So what are the team building and training trends we can anticipate to see in our newly transformed working world as year three of the COVID-19 pandemic approaches?
Since March of 2020, one recurring theme has been that the only thing we can be certain of is uncertainty. However, as the pandemic enters its third year, one thing is certain: the professional world has been irreparably transformed and altered. And this is influencing the trends and topics in team building, training, and development that you can expect to see in 2022 and beyond.
What’s kept the same, what’s changed, and what’s coming up in the world of team building and training.
The acceleration of remote work and its effects on firms, leadership, and people remain the underlying subject in team development for the coming year.
Hybrid Work is Here to Stay in 2022
There has been a lot of conjecture in the last 24 months about remote and hybrid work, its feasibility and acceptance in the long run, and if it will have a large position in the professional world of the future.
Remote and hybrid work aren’t going away any time soon. This isn’t a flimsy pivot any longer. Staff won’t be returning to the workplace in the same way they used to be in most firms as long as a role can be performed remotely. There are simply too many advantages to working remotely or in a hybrid environment.
With that comes some advantages and disadvantages that businesses must weigh. The most important and obvious question is how they will handle a hybrid work model. How often do people have to go into the office, for example? Which jobs can you do from home, and which ones can’t? There are other X-factors to consider. It’s possible that businesses may have to choose between a hybrid and a wholly remote approach.
As remote and hybrid work become increasingly common, the obstacles of maintaining corporate culture in a distributed workforce will become more evident.
Working from home puts a lot of strain on a company’s culture,” says Seward. Maintaining connections and even getting along gets more difficult. Because you aren’t in a real working setting all day, you don’t get as much interaction. As a result, I believe there will be a lot more virtual engagement and virtual team development.
Team Building and Training for 2022: Onboarding New Team Members Will Require More Planning
Organizational culture concerns aren’t limited to current personnel. They apply to newcomers as well, probably even more so.
The major issue isn’t so much with existing employees as it is with new ones. It’s one thing for employees who have been with your firm for a long time and have been indoctrinated into your culture the traditional way. The new people are the most difficult part: how do you integrate them into your company?
While team building can help with this, it doesn’t change the fact that forming inclusive teams in a remote setting is far more difficult. You could count on the process of creating relationships to happen spontaneously to some level in the ‘old-school’ environment simply by being in close proximity to one another. But none of that exists in this new world. So, how can you duplicate those biological connections in a virtual environment? How can you help people get to know one another, learn about one another, and trust one another? It’ll all come down to coming up with new ways to connect people.
Organizations Will Need More Frequent Company Events to Build Connections in 2022 Team Building and Training
Gathering individuals more frequently will be one of the most important strategies to develop and sustain strong organic ties between colleagues and teams.
In the following year, the number of team activities will dramatically increase. Companies that have depended on organic relationship-building will have to create more of these chances. They’ll almost certainly need to engage in more formal team-building activities than they have previously. It can no longer be a once-a-year occurrence.
These activities will occur more frequently, and they will be organized on a team-by-team basis rather than as a company-wide event. Organizations, not simply their entire organization, must create that culture and those ties between individual team members.
A New Way of Approaching Retreats and Incentives Will Emerge in 2022
Off-site meetings and company retreats will likely look different than they did to, since travel and in-person events remain hard.
With all of these developments, you have to question what will happen to businesses who used to rely heavily on retreats and off-sites. Will businesses continue to carry them out? They will, I believe, once things begin to calm down and return to routine. However, because people haven’t seen each other in a long time, I believe that a larger portion of the time spent at those gatherings will be spent on bonding activities.
It won’t merely be a case of people getting together to hold meetings all day, talk business, and then eat dinner together. Because sitting at a conference room table does not genuinely provide you with touchpoints with others, I foresee a great spending of time for getting to know each other. When you don’t have such touchpoints, meetings become less efficient and fluid since the participants are unfamiliar with one another.
Technology Will Play a Major Role in Team Building
The consequences of technology on virtual team building and the expectations of businesses when it comes to their events will be the final piece of the puzzle.
In team building, technology is becoming increasingly vital. Even now, it’s a tremendous improvement over traditional team building. It has progressed.
Organizations are beginning to demand some genuine production value as they perform more and more virtual team building activities. Technology has elevated things to new heights, as evidenced by a number of our brand-new virtual team-building exercises.
Trends in Training and Development for 2022
In 2022, based on last year’s trends and indicators, there will be a considerable focus on how to handle the return to work.
This includes returning to the office physically, but more significantly, reacquainting yourself with team members and ensuring their mental and emotional well-being during the transition.
The Return to Work Will Be a Key Challenge in 2022
Returning to work is a major—and difficult—process to handle.
Organizations will face obstacles as employees return to work. Do you require it? Do you not agree? Will you irritate others if you do? Is it fair if you don’t but certain individuals have to come in due of their role?
