Are you a manager or business leader wondering which corporate training goals you should prioritize this year?
It can be a tough call, given the sheer number of professional development courses and topics out there.
What new skills would most benefit your team and help your company grow?
Some organizations are prioritizing obvious and immediate needs. For example, video conferencing training to help employees conduct business or teach classes online during the pandemic.
But in most cases, companies are looking for ways to get a competitive edge over the long term. They are seeking professional training in less tangible areas—soft skills that directly impact teamwork, productivity, morale, talent retention, and company culture.
In fact, soft skills (versus finite technical skills) have become increasingly popular corporate training goals.
Which skills are companies investing in most right now? Here are the top 5 trends in corporate training and professional development.
It's worth starting with a few stats on the current state of corporate leadership:
☑️ In a recent survey of 500 managers, 44% confessed they felt unprepared for their role (Source: Grovo)
☑️ 87% said they wished they’d had more training before becoming a manager (Source: Grovo)
☑️ Three-out-of-four employees report their boss is the worst and most stressful part of their job (Source: Huffpost)
☑️ People with toxic bosses are 60% more likely to suffer heart attack or stroke (Source: Swedish WOLF study)
☑️ 86% of companies say developing new leaders is an “urgent” need (Source: Deloitte)
And that’s just a fraction of the research on the subject. No wonder leadership is one of the most popular topics for corporate training.
Leadership skills (or lack thereof) have a direct impact on key functions, like recruitment, talent retention, productivity, customer service, and overall business performance.
Whether you’re leading a small team, department, or entire company, leadership training should be a top priority and ongoing pursuit.
More and more organizations are embracing this idea. We're seeing growing demand for better leadership training at every level of management.
2. Mediation and Dispute Resolution
Workplace conflict is another universal problem that is driving strong demand for training in mediation and dispute resolution.
Some research shows managers spend a staggering 25-40% of their time dealing with conflict. And studies in the Unites States show 55% of employees have experienced personal attacks or taken time off work because of workplace disputes.
Nothing damages an organization quite like festering conflict. But it takes real skill to address, diffuse, and resolve disputes in effective ways.
Given the scourge of workplace conflict across the globe, it’s clear that many companies are failing in this department. Gone are the days when managers could simply ignore disputes or dole out arbitrary judgments.
A growing focus on mental health in the workplace is pushing managers to eliminate toxic work environments and deal with conflicts more effectively.
This has generated a huge increase in businesses and organizations seeking corporate training for topics like mediation, negotiation, and alternative dispute resolution.
3. Emotional intelligence
Competencies like leadership and conflict resolution (and every other skill on this list) cannot be cultivated without emotional intelligence (EQ).
EQ is a prerequisite for forming positive professional relationships, connecting with clients, earning respect from peers, and furthering personal growth.
Emotional intelligence determines our ability to regulate our emotions, have empathy for others, build trust and rapport, and be aware of our own biases.
Absolutely everyone can benefit from EQ training, but there are obvious advantages in organizational settings. Anyone who works in a team or leads a team can stand to improve their EQ.
This is a hugely popular corporate training topic, particularly for managers and HR professionals. There are dozens of EQ-related courses, apps, and tools available online.
4. Employee relations
This is an another very popular training topic for human resources professionals, or managers who have taken on the HR function.
The concept of employee relations or “employee engagement” is relatively new—but has quickly skyrocketed in relevance.
It’s all about communicating effectively with your team, fostering and rewarding good performance, building trust, cultivating a shared vision, and promoting good work-life balance.
People (particularly millennials) are not willing to be mere cogs in a corporate machine. They want to feel listened to, valued, and part of a positive and ethical workplace community.
The idea of community-building at work has become very powerful, because of proven correlations with improved performance and talent retention.
Learning how to engage with employees, and build a positive workplace culture, is a top training goal for managers and HR professionals across the globe.
5. Diversity training
Diversity training focuses on reducing prejudice and discrimination in the workplace, and helping people from different backgrounds work together more effectively.
Given the increasingly diverse nature of our workforce, there is little doubt that every manager and employee can benefit from this type of training.
And we’ve seen a massive rise in diversity training courses over the last few years. From avoiding workplace harassment, conflict, and lawsuits—to simply helping teams collaborate better—diversity training has become a fixture of professional learning and development.
Training focuses on promoting equality in the workplace, with the goal of eliminating discriminatory attitudes toward gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, physical and mental ability, and race.
Again, this trend speaks to a growing consensus that workplaces should be more inclusive, healthy, community-minded spaces, where people feel safe and respected.
From a purely practical perspective, a more inclusive workplace means higher productivity and less turnover. Respect for diversity delivers clear benefits to company culture, reputation, and the bottom line.
While there’s lots of debate over how to approach diversity training, there’s no question it’s become a top priority for organizations across the globe.
Learn more about corporate training at Kompass Professional Development
Kompass specializes in customizable, online corporate training courses. We offer industry-recognized and accredited courses in a variety of disciplines, including:
☑️ Alternative Dispute Resolution
☑️ Workplace Dispute Resolution
☑️ Strategic Leadership
☑️ Employee Relations
☑️ Human Resources
Course can be taken individually, or bundled together in a customized training program that fits your learning and development goals.
Our instructors are nationally certified arbitrators and mediators, and chartered human resources professionals with decades of experience.
All classes are delivered online.
Click below to explore all corporate training courses and learn about costs, special offers, and admission requirements. We’re here to help!