3 Key Focuses for Learning & Development Teams Right Now

Posted by Steph Charlesworth on Dec 13, 2022 1:22:38 PM

There are so many great topics of discussion in L&D at the moment but there are some key themes that have really been a focus throughout the year - and will likely continue to be into 2023.

Recently, our Customer Delight Manager, Steph Charlesworth had the opportunity to visit the CIPD North Conference, which she found to be an enlightening experience. Immersed as she was in a wealth of conversations, debates and idea-sharing about the world of L&D, Steph shares her experience of the trip and explains her key takeaways from the various presentations she attended.


Several speakers championed transparency in business in a variety of ways. From having a clear and transparent hiring and onboarding process, to seeing companies living their values and continuing this in the day-to-day engagement both internally and externally. Potential employees are now looking for companies whose ethos and values align with their own personal ideals, alongside what was traditionally seen as the usual benefits a company has to offer.

Advocacy is also gaining greater weighting when prospects are looking for their next role. What is being said about corporate responsibility? What do the already onboarded colleagues have to say about how it feels to work there? Is there a high turnover of staff? All of these are now gaining greater consideration for someone who is looking to move roles.


Flexibility remains a hot topic as the working world settles into post-pandemic ways of working. Some form of hybrid working is definitely here to stay, in whatever capacity that looks like to individual workplaces. The perspective that having flexible working practices opens your talent pool, and can also feed into sustainable working practices and help to reduce carbon emissions through potentially cutting down commute, was also discussed.

There were some interesting conversations looking at how to bring more flexibility to traditionally more challenging areas where being at a certain place is necessary to complete work, such as retail - potentially flexi patterns around childcare/school times and more open conversations with staff about how and when people pick up shifts without compromising on quality or safety.

Finally, looking at offering options such as “loved one support” which can be open to all employees, rather than limited to those who have children. It can be used at the employee's discretion if they need to care for a sick child or help care for a parent or relative who needs to attend appointments and creates an inclusive atmosphere.

Diversity and Inclusion

Last, but by no means least, Diversity and Inclusion continues to be a high priority, but there is a shift in focus in that whilst the awareness days and campaign weeks are a great way to begin conversations, initiatives and even new ways of working, there is now an impetus into looking at ways to integrate this into more day-to-day activity.

Psychological Safety is also a growing topic related to this and being able to create safe spaces for all to not be afraid to ask the tricky questions or tackle the more gnarly and sticky subjects that often can crop up in the workplace in a way that is both supportive and honest. We need to find ways and practices that help the employee, but also continue to serve the needs of the business. It’s certainly something that isn’t a quick fix, or an easy one, but the fact that it’s even on the table is a good starting point.

Further reading

One of the keynote speakers was a man named Mohsin Zaidi. He spoke about his experience of intersectionality in the workplace and how his identity as a Muslim and gay barrister influenced and contributed to his workplace experience (also his book sounds super interesting, it’s called A Dutiful Boy and it’s already on my to-be-read pile).

Get your Learning Strategy ready for 2023

All in all, the conference was incredibly inspiring and sparked lots of ideas and conversations. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topics and if you’ve seen any shifts happening within your business. And if you’d like any help in creating your company’s learning strategy for next year, drop me an email, book in for a chat or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Topics: Learning Innovation