News Article

UK – Community-based learning a priority during pandemic, LinkedIn finds

Posted 12th March 2021 • Written by •

UK organisations are encouraging employees to learn skills together to foster a sense of belonging amid the pandemic and the rise of remote working, according to a new report from LinkedIn Learning, the learning platform from LinkedIn.

The report found that 75% of UK Learning and Development professionals say that community-based learning is more important to their businesses today than before the global pandemic, 84% believe it improves employee engagement, and 94% agree that teams that learn together are ultimately more successful. 

LinkedIn Learning’s ‘2021 Workplace Learning Report’ surveyed 150 Learning and Development professionals at UK organisations to explore how companies are approaching workforce learning and development in the year ahead.

It also found that employee development has become a higher business priority since Covid-19, with 63% of L&D professionals saying that their CEO has become an active champion of workplace learning. It also highlighted that companies are encouraging employees to learn together by using social features such as chat software, online learning groups and course recommendations, which can help improve engagement.

Data from LinkedIn Learning also found that learners who use social features, on average watch 30 times more hours of learning content than those that do not.

Meanwhile, priority focus areas for 2021 L&D programs in UK organisations include: upskilling and reskilling (52%), leadership and management training (51%), diversity and inclusion (33%), and employee wellbeing (31%).

More than three-quarters, or 77%, of L&D professionals say that senior executives have made D&I a top focus area, and over a third (36%) are working closely with D&I teams on related strategy, programs and learning course content. 

Nearly half, or 41%, of L&D professionals say that business leaders are concerned that they do not have the right skills within their organisation to execute business strategy, and 38% note that the skills gap has widened since the onset of the pandemic. Almost half, or 43%, of L&D professionals are working closely with their organisation’s executive team to align skilling programs to revised business strategy. 

The top five most important skills that employees will need for the future of work according to L&D professionals are: adaptability (56%), digital fluency (41%), communication (31%), leading through change (30%), and emotional intelligence (28%). 

LinkedIn also found that most L&D professionals say that engaged learners are happier at work (92%), perform at a higher level (93%), and are more likely to be receptive to internal mobility (87%).

With wellbeing being a top focus area for employee development, UK L&D teams are promoting learning resources on mental health and wellbeing (71%) and remote working (59%), driving employee engagement surveys (59%), helping managers support the mental health of their teams (55%), and setting up live sessions on physical and mental health (49%). An overwhelming majority say that engaged learners are happier at work (92%), perform at a higher level (93%), and are more likely to be receptive to internal mobility (87%).

“Our research finds that UK organisations are encouraging employees to learn skills together which can have a positive impact on engagement and foster a sense of belonging. L&D programs are also crucial to helping organisations overcome the burgeoning skills gap. We know that reskilling employees is often less costly than hiring new talent, and the investment can spur internal mobility, boost retention and improve engagement,” Janine Chamberlin, Senior Director at LinkedIn said.

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