2023

The Nordic Learning
Trends Report 

Dig into the insights from other L&D professionals and over 70+ Nordic companies. This report will give you a solid foundation on where the corporate learning landscape is heading in the Nordics. Prepare your learning strategy and be ready for challenges, keep your learning relevant for your learners and make sure you drive your organization in the right direction.

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Biggest Challenges & Top Priorities

What challenges are we facing, and what priorities do professionals in HR and L&D have? Find out what your colleagues have answered in this year’s report and get ideas on how to tackle them. 

Let’s dive right into the numbers!

 

56.6

say Attracting and retaining talent 
is the biggest challenge for their organization

43.4

say that Supporting the entire 
employee journey with relevant learning
is the number one priority

Top 3 Challenges

The global trends are shining through even in Nordics. And attracting & retaining talents is the biggest challenge even up here in the north. 

On a more individual level for HR and L&D professionals, however, it is clearly all about TIME, TIME, TIME! Or rather, the lack of it. 

 

What are your organization's biggest challenges?👇
*multiple answers were possible

56.6blue

  say that Attracting and retaining talent is the biggest challenge

42.1

say Building a learning organization with the right skilled workforce

28.9

 say Staying innovative is their organization's biggest challenge

What are your biggest challenges? 👇

28.9_2

say their biggest challenge is to not have enough time to strategize and think long-term

27.6

say the biggest challenge is to not have enough time to upskill and reskill employees

21.1

say the biggest challenge is that most time is spent on administration

Top 3 Priorities

For yet another year, we find reskilling and upskilling the workforce and increasing employee satisfaction in the top 3, just like the previous year.  The crown has been exchanged though, and with 43.4%, it is now held by Supporting the entire employee journey with relevant learning throughout the employee journey

In the global trends, we see reskilling and upskilling on the priority lists second place as well, according to the 2022 Workplace Learning Report . 

Both the challenges and priorities this year, are correlated. When our employees learn new skills, their satisfaction rises, and you foster innovation. Digital learning can be used to support the employee journey with microlearning and facilitate upskilling and reskilling of the workforce.

 

What are the Top Priorities for HR/L&D professionals in the Nordics for 2023? 👇
*multiple answers were possible

43.4_3

Supporting the entire employee journey with relevant learning

36.8_4

Reskilling and upskilling the workforce

36.8_4

Increasing employee satisfaction

Tackling the Challenges & Priorities:

Short Tips from the Experts

Organization Challenges: Attracting & Retaining Talent 🙋

When employee satisfaction is high, you retain the talent too, and gain higher revenue growth. A few pointers to increase employee satisfaction: 

  • Improving your pre – and onboarding  
  • Be transparent 
  • Upgrade your L&D programs 
  • Provide employees with the right tools & learning 
  • Make the learning relevant for the employees and give it in small bites 
  • Give more feedback and attention  

Furthermore, a recent study from  McKinsey & Company shows that 41% and the number one reason why people quit their jobs in 2022 was a lack of career development and advancement.   
  
Learning can play a big role in tackling the lack of career development and advancement. 

How to keep your employees learning and developing? ðŸŒ±

  • Anchor your learning strategy in your business strategy
  • Make your employees learning relevant to their job roles and make sure it supports both their career growth and your business  

By continuing to give our employees access to development, upskilling, and reskilling, you will, little by little, build a learning organization containing the right skilled workforce.  
 
And with training and learning new skills, your employees will keep their minds open, get more input and, in that way: stay innovative. 
 
This challenge is closely connected to this year's top 3 priorities. Read more under "How to support the Learning Journey with Relevant Learning for more tips. 

Individual Challenges: How to Win More Time ⌛

Release time to strategize and think long-term or upskill the workforce by letting digital automation tools handle more tasks for you. It will also reduce your time spent on administrative tasks. Look into the following:

  • Use an intuitive digital learning platform. This will make it easier for you to create & distribute learning throughout the organization faster. 
     
  • Automate processes with your learning platform. Set up automatic learning journeys for example, digital pre- & onboarding or compliance training. You don't have to do everything manually. 
     
