The difficult times that business finds itself in today require not only a revision of development strategies and cost optimization. The main resource of companies is people, and the task of managers is to adapt the approach to improving the skills and training new skills of their employees to today’s realities. Larisa Zorina, the founder of the Step2Future Public Speech and Communication Laboratory and coach of TEDx conference speakers, spoke about her company’s experience and the main trends in corporate training in 2022/2023.
A crisis is not a reason to cut spending on staff training. On the contrary, in turbulent periods, corporate training motivates, increases productivity, promotes team building, and forms common goals. And, on the contrary, if you do not pay due attention to the development of employees, they are more likely to think about changing the company-employer.
Let me give you an example of numbers:
· According to Google Trends and Yandex Wordstat, indicators for increased queries on the topic “employee training” fall during the crisis periods: 2008, 2014, and spring 2022.
· In companies with a developed culture of learning, the retention rate of employees is 30-50% higher than that of competitors.
· 70% of employees are ready to move to a company where management invests in corporate training.
· 76% of employees believe that professional development in the workplace is one of the most important reasons to stay in the company.
Given the current circumstances in the form of business closures, migrations, mobilization, and hiring of remote workers, it is even more important for existing companies to strengthen the status of a “good” employer that cares about the development of employees. There is a tendency that the personnel market has turned “upside down” and now companies do not choose employees, but applicants themselves determine who they want to work with. In addition to the so-called hygienic factors (territorial location of the office, salary, social package), modern specialists look at motivation factors, including looking for an opportunity for development and training within the corporation. Accordingly, valuable highly qualified personnel are preferred by companies where corporate training is among the main advantages.
However, it is obvious that today many companies are cutting or freezing training budgets. So, in 2021, my company had 38 contracts for corporate training, including 30% – of foreign companies. In 2022, we signed 21 training contracts, of which 20% are foreign companies. Many of our clients have frozen their tuition budgets in 2022 and rescheduled their training activities to 2023. At the same time, the share of IT specialists has noticeably increased – public speaking has become relevant for them, as the field has gained momentum over the past few years, and IT specialists want to be in the public eye.
So, what trends in corporate training can I highlight:
1. Bite-Size Learning – a method of learning in “small” portions, when learning is divided into short modules of 5-8 minutes. They contain the most capacious and “squeezed out” information on one topic. This allows you not to dissipate attention on the “lyrics”, but immediately focus on the main thing. Of the obvious advantages – the material is absorbed faster and easier.
2. Training within the company: own trainers, corporate games. Such training and seminars are held as part of work processes, sometimes even without interruption from direct labor tasks. Most often, these are intensive planned classes that are held in groups or corporate games that are purchased specifically for the company’s tasks. Experienced employees can conduct training for newcomers in order to promptly involve them in work processes, accelerate adaptation, and familiarize them with internal rules and corporate ethics. The bottom line is to grow our own trainers and develop internal corporate training.
3. Offline learning. Conferences with useful content, and workshops with an invited motivational speaker. Topics – the current state of the economy, instability, and ways of development. Popular mini-trainings with division into small groups to work out the information received. In addition, today employees are looking for safe spaces to develop soft skills and communicate on any topic. During the pandemic, people are tired of online communications and want “live” communication. Companies that avoid organizing formal or informal meetings, initiating only anti-crisis programs, risk team burnout and reduced work efficiency.
4. Synchronous learning is a fast-growing segment. Information between participants is transmitted in real-time. You can immediately ask the lecturer a question, ask for a comment or clarify a controversial point. Pros: fast feedback, motivating to ask questions; learning in groups where you can discuss current issues with other students; increased concentration. And the minimum price for replication. Of the main limitations – students must be in touch at a certain time, someone may not have time to process the material and get feedback, since there are usually lagging behind in groups. Popular formats of synchronous learning are webinars, live broadcasts, online lectures, and online presentations.
Even in the face of reduced budgets for the development and training of personnel and the existing market irregularities, companies that do not forget about the key resource – their employees obviously win.
It is important for people to feel their value and significance for the company they work for. Corporate training in 2023 should be as effective, concentrated, and convenient in the format as possible. Especially in the price will be offline training and conferences with motivational speakers, as well as the strengthening of internal coaching teams and mentoring practices.