Team development

Why 89% of L&D Pros say upskilling is fundamental to the future

LinkedIn 2023 Workplace Learning Report Recap


The last few years have made one thing crystal clear: resilience is crucial.

And with resilience, goes the need to empower people by providing them with robust and relevant skillsets, enabling them to navigate changes confidently.

When we do so, we build a flexible workforce and enable organisations to innovate and grow.

It’s this need to be adaptable that’s core to this year’s LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, Building the Agile Future.

Exploring data from a global survey of more than 1,500 L&D professionals and 700 learners, as well as LinkedIn platform data; the LinkedIn 2023 Workplace Learning Report paints a picture of what the next year could look like, and in case you hadn’t already figured it out: Agility is at the top of the want list.

What else did we learn?


The spotlight is on L&D

Over the last few years, we’ve seen an emphasis placed on those in L&D, who are perfectly positioned to help their organisations navigate global disruption, skills shortages and economic turbulence (to name but a few).

This year, the spotlight shines even brighter.

In fact, 82% of global leaders agree that the HR function is more critical now than it ever has been.

Good news: L&D pros have more C-suite influence

The report also found that L&D’s influence in the C-suite continues to rise, and executives are finally getting savvy to the competitive advantage that comes from people-focused strategy and prioritises an engaged, adaptable, and growth-minded workforce.

Behind L&D's growing influence is a compelling truth:

The skills required in the workplace are changing at breakneck pace

The LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report found that since 2015, skill sets for jobs have changed by around 25%. By 2027, this number is expected to double.

This projected increase highlights the crucial role that L&D can play. In fact, 89% of L&D pros agree that proactively building skills will help their organisations navigate the future world of work.

Now that we know that enhancing skillsets is crucial, it’s time to move forward and pinpoint the specific skills needed and prioritise them in L&D programmes. 

LinkedIn highlighted the top skills companies need now as management, communication, leadership and teamwork – all hallmarks of agile organisations.

To that end, L&D pros say their top four focus areas for 2023 are:

  1. Aligning learning programs to business goals
  2. Upskilling employees
  3. Creating a culture of learning
  4. Improving long-term employee retention

It’s time to focus on upskilling and reskilling

In building an agile future, the focus needs to be on creating a people-centric culture with an emphasis on development. After all, what is agility if not constant learning?

The report found that, in 2023, most organisations are seeking a people-centric future and are turning to L&D for help. The data reflects this with 83% of organisations aspiring to this culture, and 81% of L&D departments supporting.

As more companies realise that daunting challenges demand new skills, L&D departments find themselves well-positioned to assist.

The value of large-scale upskilling -and reskilling- initiatives are recognised by both executives and HR personnel alike. However, while the vital need to build relevant skills is clear, the report highlights a challenge:

These initiatives are moving at snails pace

The report revealed that only 2% of companies have finished upskilling initiatives. 94% of companies are in the early-mid stages of implementation. 4% of companies have not yet started any upskilling programmes. 

However, where large-scale skill-building programmes often takes a long time and a sizeable investment, the report highlights that organisations can bridge the gap and leverage career-focused learning at the individual level.

This streamlined approach is two-fold. It allows upskilling initiatives to accelerate and harnesses the desire of individual employees for professional growth and development.

Providing career-focused learning is crucial. The report found that three of the top five factors that people consider when pursuing new jobs reflect their desire to stretch, grow, and develop new skills.

For those employees who want to stay (and keep in mind that 93% of organisations are concerned about retention), ensuring they feel supported is important to retain them and increase those agility levels.


HR collaboration is key

With agility, comes great responsibility collaboration.

The report uncovered that cross-collaboration will be a key theme over the next year, with more than three-quarters of L&D pros saying they’re collaborating more closely with HR teams.

Implementing what LinkedIn refers to as a ‘career lattice’ culture is a bigger challenge than any single department can handle. Every team within HR needs to become more collaborative and mindful of the entire employee experience.

But again, offering employees paths to internal mobility and the tools to support their career development will build employee engagement and enhances skills.

This is something that rings familiar in the L&D world, and for many, the shift LinkedIn refers to is underway.

For companies intent on building a people-centric culture, wider collaboration is crucial to consider all elements of employee experiences, from onboard to exit, with human needs at the centre.


If you work in HR or L&D, chances are you’ve seen and felt the reality of constant change.

Continue to champion that agility moving forward, and you can move both your people- and your organisation- towards success. That's what building for the future is all about.

Read the full LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2023 here