Top 10 Employee Training Initiatives for 2021

Posted by Dave • December 28, 2020 (Last modified June 13, 2022) • 5 min read

As the year comes to an end, HR and training professionals are getting ready to help their employees acquire the skills and knowledge needed to have an outstanding 2021. We recently surveyed the userbase for our Learning Management System (LMS) and asked what their main employee training initiatives are for the coming year.

We received a total of 195 responses. Survey participants were mostly from organizations with 1-300 employees and primarily represented the following industries:

  • Healthcare (24%)
  • Software/IT (12%)
  • Manufacturing (12%)
  • Nonprofit (12%)

After going through the results, we identified 72 responses that represent trends. Here are the top 10 employee training initiatives for 2021 based on our survey results.

1. Online training (17 responses)

Continuing to use an online training solution or moving all employee training online is the number one initiative for 2021. This is unsurprising since employee training software offers numerous benefits over in-person training for both course creators and employees consuming the content.

Of the 17 respondents, four specified that they hope to streamline the training experience using software. Another four said they want to monitor training progress and learn from the reports their software provides.

2. Improve & increase employee training (14 responses)

Improving and increasing training was the second most popular response in our customer survey. Most of the participants specified they want to take better advantage of their Learning Management Software (LMS) to further their training efforts. 

Multiple respondents want to update training content and create new online courses. Others hope to train a larger portion of their workforce. One respondent said they hope to “become a learning organization.”

3. Compliance & safety training (14 responses)

Fourteen survey participants will focus on compliance, safety, and certification training in 2021. These respondents likely represent the industries where this type of training is especially important such as healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, and food service, to name a few examples.

Employee training software is ideal for compliance and safety training. An LMS provides a detailed record of every employee who has completed their legally or organizationally-required training.

4. Employee training participation (6 responses)

A handful of survey respondents said getting employees to buy into training is their main priority for 2021. Getting employees excited to learn is a common challenge since training is often a secondary concern after their primary job responsibilities. 

Of the respondents who chose this as their main initiative, some specified they want to help employees see the benefits of training. Others mentioned they hope employees take responsibility for training so deadlines are met and the organization achieves its learning objectives.

5. New hire training & onboarding (5 responses)

Welcoming and training new hires is the fifth most popular initiative for the coming year. Sharing the right information with a new employee ensures they’re ready to succeed immediately after joining the organization. 

Onboarding answers all the questions new hires typically have and covers the policies they need to know. When combined with role-specific training, new hires are ready to hit the ground running soon after their start date.

6. Multimedia training (5 responses)

Five respondents will focus on making training materials more interactive and consumable. Research shows that training content delivered in different formats is more effective than a single medium.

Multimedia content generally refers to a combination of video, audio, and written learning materials. Each stimulates different areas of the brain and resonates with people who have different learning styles.

7. Professional development & management training (5 responses)

Another five survey participants will focus on professional development and management training in 2021. Helping employees expand their skills and prepare for future career opportunities improves engagement and leads to a skilled workforce. 

Management training also supports an effective succession planning strategy. Using the 9-box grid, you can identify employees with leadership potential and give them the proper training to prepare for a higher-level role.

8. Remote workforce training (2 responses)

A couple of survey respondents said their main priority for the coming year is to teach employees how to effectively work from home. Helping employees adjust to remote work was one of the biggest HR trends of 2020 and will continue to be important as more organizations go remote indefinitely. 

And naturally, the only way to train remote employees is to provide online courses that are accessible from any computer or mobile device.

9. Process & procedures training (2 responses)

Another pair of survey participants will focus on training employees on their organizational processes in 2021. Many roles have specific workflows that must be followed and employees need to be taught exactly what they entail.

Using an online training solution, you can monitor every trainee’s progress to ensure they acquire the necessary knowledge to effectively do their job.

10. Understand training needs (2 responses)

And finally, two survey participants will focus on filling the gaps in their employee training programs. As we’ve learned from this list, there are various types of training organizations can offer and these respondents will ensure they provide all the right courses to their employees.

A wide scope of employee training courses not only leads to a knowledgeable and skilled workforce. It also results in high engagement and productivity since employees have access to all the information they need to excel at their jobs. 

Employee training in 2021 and beyond

The main takeaway from our employee training survey is that organizations will focus on building skilled workforces in 2021—and will take full advantage of their online training solution to meet their goals. Regardless of what training initiatives you will focus on next year, an LMS will be your key to success. Good luck!

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