What Did We Learn About Learning in 2022? The Employer-Employee Social Compact Reigns

February 14, 2023 | What's Hot | 6 min read

While many employees have returned to a changed office culture — be it remote, hybrid or in-office — the philosophy around work is the real change in 2022.

Catchphrases like The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, and Quick Quitting proved it was a year in of shifting power to employees. With employers under intense pressure to stay abreast of — and ahead of — digital transformation, they needed to constantly stay competitive. And employees often looked elsewhere for new opportunities.

In Skillsoft’s just-released 2022 Lean into Learning report, read about those changes, key trends, and ways organizations can stay relevant in 2023. Here is a glimpse into what we’ve learned about learning over the past year.

A New Social Compact

How has the philosophy around work evolved? The biggest difference is that big paychecks are no longer the only draw for employees. In addition to compensation, they want company purpose, vision, social responsibility, and investment in their own future.

And for employers, staying competitive means finding, hiring, and retaining a skilled workforce. In this market, it’s more difficult, time-intensive, and expensive than ever.

The answer? A new social compact between workers and companies. If employers want the best skills and retention from their people, it’s up them to prove how they can invest in employees’ futures and help them grow. In practical terms, that means learning and skilling opportunities.

As the report indicates, building a culture around learning not only closes skills gaps, but signals to employees “we’re investing in you.”

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Yes, There Is a Talent Shortage

These days, every company is a tech company and businesses constantly need new talent to stay relevant. Which is why leaders named the talent shortage — or “skills gaps” — as the No.1 threat to their business. And unfortunately, those gaps will only grow. “ According to Korn Ferry, by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people.

Because recruiting is difficult and hiring is expensive, the most sustainable way organizations can combat against these gaps is by upskilling and investing in current employees.

Employees Want to Power Up

According to the report, Business & Leadership learning hours on the Percipio platform are up 32% from last year, showcasing the growing importance of power skills.

Employees are savvy and want to be great leaders. While tech skills will always be crucial, it’s the people skills — adaptable to any role — that truly make employees invaluable.


  1. Written Communication
  2. Unconscious Bias
  3. Virtual Work in the New Normal
  4. Working Remotely
  5. Communication Essentials

DEI Is Paramount

Forward-thinking organizations now recognize that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is much more than a “nice to have.” Making inclusivity a priority leads to innovation, and innovation leads to growth. And this year proved that a robust DEI learning program - designed for learners and leaders alike - is a foundational first step.


  1. Workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action
  2. Becoming a DEI Ally and Agent for Change
  3. Understanding Unconscious Bias
  4. Moving from Bias to Inclusion in a DEI Journey
  5. Adopting an Inclusion Mindset at Work

Gender Equality Goes On

According to the report, “women who work for companies that focus on gender equality experience a higher percentage of productivity, mental well-being, job satisfaction, inclusive behavior, and loyalty to their employers.”

So, it stands to reason that gender education is a win-win for both employer and employee.

While the 2022 top courses on women and leadership remain consistent with those from 2021, the real story is the number of people investing their time in these courses.

According to the report, in 2021, nearly 1.7 million learners were curious to know how women could be valued more in the corporate world. In 2022 that figure rose to 12%. It’s not a huge jump, but it’s a start.

Let’s Talk It Skills & Salary

Lean into Learning also dives into the findings from Skillsoft’s 2022 IT Skills and Salary Report. For IT employees globally, North America continues to lead salaries with an overall base of $108,165. EMEA was next with $67,711, Asia Pacific followed with $57,710, and for Latin American, the average base salary for IT employees was $48,771.

One of the most important takeaways is that IT professionals see real value in the connection between professional development and training, and salary.

Happiness at Work

Of the IT professionals polled, 73% said they’re satisfied with their chosen field and 37% say they feel extremely good about their job security.

Across industries, employees are more likely to switch job roles than employers. While less than a quarter switched employers in the past year, more than half of our respondents are planning to make a switch. The No. 1 reason for doing so? Compensation.

All this shows that employers need to invest in employees now, before their talent looks for job satisfaction elsewhere.

Prioritizing CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) — or the way organizations behave ethically, give back, and safeguard the health and welfare of people and planet — is a trend that’s here to stay. While CSR is typically spearheaded by executive leadership or human resources, in this new era, it resonates with employees as well.

More than 60% of the respondents from Skillsoft’s 2022 CSR Report saw an uptick in CSR interest and investment from both employers and employees. In fact, the vast majority report that they would leave a company that didn’t support CSR efforts.

And when it comes to getting employees involved, 37% of survey respondents say that offering training opportunities to help scale CSR initiatives across the organization makes a big impact on a program’s success.

The Future of Learning: What About 2023 Predictions?

While 2022 has been a wake-up call for both employers and employees, what does 2023 have in store?

Mark Onisk, Skillsoft Chief Content Officer, says employees will need a high level of proficiency in multiple skills. “In the tech world, for instance, developers can’t just be focused on building front end applications,” Onisk says. “They also need to be able to do the back end, or full-stack. Now, full-stack extends to every function whether it be sales, marketing, operations, product, or technology.”

Asha Palmer, Skillsoft SVP of Compliance Solutions, says 2023 will be the year of the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer (CECO). “Even if your organization has the most gorgeous code of conduct that has ever been written, if you have not moved ethics and compliance to an executive role responsible for the cultural stability in your organization, you’re at risk for misconduct,” Palmer says. “Your CECO should be critically analyzing what’s working — and what’s not working — for your organization and helping to build your corporate culture.”

The key takeaway of the 2022 report? Organizations need to take stock. Are in-house learning opportunities all they could be? What can you do to be the type of employer that attracts and retains workers? And if you’re not where you want to be, what’s the best place to start?

Get answers, useful insights and more predictions from 2022.