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Leadership4 MIN Read

Leadership Development and Career Enablement: Here’s What Professionals Across Asia Were Busy Learning During the First Half of 2020

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Tigerhall Team

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Leadership Development and Career Enablement: Here’s What Professionals Across Asia Were Busy Learning During the First Half of 2020
  • A 206% increase in consumption of leadership content among Tigerhall users in 2020 so far
  • Career enablement remains the most popular learning content category, but a shift in priorities has surfaced
  • Drop in interest for job-specific skills for functions such as marketing and sales

A Tigerhall study has uncovered key insights into the learning trends of professionals across Asia during the first half of 2020 (January to early July). The insights were derived through an analysis of data behind the consumption habits of Tigerhall users — a majority of whom work in key APAC markets such as Singapore, Malaysia and India — during a period that has been dominated by remote working, career disruptions and other repercussions of an ongoing pandemic.

Tigerhall structures its learning content into seven main categories:

  • Leadership
  • Career enablement
  • Influencing stakeholders
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Investing
  • Understanding industries

A comparison of data — which examines the consumption of Tigerhall’s digital offerings such as Podcasts and Power Reads — between the first half of 2020 (H1 2020) and the second half of 2019 (H2 2019 - June to December 2019) highlights various key insights:

Embracing change, communication effectively as leaders and leading during difficult times were some of the trending themes under Tigerhall’s Leadership category in H1 2020.

Consumption of leadership development sees the greatest uptick

Consumption of Podcasts and Power Reads on leadership in H1 2020 doubled when compared to H2 2019 (206% increase). A deeper analysis into this trend suggests that users were looking to learn insights on embracing change and disruption, communicating effectively as leaders, making hiring and firing decisions, as well as managing a team that is working remotely. These findings reflect the challenges faced by professionals in mid-level positions and above in their efforts to help their teams and organizations navigate the ongoing economic crisis.

Improving productivity during difficult times, future-proofing one’s career and personal branding were some of the trending themes under Tigerhall’s Leadership category in H1 2020.

Career enablement remains the most popular category, but priorities for professionals have shifted

Career enablement content topped the charts in two half-yearly periods in a row (H1 2020 and H2 2019). Although this category was equally popular between the two periods of study, there was a stark difference in the subcategories chosen by Tigerhall users. Back in H2 2019, subcategories such as career advancement (scoring a promotion, developing strategic thinking capabilities etc) was very popular among users. In H1 2020, however, users were consuming more content related to themes such as coping during difficult times, improving productivity and enhancing personal brand.

This shift in the popularity of subcategories may indicate a bleaker career outlook as compared to last year, but it also offers encouraging signs that professionals are looking for inspiration to adapt to the new normal. As highlighted in the earlier paragraph, users were increasingly consuming Podcasts and Power Reads on improving productivity during a period when a majority of the workforce was telecommuting. One of Tigerhall’s trending Podcasts during this period, for instance, was “What to do When Your Annoying Remote Colleague Is Ignoring You”, by the former Managing Director of Crocs.

There was also an increase in demand for mentorship on topics such as employability and future-proofing careers, mirroring the rise in popularity of content pieces on personal branding as highlighted in the earlier paragraph.

A shift in focus from job-specific knowledge to soft skills

Content consumption on categories such as sales and marketing dropped significantly in H1 2020 by 36.7% and 20.15% respectively as compared to H2 2019. This trend makes for interesting reading given that sales and marketing are two functions that a significant percentage of Tigerhall users belong to, in addition to finance, tech and human resources.

The dip in the consumption of job-specific knowledge and popularity of soft skills such as leadership and career enablement shed light on a clear shift in priorities as professionals contend with a unique set of problems triggered by COVID-19.

Lesser appetite for learning about investing

As one of the more popular categories in H2 2019, content consumption on investment dropped by 30% in H1 2020. This trend mirrors the grim economic outlook that has gripped the world in light of the ongoing pandemic.

Reflecting on the key findings above, Tigerhall CEO Nellie Wartoft said, “The statistics from this study demonstrate a strong alignment between learning patterns and the challenges we face in our careers today. It’s encouraging to see how quickly and significantly people are coping constructively by shifting their learning priorities to areas that are much-needed now. The insights shed light on how professionals are increasingly taking ownership to stay motivated in the new normal and rising up to inspire confidence and navigate change well as leaders. The desire to learn and adapt is evident here and this is what will determine our success in emerging stronger from a difficult year ahead. I believe that many are well positioned not just to adjust to the new norm but to thrive and positively shape the world as we know it.”

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