Unpacking the Future: Workforce Development Through an Era of Skill Disruption

March 5, 2024 | What's Hot | 5 min read

In 2023 we faced skill disruption at a scale we’ve never seen before. The influence and impact of Generative AI has forced organizations to reevaluate their approach to the way they learn, the way they work, and the way they approach leadership and development efforts. The skills we needed in 2021 to be successful are no longer compatible and targeted reskilling and upskilling has become the name of the game.

Forward-thinking organizations are leveling-up their L&D approach by focusing on skill-centric training, keeping a pulse on the latest learning trends, and arming their teams with the tools they need as job demands continue to shift.

Skillsoft’s 2023 Lean into Learning report breaks down the evolving learning landscape, trends, and things to be paying attention to in 2024.

Here are some highlights from the report:

GenAI Learning Is in Full Swing

With the release of the ChatGPT model in late 2022, many organizations had to recalibrate their practices to remain competitive and adapt to the rapidly changing technology landscape. In 2023, there’s been a heightened focus on leveraging AI to streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and create innovative solutions. But the key is doing so ethically and safely, and that requires keeping your people informed on the power AI holds and some of its flaws, like hallucinations and biases.

Enter AI education.

In 2023, the significance of AI learning soared to unprecedented levels with the top two Aspire Journeys of the year being Practical ChatGPT and Generative AI Business Transformation, emphasizing the profound influence of AI education.

While traditional education is extremely important in educating employees about AI, we found a way to make it creative and applicable to different interpersonal situations. At the end of 2023, Skillsoft announced the release of the Skillsoft CAISY Conversation AI Simulator, an innovative tool powered by generative AI that simulates business and leadership conversational skills. This real-time conversation simulator inspired individuals and teams to tackle some of the most difficult business conversations with tact and precision, and of course, the ability to practice.

Top 5 CAISY Scenarios of 2023

  1. Cultivating Empathy and Connection
  2. Coaching a Struggling Employee
  3. Irate Customer
  4. Coaching an Absent Employee
  5. Change Management

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But It’s More Than Just AI Learning

In 2023, the landscape of learning underwent a seismic shift, with an astounding increase in engagement and achievements across the board. This uptick was apparent with a staggering 19.4 million digital badges were earned upon completing Skillsoft courses and/or Aspire Journeys, marking a 22% growth compared to 2022. This significant rise in learning is a clear indication of a paradigm shift. Both employees and organizations are increasingly recognizing the critical role of upskilling and reskilling in staying competitive and agile in the evolving business climate.

Empowering Employees With Power Skills

Alongside the AI revolution, power skills continue to hold paramount importance for organizations. In fact, the top 20 digital badges of 2023 all relate to different power skills such as developing emotional intelligence, being an effective team member, and understanding unconscious bias.

Top 5 Trending Topics: Leadership & Business

  1. Written Communication
  2. Unconscious Bias
  3. Speaking
  4. Communication Essentials
  5. Working Remotely

It’s more than just business skills, when employees feel included, involved, and engaged, they can truly be their authentic selves, both in and outside the office. By investing in DEI skills development, organizations can effectively cultivate a culture that centers around the needs of all employees and empowers them to be innovative and draw from diverse perspectives.

Top 5 DEI Courses of 2023

  1. Understanding Unconscious Bias
  2. Your Role in Workplace Diversity
  3. How Culture Impacts Communication
  4. Take a Deep Breath and Manage Your Stress
  5. Using Communication Strategies to Bridge Cultural Divides

Addressing the Gender Gap

Despite the resurgence of employment following the pandemic, the World Economic Forum's 2023 Gender Gap Report revealed a concerning 10% decline in the representation of women in senior leadership roles worldwide. Yet, research consistently affirms that diversity, including gender diversity, enhances business performance significantly. This makes the promotion of women's access to training and leadership opportunities within the workplace not merely an aspect of fairness, but a strategic investment.

Top Courses Supporting Women in 2023

  1. Leadership Insights on Developing Women Leaders
  2. Women in Leadership: Moving Beyond Gender Roles as Leader
  3. Women in Leadership: Mastering Key Leadership Competencies
  4. Women in Leadership: Building Your Infrastructure for Leadership
  5. Expert Insights on Women in Leadership

Reskilling and Upskilling Is More Important Than Ever

A year ago, our own IT Skills and Salary Report didn’t even mention generative AI. Yet, today, it’s drastically changing the way we approach learning and development. The trends in tech skilling have also transitioned from prioritizing security to mastering core skills like technical support, networking support and scrum essentials. Why? With more businesses relying on cloud services for security, these foundational skills are increasingly vital. And it's not just tech companies; businesses across sectors are boosting their tech infrastructure, driving up demand for these skills industry wide.

Top 5 Technology Trending Topics of 2023

  1. Technical Support Specialist
  2. Security Core Concepts
  3. Cisco Networking
  4. Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals
  5. Scrum

Benchmarking Skills Is Essential

A significant factor causing skills gaps is the misalignment between existing internal competencies and the dynamic strategies, objectives, markets, or business models of the company. Skill benchmarks offer organizations the ability to define, track, and index the skills your teams has proven to be a powerful tool for organizations trying to understand their skills gaps and where additional training is needed.

Top 5 Skill Benchmarks of 2022

  1. Communication Essentials
  2. Customer Service Essentials
  3. Presentation Skills
  4. Excel 365 (2021)
  5. Oral Communication

Top 5 Skill Benchmarks of 2023

  1. Communication Essentials
  2. Customer Service Essentials
  3. Time Management & Managing Priorities
  4. Emotional Intelligence and Tact
  5. Written Communication

With All That Said – What’s Next?

As we approach an era where the AI market is projected to reach $407 billion by 2030, with a notable annual growth rate of 37.3%, it's imperative for leaders to foster an ecosystem that embraces this transformative technology. This involves cultivating an inclusive and curious workplace culture that champions ongoing learning and adaptation. The future-ready workforce isn't limited to new hires with the "right skills," but extends to reskilling and upskilling existing teams, thereby enhancing loyalty, productivity, and overall wellbeing.

Have you started to understand the key learning trends that will impact your team in 2024? Get the download of 2023 learning trends in Skillsoft’s 2023 Lean into Learning report.