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Experts reveal learning & development trends for 2024

Experts reveal learning & development trends for 2024

Written by:
Gregor Towers
Date created
February 7, 2024
Last updated:
May 1, 2024
5 min read
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Key takeaways
  • Critical thinking and project management skills will help enterprises respond to constant transformation
  • To empower hybrid teams, communication & emotional intelligence skills are key
  • Resilience skills become important as the workplace changes
  • Upskilling for AI & measuring learning will become the focus of L&D solutions
  • Leaders who develop self-awareness skills will gain people’s trust

L&D leaders face new challenges in 2024. Skill gaps continue to increase in every industry. Integrating new AI tools into learning solutions is complex. And as the shelf life of skills decreases, many people teams will transition towards a skills-based organization. 

Which skills are people leaders training this year and how are they embracing new trends to shape people’s growth? 

Lepaya asked 5 learning experts to answer two questions and share key insights on how to develop people this year: 

  1. If you could train one skill in 2024, what would it be and why?
  2. What are the top workforce trends that will shape people leader’s work in 2024?

Key learning & development trends people leaders value in 2024 

1. Critical thinking and project management skills will help enterprises respond to constant transformation

Krzysztof Drozd , Executive Partner at Xpert In Processes:

The need for synthetic thinking

“There is an overall tendency to train analytical thinking. I don't agree that we have a deficit of analytical skills but synthetic thinking (connecting the dots). Our top analysts can present fancy graphs but they don't see the message coming from the analysis. 

In my own company we educate people on critical thinking in four dimensions: 

1. Fact-based thinking
2. Causal thinking
3. Scenario thinking
4. Reflection thinking"

The shift from productivity to agility in project management

“Today overall business models aren’t able to achieve better productivity. Of course, many companies push that target. However, that trend has ended. 

Today’s businesses exhausted many processes and operations. How much faster can people pick up phones and deal with incoming calls in call centers?

While we will invest in automation and robotization with AI, the key battle today and in the future is not optimization. It is constant transformation. 

Transformation means more complex projects in more complex environments. As the research of the Standish Group shows, 75% of all projects globally fail! 

The competency of tomorrow will be successful project management in highly dynamic environments. Improving productivity will not help. Only agility and investing in the right projects and delivering them in the right way.”

What does Lepaya’s data indicate? 

Analytical thinking is a key skill for data analysts and consultants. Especially in the tech industry, Lepaya’s annual trends report - the State of Skills 2024 -  revealed a 10% increase in hours trained for this skill from 2022 to 2023*. 

Analytical thinking training hours 2022 vs 2023 based on Lepaya's L&D clients
Analytical thinking training hours 2022 (blue) vs 2023 (red)

Analytical thinking training hours 2022 (blue) vs 2023 (red)

* Lepaya’s data from 18.179 learners across 170 companies and 107.107 hours of skills practice in 2023

2. Successful teamwork needs communication & emotional intelligence skills 

Talent in hybrid teams need to combine communication skills with emotional intelligence to cooperate with empathy, work with new technology and improve results. 

Vladimir Silva, Sales Transformation & Enablement Consultant at DELL Technologies:

Building quality relationships with emotional intelligence

“Communication skills with emotional intelligence are key skills to train to improve the quality of the relationships and the productivity within a team, department and company.”

Which workforce & learning trends will dominate in 2024?

“Leveraging Generative AI into business process automation, hybrid workforce productivity and  learning in the flow of work.”\

What does Lepaya’s data indicate? 

Collaboration and influencing skills ranked number one in hours trained in Lepaya’s State of Skills report. These skills were particularly important for the logistics industry where teams need to communicate and share information within global supply chains

Top five skills trained in 2023 (data from 170 companies) 
Top five skills trained in 2023 (data from 170 companies) 

3. Resilience skills become important as the workplace changes

Emy Mylona, Senior Training & Development Specialist at Rituals:

Ability to overcome setbacks 

“I believe resilience is an important skill to train for this year as we are witnessing more and more changes in the workplace; from layoffs to part-time work, hybrid or office meetings to fully remote work arrangements, one has to learn to navigate these circumstances effectively. The more connected we are to what happens in the world, the more we are affected too, so a layoff, for example, doesn’t have to happen to us to affect our psychology. Therefore, having the strength to adapt to changing work settings and overcome the setbacks that come your way will be increasingly important.”

