Unprecedented disruption, increasing expectations and the so-called Great Resignation have led to a massive skills gap in the workplace.
Firms need to prioritise skills and cultures of learning to retain top talent and ensure their employees are future-fit. Udemy’s 2022 Workplace Learning Trends Report provides valuable insight into high-demand “power skills” in areas like communication, leadership, productivity and wellness.
Communication & Teamwork
In 2020 we became Zoom zombies, then in 2021 some of us sanitised and vaccinated our way back to the water-cooler. In 2022 we are likely to face more false starts as firms and industries find new normals that suit their cultures and employee preferences. Yours could be a weekly home / office routine, role-specific guidelines or even mass remote working.
Whatever your new normal, the most in-demand communication & team work skill for 2022 is neither facilitation, multi-tasking or MS Teams. According to Udemy’s report, assertiveness is the top surging skill for employees and teams to stay productive and keep collaborating, whether at the water cooler or on Zoom.
Leadership & Management
It’s impossible to “Lead without a title” in a company culture that values hierarchy over happiness or power-plays over presence and meaningful engagement. Mass remote working has neutralised the physical manifestation of this; corner offices are irrelevant and boardroom seating has been replaced by chat windows and video feeds.
Pre-COVID, courses on strategic thinking showed the highest demand but in 2022 the most in-demand skill is diversity & inclusion which showed a 205% growth in course consumption. Post-disruption future-fit firms will have cultures that value the “whole and unique” individuals that make up their workforce – but it starts with learning.
Productivity & Collaboration
With 70% of US white-collar workers working remotely and companies increasing their global footprint, digital collaboration is here to stay. But competitive advantage is no longer just providing the tools for a distributed workforce, it’s actually training them to use them effectively.
Even before COVID, computer skills was the top demand skill in this category but now the focus in these courses is on optimising time and productivity. Lessons on shortcuts and top tips across a range of applications are helping employees learn to share ideas and collaborate more efficiently.
Personal Development & Wellness
Blurred boundaries and increasing expectations have brought employee wellness back into focus, but it’s no longer symptom-treating stress management programmes; more holistic and sustainable approaches are needed. In our new course on mindfulness in the workplace I teach three case studies of global firms that are prioritising mindfulness, presence and meaningful interactions.
Even traditional investment banks are linking their financial bottom line to sustainable employee wellness. According to Goldman Sachs Board Member William George “if you’re fully present on the job, you will make better decisions and you will work better with other people.” It’s also about offering employees skills beyond their day jobs. That’s why piano and fitness are 2 of the top 5 surging personal development and wellness skills for 2022.
I know one person who has a treadmill in their home office to keep fit between (and during?) endless online meetings – perhaps they’ve also done one of these popular Udemy fitness courses. If employers are asking their people to work from home, the least they can do is give them skills to help make their homes and lives better.