  • Integrate systems with each other to avoid doing double work. Are you using several tools? Make sure they have a working integration. That way, you will save valuable administrative time that you could use to strategize and plan for long-term goals. 
  • Using ready-made content that can be plugged and played directly in your learning platform can also be a big time-saver
 

“The fact that our systems now speak to each other saves us a lot of hours and headaches!", Mari Lønne Wergeland, Learning & Development Specialist, Prima Assistanse 
 
🔗 Read how Norwegian Prima Assistanse saved valuable time by automating tasks and integrations.  

Priorities: How to Support the Learning Journey with Relevant Learning ☑️
Some good guidelines to support the learning journey with relevant learning:
  • Anchor your learning strategy in your business strategy
  • Plan your onboarding well ahead
  • Look into digital types of learning and microlearning to improve better fit learning into the flow of work
  • Connect learners to the skills they need to succeed in their role – for the benefit of the learner and the organization
  • Create a strong learning culture with knowledge sharing and the use of blended – and social learning – in a digital setting as well

According to Brandon Hall Group’s Human Capital Management Excellence Conferenceonly 40% of companies connect their learning strategy with their business goals. 

If the learning strategy is aligned with your business goals, it will be easier to see the value that the learning brings for the whole business and, with that, easier to convince management that more time to upskill and reskill your employees is vital for the business. 

This year's priorities are closely connected to the top 3 challenges. For tips on Employee Satisfaction, see “Attracting & Retaining Talent” above.

🤓

HR & Tech

The increase in investment in digital learning tools has risen compared to last year, when only 47.6% saw an increase, today, that number is 51.3%. 

In uncertain times when many need to cut costs, investing in a learning platform can help reduce resources spent in the long run and still support both employees, and the business development. And the majority of companies where the respondents work seem to have realized this.

However, this year 14.5% are seeing a decrease in digital learning tools investments compared to last year's 6.8%. The reasons behind both the increase and decrease may be the same.  Just that the calculations on how to save money have been done differently. 

 

Asset 48

51.3% see an Investment Increase in
digital learning tools 

LMSs and Learning Platforms

LMS’s and Learning Management Platforms continue to be popular tools for HR to use. And the ones who do not use one, 16.7% of this group say it’s because it would not make sense in their type of organization. 

Asset 50

73.7% use an LMS or another learning platform for training employees

44.4

44.4% do NOT use a Learning Platform due to a lack of resources

17.9

 17.9% say their system is NOT ready for the modern workforce

Top 3 Features for Learning Platforms 

Bad user experience and design can really kill the whole learning experience. And it can definitely make you spend more time on creating learning than necessary. We are not surprised that over 50 percent have voted for user experience and design as top features.

Follow-up and Measures of learning impact and comes in on second and third place for top features. Without it, you won't know if your learning efforts are paying off or how to improve it.

Read more in about measurement & learning outcomes in this section here.

51.3_1

Great user experience and design

46.1_1
 

Easy follow-up on employees

39.5_1
 
Effective measure of Learning Impact

Prima_assitanse

"The fact that Learningbanks' platform is visually appealing and intuitive has impacted the increased the learner engagement."

Ida Borgenvik, HR-coordinator, Prima Assistanse
 
 

⏳

Time to Learn & Learning Activities

The majority of respondents still give their employees 5-25 hours of training a year, just as last year. However, we can see a clear decline in how much training employees are given in general compared to the previous year. 

How does this align with the need for upskilling & reskilling as well as attracting and retaining talent? HR & L&D professionals certainly have to keep fighting to win more training time that their employees and the market are craving.

 

How many hours of training does an average employee have per year? 👇

table-1

34.2_1
 
34.2% give their employees  
less than 5 hours of training a year  

 

31.6
 
31.6% give their employees
25% digital training & 75% physical training

 

The Impact of the Return to the Office 

Many workers went back to the physical locations of work during 2022.  And these numbers clearly reflect that as location-based training rose with it. Last year 40% said they gave their employees 75% digital & 25% physical training, while this year it’s only 22.4%.  

However, the number that replied 50/50 is bigger this year compared to last.  Could a reason for this be that companies realized the advantages of digital training how it can be beneficial even though the work itself might be location bound? 

