Lean Into Learning: Summer Skilling Edition

July 19, 2022 | What's Hot | 9min read

Summer is in full swing, and after another hectic start to the year, many of us are enjoying the opportunity to slow down and have a little R&R. As we fill the next few months with traveling, sunbathing, and sand in our swimsuits, it’s also the perfect time for self-growth – both personally and professionally.

Learning doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) detract from all the summer fun. In fact, innovations in the training and education industries have made it quite easy to learn from wherever we are and via whichever devices – be it smartphones, tablets, laptops, or even headphones – best suit our current situation and lifestyle. Sitting on a beach in California? Dive into a book on surviving the first 100 days as a new boss. Working remotely from Spain’s Canary Islands? Perhaps it’s time to take a few courses and learn a new programming skill. Firing up the grill to make your self-proclaimed world famous ribs? Toss on an audiobook about resilience in the face of adversity.

Today, learning isn’t something that’s wedged into our schedules. Rather, it fits into our workflows and lives easily and seamlessly. At a time when employees are craving opportunities for professional development and employers are facing tightening labor markets, talent shortages, and widening skills gaps, encouraging and enabling employees to learn and grow during the summer months is easier than ever and beneficial for organizations and their workforce alike.

As we continue to illuminate the latest learning trends by analyzing data from Skillsoft Percipio, we explored what employees have been up to in their summer skilling journeys. And, as a bonus, we’re excited to share a roundup of some of the newest courses offered by Skillsoft so that everyone can lean into learning all summer long!

On the go and in-the-flow.

“Learn something new every day” is advice we’ve all heard before, but perhaps not always followed. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. Days are jam-packed, and while things slow down as temperatures heat up, “on-the-go” defines the summer months. But a solution has become rapidly available, centered around the idea of “learning in the flow.” While traditionally seen in the context of “learning in the flow of work,” it really boils down to removing barriers to learning in all scenarios and providing access to on-demand and real-time growth opportunities wherever an individual may be and however they best gain new skills.

The flexible nature of modern learning is something employees are taking advantage of - especially in the summer. Looking at learners who access Skillsoft content via their smartphones, we observed a 15% spike on average in traffic during last year’s summer months (June 1 – September 30) compared to rest of the year. When we look across the different modalities (or “styles” of learning) Skillsoft offers, we saw a 36% increase in total books read during this same timeframe. This could be attributed to both managers “assigning” recommended summer reading and learners grabbing some reading material while listening to waves crash in the background.

New and popular Skillsoft courses!

So we know learning is highly-accessible. The next step is to identify which skill areas to prioritize! Whether learners are looking to dabble in entry-level coding, pivot or accelerate their careers in cybersecurity via an in-depth learning experience, or seek tips for dealing with burnout, Skillsoft has it covered. Take a look at some of our newest and most popular courses, books, and audiobooks we’ve released this year for learners to broaden their horizons and pick up a few new skills.

Popular courses 2022:
  1. Recognizing and Addressing Micro-Behaviors in the Workplace
    Micro-behaviors are a macro problem. In this course, you’ll learn to recognize the characteristics of the different types of micro-behaviors and how to decode the messages they send. You’ll also learn to identify when and how to take action to address micro-aggressions, and how to use micro-inclusions as an antidote.
  2. Psychological Safety: Building a Culture of Inclusion and Innovation
    Psychological safety involves the feeling of being accepted and respected – believing you can present your true self at work without fear of negative consequences to your self-image, status, or career. But it also goes beyond that to trusting that your team and your workplace is safe. Learn what psychological safety is, challenges that inhibit this type of culture forming, and how to nuture this mindset and build a skillset that supports it.
  3. How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Achieve Success?
    What stands between you and success? Discover how to identify those barriers - as well as your own personal triggers and mental blocks - and overcome them. You'll also learn strategies to jumpstart your work mindset and to advocate for yourself to get you out of your own way and on a path to success.
Popular books 2022:
  1. 100 Top Tips – Stay Safe Online and Protect Your Privacy
    Recognizing the threats you may encounter online is the first step to preventing them, and a good understanding of online security and privacy issues is essential to protecting yourself from them. Read this book to find out more.
  2. Corporate Agility: Insights on Agile Practices for Adaptive, Collaborative, Rapid, and Transparent Enterprises
    This book features a beautiful 4-color design that helps you visualize powerful strategic ideas, so you can understand and implement them right away. Unlike other books on the market, this title helps you reinterpret key Agile management concepts in a way that will work for your specific needs.
  3. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High
    This book addresses issues that have arisen in recent years. You'll learn how to: respond when someone initiates a crucial conversation with you; identify and address the lag time between identifying a problem and discussing it; and communicate more effectively across digital mediums.
Popular audiobooks 2022:
  1. The Long-Distance Teammate: Stay Engaged and Connected While Working Anywhere
    What does it mean to "go to work" when you don't actually leave the house? This is the ultimate guide for remote workers who want to stay engaged as team members, maintain robust work relationships, and keep an eye on their long-term career goals.
  2. Beating Burnout at Work: Why Teams Hold the Secret to Well-Being and Resilience
    Burnout has become one of the most talked about workplace topics, and its impact is far-reaching. The 24/7 pace of work, constant demands, and scant resources can easily put busy professionals on a path to burnout, a cycle that has only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this audiobook, a first-of-its-kind, science-backed toolkit takes a holistic approach to burnout prevention by helping individuals, teams, and leaders build resilience and thrive at work.
  3. Ready to Be a Thought Leader? How to Increase Your Influence, Impact, and Success
    Featuring guidelines, stories, tips, and success secrets from those who have successfully made the transition to high-profile thought leader, this how-to guide offers essential reading for anyone ready to expand their influence, increase their professional success, have an impact far beyond a single organization and industry, and ultimately leave a legacy that matters.

For students, recent grads, full- or part-time workers, or those that are still simply figuring out what’s next, the summer provides a ripe opportunity to explore career paths, build important skills, and plan for the future. L&D leaders should encourage learners to reflect on their areas of interest and assess their current skill levels to see where they stand in their personal growth journeys. Help them reinforce what they’ve already learned to refresh and retain gained knowledge through brief quizzes, flashcards, notes, and more to curate, customize, and self-direct the learning experience.

Today, people view their jobs in a different light; they want careers that have a meaningful impact on their communities and enrich their own lives. The ability to develop new skills is often cited as a key motivator for many workers. We have observed in our own work that organizations that meaningfully invest in upskilling and reskilling of their employees materially improve employee retention. This ultimately leads to sustained productivity and value for the business through workforce transformation. Make this the best #SummerofSkilling yet!