normal.
  • work remotely
  • Communication Basics.

Tech Evolution drives the development of skills in these topics

Rapid technological development drives economic growth, innovation and development; Investing in relevant skills is essential for talent and organizations to remain competitive in this fast-paced digital space, the report says. As a result, the time Skillsoft learners spend developing their technical skills is up 39% year over year.

The top trending topics for tech skills in 2022 were:

  • Cloud security.
  • Network core concepts.
  • IT hardware technician.
  • Java.
  • Cloud Basics.
  • Hustle.
  • security core concepts.
  • Oracle Certified Professional Java SE Programmer.
  • Azure fundamentals certified by Microsoft.
  • Linux administration.

A look at search and course usage across Skillsoft’s online learning platform Codecademy shows that “Python was the most searched topic by Codecademy learners over the past year, followed by Java, SQL, JavaScript, and HTML, respectively,” states in the report.

Based on path enrollments, the top 5 subjects across the entire Codecademy catalog are Web Development, Data Science, Machine Learning, Computer Science, and Data Analysis.

Skillsoft’s study also found that there was a decline in agile development compared to last year’s platform usage data. This “may indicate that organizations have already implemented Agile and are already reaping the benefits,” the report states.

A compliance culture is more of a mindset than a mandate

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new regulatory requirements, supply chain challenges, cultural clashes and new risks from a hybrid workforce. As organizations increasingly view compliance as a mindset rather than a mandate, the Skillsoft report highlights a 27% year-over-year increase in learner time spent on compliance training.

“A revealing and sobering result shows that the overall trend of the compliance course is as active shooter training, as these situations become more common in public places and workplaces,” the report says.

In addition, according to the report, organizations face pressures from all directions from corporate social responsibility and environmental, social and governance imperatives. For example, government regulations are evolving rapidly, making a focused ESG approach a business imperative, the report says. About 60% of professionals surveyed for Skillsoft’s latest CSR at Work report said there has been increased interest in and investment in CSR by employers and employees.

How and why personalized learning programs are implemented

As hybrid work becomes the norm, employers are “under intense pressure to keep up with – and stay ahead of – digital transformation,” the report states. As the job market remains tight, the Skillsoft report states that finding, hiring and retaining skilled workers is “more difficult, time-consuming and expensive than ever before”.

This year’s report has “a clear theme of organizations responding to a rapidly changing way of working while finding ways to ensure they are equipped and agile enough to keep up,” said Mark Onisk, chief content officer at Skillsoft . “Companies not only needed to see the ROI (return on investment) of their learning programs, but also to drive a visible transformation within their organization that impacted their employees’ day-to-day lives and their career path, and therefore their bottom line.”

To achieve this, learning programs must meet learners where they are and be tailored to their specific role, according to Onisk, in order to effectively improve their skills. For example, he cited Skillsoft client CVS Health, which uses “curated learning journeys designed specifically for people with different needs based on their role and area in the organization to upskill their employees in the most effective way possible.”

In addition, the report recommends organizations:

  • Conduct an inventory of current skills.
  • Identify and create appropriate learning paths.
  • measure success.

Skillsoft said the report is based on proprietary data drawn from tens of millions of its learners.

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