How much of your training is digital? 👇

table5

 

Learning Formats: Previous Year, Now & Planned

It sure is important to make a plan. But the best plans are usually the ones that are agile and easy to adapt. Just as the numbers shown above, physical classroom training increased, compared to last year. Under learning formats, we see the same shift: traditional e-learning (replaced with digital learning with images and videos) has taken a step down. So has webinars, while microlearning and gamified learning has climbed up.

Planned Formats 2021

2021-formats

 

Current 2022

2022-formats

 

Planned for 2023

2023-formats

 

The Advantage of Blended Learning

The Nordic HR and L&D professionals are ambitious yet again. The majority do plan for digital learning as well as classroom/on-the-floor training and digital training in various formats.

Combining digital and physical training (blended learning) can be a real advantage. It lets you use the best of both digital and physical training. And using different types of formats allows you to hit multiple learning styles.

Read more about how HSK, Denmarks biggest Sports Union use both digital and physical training to engage their staff already from the onboarding.

Asset 4

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"An engagement survey shows that our coaches actually think it is nice that more stuff is happening online. However, it is important we still have meetings in person. But instead of spending a lot of time on handing over oral information in a physical meeting, now, we can give the information through the platform."

Jonas Enevoldsen, Head of Swimming School

Short Tips from the Experts

Learning Time & Digital Learning ⏳
  • Time for learning is not a matter of how many hours, but being relevant for the learner at all time
  • Make learning available at the right time and make it possible for the learner to take and search for learning when it fits their work-flow  
  • Think blended learning and microlearning, and make sure to give a clear connection between physical training and digital training

📊

Learning Measurement & Outcomes

It is crucial to measure learning outcomes, because if we don’t, how can it be improved? Yet, 28.9% of our respondents do not measure the outcomes at all. It is of course understandable if the process itself is manual, as it is a time-consuming task. Using a digital learning platform to measure learning outcomes can make it a piece of cake and save you a lot of time. 

 

We asked:
How do you measure the learning outcomes?

These are the answers
👇

47.4

Oral feedback from users and executives

38.2

Stats and analytics from our learning platform

36.8_6

Evaluations with metrics

28.9_3

We don't measure the outcomes

Short Tips from the Experts

How to Measure Your Learning Outcomes 📊
  • Build a business case for learning & set clear learning objectives
  • Connect the objectives to the business strategy
  • Dare to ask for feedback on all learning shared with learners
  • Use a learning platform or other evaluation tool to get the insights
  • Connect your learning platform to your BI tool to get business data incorporated with your results

Want to learn more?  Read this short article.

🎤

Final Words

Change and uncertainty are consistent today. And it puts a huge pressure on HR & L&D professionals. But how do we manage the changes that affect our organizations? Shifting needs, shifting roles, and goals. It all calls for managing change and adapting. That's where learning comes in. Learning has never been more vital for business survival than it is today. 

Despite slower growth in many sectors, good employees keep leaving. It's not enough just to get the employees to sign the contract. To keep the talents, we need to make sure they are and stay engaged and give them opportunities to develop and update their skills to match their wants and the market needs. And that's a big reason why learning & development in the workplace is so important.

But, to succeed, learning must not be seen as a separate thing. We must remember to anchor the learning strategy to support the overall business strategy and ensure our employees have the chance to develop throughout their careers. 

We hope this report has given you a good base and will inspire your continued work to put learning on the strategic agenda.

We also hope that the insights can help you prioritize your heavy workload and show that by prioritizing learning & development, we strengthen both the business and the employees to be the best they can be. 

Download the Report Summary

We know you very busy, so we made you a summary with the most important stats highlighted and short tips from the learning experts. Fill out the form to save it for later.

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Background

The stats in this survey are collected from respondents representing over 70+ companies in the Nordics. The roles of respondents are within HR and L&D, a few come from C-level or independent learning consultants, where they have responsibility for the learning & development of employees.

Some of the questions in the survey had multiple-choice answers. 

People who responded to the survey are, for the most part, between the age of 31-59 years old. They are located mainly in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland & Iceland).  43.4% work for organizations with 100-400 employees, and 32.9% in companies with 1000+ employees.