Flexibility and work-life balance

“As for upcoming trends, I think the debate of hybrid work, part-time arrangements and the ability to manage a team with these elements will be crucial for the years to come. The flexible work arrangements have been in the forefront of perks offered to employees but I foresee that we will see it more and more; there’s a shift in what this generation values in their life and having a work-life balance becomes more and more present. Especially bigger organizations that are more rigid in this aspect will have to compete with smaller companies who can afford to be more flexible.”

What does Lepaya’s data indicate?

Resilience has been a core skill for enterprises to adapt to tighter markets and retain talent. But in 2023, Lepaya’s learning and development data shows a decrease in hours trained for resilience skills. Instead, L&D teams increasingly trained intentional learning skills to develop people’s skills in personal strengths development, driving a feedback culture, and growth mindset. 

Hours trained for resilience skills in 2022 & 2023 according to Lepaya research
Resilience skills hours trained in 2022 & 2023

4. Upskilling for AI & measuring learning will become the focus of L&D solutions

Simon Brown, Lead L&D Management and Enablement at Jellysmack:

Emotional intelligence to navigate constant change

“Emotional Intelligence: in the current climate of constant change and the half-lives of skills we learn in higher education and on the job, I feel that it's paramount to have a strong level of emotional intelligence in order to know when to accept that you don't know something, how to accept what you think about a certain issue maybe incorrect and when to ask for help.”

The focus on ROI of learning

“In terms of L&D, I think there will be a huge focus on determining the ROI of learning offers. I also predict that there will be a growing demand for training on how to leverage various AI tools.”

5. Leaders who develop self-awareness skills will gain people’s trust

Diane Isdith-Martin, Manager of Learning & Organizational Development at Pizza Hut Global:

Leaders need to elevate self-awareness

“Leaders who have a growth mindset and can balance personal humility and caring for others will be the most successful. People leaders will need to find ways to elevate self-awareness in their leaders and hold them accountable when they have a below-the-line moment. The workforce is changing and employees will no longer tolerate being treated poorly by a boss.“

The access to relevant learning

“Learning leaders must find a way to unlock virtual learning for their organizations and incorporate technology to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and 1 pagers to build know-how on new tech systems while focusing on HOW employees can integrate the new tech into their day to day workflow.”

What does Lepaya’s data indicate?

Leadership continues to be an upskilling priority as it ranked highly in the top skills trained in regions such as the Benelux.

Hours trained per skill in the Benelux region according to Lepaya research
Hours trained per skill in the Benelux region
(data from 461 companies)

Emotional intelligence emerges as a trending skill for the future of work

With many enterprises facing transformation and changing work environments, it’s not surprising that L&D managers value emotional intelligence skills in 2024. Leaders and teams with the ability to empathize can collaborate better in their teams and combined with resilience skills, manage disruption in their work and protect their wellbeing. 

In 2024 L&D teams have to identify the unique challenges their people face - whether using AI tools or developing new leadership skills - and train the right skills to continuously develop talent for the future of work. 

Read more about the latest upskilling trends in our State of Skills 2024 report.

Ready to upskill your people & transform your business?

We offer a scalable employee training solution. It lets you continuously upskill your people.

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State of Skills report 2024

Download our global skills report and learn more about upskilling strategies of world's leading organizations.

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Lepaya is a provider of Power Skills training that combines online and offline learning. Founded by René Janssen and Peter Kuperus in 2018 with the perspective that the right training, at the right time, focused on the right skill, makes organizations more productive. Lepaya has trained thousands of employees.

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