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Rhys Fisher

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TrainingZone’s 10 most popular reads of 2021

Find out which topics were the most popular among your L&D peers in 2021.

Although this year’s most-read list is not dominated by Covid-19 in the same way that 2020 was, the consequences and implications of the pandemic are still a common theme throughout. While last year it was covering the front page spread of every newspaper, this year it’s been pushed back among the featured articles – less eye-catching, but in many ways a little more in depth. 

To help L&D professionals throughout another highly unique year, experts from across the profession tackled a wide range of issues and topics — from imposter syndrome to hybrid learning to the science behind coaching. 

Without further ado, here are the 10 most popular TrainingZone articles among your L&D peers in 2021:

1. How to build a resilient team in 2021

Given the trials and tribulations that people across every profession have gone through since the pandemic struck, it is perhaps unsurprising that our most-read article of 2021 was organisational psychologist Gemma Leigh Roberts’ piece on training teams to adopt a resilient mindset.

2. Why is L&D still not aligning upskilling and reskilling programmes with business needs?

In at number two on our list is a familiar issue in the world of L&D: upskilling. With Covid-19 and the subsequent upsurge in remote working exacerbating the digital skills crisis, L&D expert Simon Gibson explores actions the profession can take to have a more meaningful impact. 

3. How L&D can develop more black women into leaders

2021 saw L&D seizing the baton from HR when it comes to championing diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Coach, mentor, and author Yetunde Hofmann’s article looked specifically at how we can support and uplift black women in the workplace.

4. Personal development: 20 tips for tackling imposter syndrome

Self-doubt is common among professionals and can take hold at any stage of your career. Best-selling author Tracey Smolinski provides 20 tips to combat imposter syndrome and help L&D professionals to reach their full potential and career goals.

5. 10 tips for learning and development in a hybrid working world

Like it or loathe it, it seems that hybrid working is here to stay. For trainers particularly, this presents a number of logistical challenges. Erica Farmer, the co-founder of Quantum Rise, presents some of the scenarios that they are likely to encounter, and provides advice on how to thrive in the hybrid environment. 

6. What does 2021 have in store for learning and development?

As in any profession, keeping abreast of future trends is essential to success. Senior learning professional Robin Hoyle took it upon himself to play soothsayer and predict how L&D would look in 2021. Find out how accurate his predictions were, as well as taking a look at some of his alternative suggestions to the multitude of quick-fix solutions that sprang up during the pandemic.

7. Six ways to recalibrate your learning strategy

Although seven at seven would have rolled off of the tongue a little more enjoyably, the six key changes that L&D leader Nigel Paine suggests are needed to enable an improved strategy are still essential reading for any L&D professionals. 

8. Is learning and development essential for organisational survival?

Our TrainingZone readership may not be the most objective when it comes to answering the above question, but this piece written by the director of Clarity Learning & Development, Jackie Clifford provides an insightful and detailed explanation of how to communicate and advocate this to those outside of the sector, and ensure that L&D continues to grow within organisations. 

9. Four key skills for the next generation of leaders

The post-pandemic work environment is likely to follow a hybrid model, which will require resilient and people-focused leaders. TrainingZone columnist Sunita Malhotra argues that in order to ensure they are properly equipped for the job, L&D teams will need to gain adequate training in four key areas.

10. Using the ‘science of coaching’ to improve employee wellbeing and performance

Just as entry number three showed with diversity and inclusion, our final article in this year’s list highlights the need for L&D to follow HR’s example, and start focussing more on employee wellbeing. The piece sees senior vice-president of Coach Hub, Professor Jonathan Passmore discussing the concept of the ‘science of coaching’ and how it can be applied to L&D professionals.


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Rhys Fisher

Editorial Assistant

Read more from Rhys Fisher

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