Key Employee Development Areas in 2022


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Professional development of employees is fundamental for a company’s progress. Investing in your employees’ upskilling helps to retain talent and reduce costs for hiring. The LinkedIn 2022 Workplace Learning report revealed that 79% of Learning & Development pros consider reskilling less expensive than hiring a new employee. Moreover, 94% of employees say they wouldn’t leave the company if there were more opportunities for learning and development.

Human resources specialists organize employee development activities and establish a culture of constant improvement within the company. So, it’s crucial for HR to know in-demand skills among employees and within the industry.

In this article, we’ll talk about the areas of professional development that are in high demand in 2022.

Most In-demand Skills for Career Growth

Areas of professional development include skills and knowledge employees need to efficiently do their job. Professional development involves upskilling and/or reskilling for employees to get a promotion or new job position.

Employees that are eager to grow professionally usually concentrate on soft and hard skills they need to fit in for a certain job. Let’s discover what are the most in-demand skills for employees of different specialties and experiences.

Soft Skills Remain Paramount

Any job involves interacting with people to one degree or another. Nowadays, relationships with colleagues and the ability to resolve conflicts and convey one’s point of view are considered extremely important for being successful at a job. According to Harvard University researchers, well-developed soft skills provide 85% of job success. We’ve listed the most in-demand soft skills below.

Leadership and Management

Leadership and management competencies provide employees with the confidence to supervise teams and ensure employee engagement. Well-trained and dedicated leaders help companies establish corporate culture, retain the workforce and maintain a healthy atmosphere among team members. Some traits to recognize potential leaders within your company include:

  • positive mindset,
  • motivation,
  • servant-hearted,
  • reliability,
  • critical thinking,
  • responsibility.

Teamwork and Communication Skills

Interpersonal relationships at work establish a working atmosphere and influence the quality of work within the team. Communication skills help employees effectively interact with their colleagues, ask for help and avoid conflicts.

Developing communication skills requires effort for the learner because they’ll need to change their behaviors. Emotional intelligence (EI) is one of the important gainings for those who want to improve their relationships with other people. Keyways to improve EI are to learn open listening, self-reflection, and assertive communication.


Creative thinking is a source of valuable insights for business. Employees who can see things from different angles might contribute to solving issues, expanding business, or preventing difficulties when the time comes. Creativity is built on curiosity and a wide area of thoughts. Creative people also offer several solutions for one issue so managers could integrate the best ideas for success.

Time Management

From year to year, time management remains one of the most in demand skills, especially in times of remote work and hybrid working models. Efficiently managing time gives employees the power to increase their performance, meet deadlines and avoid burnout. Developing time management skills starts with understanding what tasks consume more time and how to prioritize them.

Hard Skills to Focus On

Each professional area relies on a specific set of hard skills. Software developers are required to be proficient in tech stack for a particular project, accountants should have a keen eye on the law and financial processes, etc. The thing that unites them all is the eagerness to develop hard skills to get more perks at work.

Professional Certifications

Professional certifications imply specialized programs that include coursework and passing exams. Although certifications require more commitment than training courses, they are more convenient than earning a degree because of their timeline and flexible schedules.

Professional certifications allow employees to move to a new role or take on more responsibilities and stay tuned with their industry trends.  

Tech Skills Development

Tech skills development can be included in certification programs as practical tasks or be performed in the format of workshops, mentorship, or training courses. Such activities help employees take their skills to the next level and go up the career ladder. The most in-demand technical skills to develop include programming languages, data science, art and design, engineering, biotech, and architecture. 

Approaches to Professional Development

HR specialists can encourage employees to pursue bigger goals and develop professionally. HR departments should plan learning and development activities to retain the employees and provide internal recruitment. The most widespread approaches for professional development include:

  • job assignment,
  • skill-based training,
  • courses, workshops,
  • certifications,
  • mentoring.

Each employee should have a professional development plan (PDP) that is aimed to strengthen one’s key traits and expand new opportunities for them. When developing PDP, involve department managers in the process and apply SMART goals to easily assess the results and track progress. Effective professional development plans offer challenging tasks for the employees that help them widen their competencies. Additionally, think of the support you can provide so that employees feel confident about getting support if they struggle with some tasks.

Tip. You can make learning at work engaging by implementing the LMS platform in your company. Learning Management System is a digital tool that eases up learning content management, progress tracking, the enrollment process for HR specialists, and access to learning materials for employees.

Wrapping Up

Constant improvement is important for professional growth and proactive employees know that. Truly valuable candidates wonder if the company offers any opportunities for professional development. So, to attract the best talent businesses should provide tools for learning and practicing new skills for their employees.

If you want to improve L&D in your company, consider key areas of professional development we’ve mentioned above.

Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes a learning specialist, designs and delivers learning initiatives (both in-class and online) for a global and internal audience. He is responsible for the ongoing development, delivery, and maintenance of training. He has the ability to manage competing priorities to execute time-sensitive deliverables within a changing environment. He contributes to continually improving the team's processes and standards and works as a member of the team to assist with team initiatives.


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