These difficulties, however, go beyond logistics. Aside from that, there’s the issue of whether or not people being separated is helpful for business. While it may not be a huge concern for many positions, there are numerous studies that demonstrate physical separation has a negative impact on mental health.
Each day, you get between seven and nine minutes of ‘watercooler discussion’ and interaction while you work together in person. While this may not appear to be substantial at first look, it builds up over time, hurting our work, personal lives, and social connections.
Despite the fact that returning to work can be beneficial to both business and mental health, there is another issue to consider: personal preferences.
Many folks never want to return to work. Many people have reconsidered their goals and the type of employment they desire. As a result, the question of how firm to be about returning to work arises.
Organizations, in reality, are in a lose-lose-lose predicament. Some employees will undoubtedly perceive whatever they do as unfair. As a result, businesses run the danger of losing staff when they can’t afford it. It’s a difficult situation, and many of them keep putting off making a decision.
The Struggle to Maintain Corporate Culture and Identity Will Become Prevalent in 2022
For many firms, remote employment has resulted in a difficult-to-manage corporate brand problem.
Right now, a lot of companies are having trouble identifying their corporate culture and identity. They’re not sure what their culture is anymore, or if they really have one. Employees imitate actions to develop culture, but they no longer have the ability to do so.
Organizations are deploying training and development programs that focus on critical soft skills as these concerns and challenges arise, according to Friesen.
Developing a Mission, Vision, and Values Statement
Many firms are having trouble defining the identity that links their employees together. You may get your staff together as a team to collaboratively identify them using a group skills training program like Creating Mission, Vision, and Values.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
It’s critical for executives to consider if they understand their people. This does not necessarily imply that you agree with them, but in order to lead successfully, you must be able to see both perspectives. That’s where a course like Emotional Intelligence can help. It can help your leaders become more self-aware, learn to self-regulate their behaviors, improve their social skills as leaders, employ emotionally intelligent motivators, and create a stronger sense of empathy.
DEI Has Taken a Backseat in 2022 Training and Development (And May Continue To)
Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) was anticipated to be a major trend last year. However, it has taken a back seat unexpectedly.
Surprisingly, we’ve seen DEI take a back seat to pandemic-related concerns. It isn’t nearly as popular a topic or focus as it was a year ago.
The Importance of Rediscovering Teams is the fourth training and development trend for 2022
Being separated for so long has resulted in more than simply social isolation. It’s generated a schism between employees’ perceptions of one another and managers’ perceptions of their teams.
Employers are increasingly attempting to rediscover who their teams are. This is the effect of teams meeting in person for the first time in two years or groups of employees meeting for the first time in person. People must learn—or rediscover—how to collaborate.
As a result, there has been an increase in assessment sessions aimed at identifying employees’ preferences and workstyles, which helps to establish understanding and better teams.
With Belbin, you can learn about different work styles. Learn how Belbin tests may help your team uncover distinct personal workstyles among coworkers, as well as improve cooperation and communication by revealing how diverse workstyles interact best.
Belbin can help you identify your team members’ talents and receive actionable knowledge on how to strategically exploit those strengths to establish effective teams.
Organizations Will Want to Incorporate Fun Into Learning in 2022 Training and Development
The impact of the epidemic on staff morale and engagement has sparked a new trend: incorporating fun into learning and development sessions.
Many businesses want to hold training sessions that are both entertaining and educational. Learning and development is something that companies want to undertake, but they want it to be light. Their group is exhausted. They’ve been through a lot in their lives. They want to arm people with tools and knowledge, but they want it delivered in a lighthearted manner. We should expect a lot of companies to look for training sessions that will leave their employees feeling prepared but not overburdened.
Organizations Will Begin Bringing Employee Mental Health In-House in 2022 Training and Development
It appears that a realization is dawning: we still don’t fully understand the pandemic’s long-term effects on people’s mental health. Organizations are becoming increasingly concerned about this.
Many people believe that we still don’t know the full extent of the pandemic’s impact on humans. I believe we will look back and understand that this period was far more difficult for people than we ever realized. We don’t know the full depth of the consequences—and many organizations agree.
Worry, concern, and anxiety are already present in people’s minds. And just looking at how long it takes to get an appointment with a therapist these days demonstrates this.
As a result of these concerns, several companies are considering taking proactive measures to address mental health issues among their personnel.
There are a lot of folks that are quite depressed. It’s not just a case of being unmotivated. It’s about folks that are continually depressed, fatigued, and unable to concentrate. Organizations are beginning to see the immediate and long-term consequences of this, and are considering hiring mental health professionals to serve as an in-house support system for suffering staff.
For the past two years, the COVID-19 epidemic has primarily impacted the professional environment around the world. And, as we enter the third year, there are indications of what is to come in the long run. Recognizing these developments and figuring out how to prepare for them will be critical for businesses of all sizes.