2015 Talent Development Predictions and Prescriptions

No matter which Human Resource predictions you read for 2015, leadership was the number one issue in the global workplace. Culture, diversity in the workplace, engagement and retention will be also be foremost in the minds of most employers. Or at least they should be.

The onslaught of technology provides a whole host of better talent development metrics. The four generations on the work floor has demanded that performance be measured in ways formerly unrealized, heightening the status and innovation needs for former human resource generalists.

In Deloitte’s 2014 High-Impact Performance Management: Using Goals to Focus the 21st-Century Workforce report, there is a pronounced emphasis on moving beyond the numbers for evaluating success and focusing more on the employee’s ability to master the values-based scales of an organization. HR managers will turn their attention to more frequent evaluations, providing advice regularly and engaging professional coaching methods to navigate the attention of staff.

In a State of the Worker Report, sponsored through SkillSoft and the Ken Blanchard Companies, there was a refreshing $1,218 in training and development devoted per employee in 2013. Predictions depict a bright story where leaders are taking a more attentive approach on protecting their investments, and providing more adequate opportunities for individuals to stay on top of their field. This is an equivalent to approximately 31 hours per staff member.

While training hours and dollars vary depending on the size of the company, the overall effect is a more talented operative.

The eighth Creating People’s Advantage Series collected by The Boston Consulting Group also declares that culture and leadership are among the foremost goals and takes the analytics approach through key performance indicators. (KPI’s) They summarized their findings from How To Set Up Great HR Functions: Connect, Prioritize, Impact concentrating on 10 statements and 27 subgroups that were collected from more than 3500 individuals in over 100 countries.

The conclusions were telling, and surmised three functions of great HR teams:

• “They connect by partnering with stakeholders inside and outside of the company to improve operational and financial performance.

• They prioritize by using data-driven insights to identify and focus on the most urgent HR priorities.

• They create an impact by using KPIs and steering tools to support the organization and its strategic goals.”

By turning inward, corporations will afford their external customers better service with a more satisfied workforce. Integrating the needs of the Boomers, while attempting to retain the Gen X-ers and Millennials and all in-between, assures a vibrant dynamic work force. It also affords a greater return on investment. The costs for bringing new employees on board are realized more fully in a more integrated environment.

Urgency Rankings Across the Board

Whether it was any of the aforementioned studies or those from the World Economic Outlook Group, or The Network, here are the rankings of urgency (calculated by determining the difference between future importance and current capabilities and then multiplying it by future importance, BCG): 1. Leadership; 2. Talent management; 3. Behavior and Culture; 4. HR and people strategy; 5. Employee engagement; 6. Strategic workforce planning; 7. Career models and competencies; 8. Performance management; 9. HR communication; 10. Training and learning.

While there really are no surprises here, there has been a dramatic importance placed on the professionalism of coaching in the workforce, particularly with dollars being placed in the top three categories. Coaching is being used to permit the employee to create their own solutions; way beyond obtaining advice from supervisors or mentorship in former years.

Coaching Cultures

In Building a Coaching Culture through the International Coaching Federation and Human Capital Institute, coaching provides employees with “the opportunity to grow their skills, enhance their value and reach their professional goals.”

Not just anyone has the ability to coach. After considerable training from accredited institutions, qualified coaches demonstrate competencies such as listening actively, establishing trust and maintaining high professional standards.

This goes beyond taking a half-day or weekend long course and receiving a certificate. “Professional coaching practitioners are someone who provides an ongoing partnership designed to help coachees produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources and creativity that the coachee already has.”

It harkens to the difference between a bookkeeper and a CPA; retaining some knowledge, but limited in the extent to which the required service can be dispensed.

The benefits are conspicuous. Companies who enlist the support of professional coaches have a more engaged workforce, (nearly 2/3 of respondents), compared to peer companies who did not. (about half) They also realized a 61 percent increase in revenue while unengaged peers realized about 40 percent.

Planning is critical for any coaching program to assure that goals are being attained. Combinations of external and internal professional coaches may be supported by managers/leaders who help to increase self-awareness through mentoring on a daily basis.

Cultural Aspects vs. Financial Assets

Finally, in the BCG/The Network proprietary survey, respondents were asked, “How important are these job elements to you?” Here’s what was discovered: 1. Appreciation for your work; 2. Good relationships with colleagues; 3. Good work-life balance; 4. Good relationships with your superiors; 5. Company’s financial stability; 6. Learning and career development; 7. Job Security; 8. Attractive fixed salary; 9. Interesting job content; 10. Company values.

There is a solid demand for non-tangibles, emotionally fueled job elements. The challenge for all is to embrace these findings and decipher how your business will determine their HR strategies to retain the best. Now that you have this information, what will you do with it? If you are interested in obtaining the links for any of the studies referenced, drop me a line.

Kayte Connelly, Best Principled Solutions LLC, is an award-winning author, leadership coach, and organizational development consultant specializing in personal, professional and community leadership. She facilitates corporate retreats and conversations with dissimilar parties and helps individuals and organizations identify and eliminate what stands between themselves and their goals. Enriched customized services are designed to create and sustain generations of leaders for our community and your company, based on research and global development. Call 484.769.2327 for more information on how your company could become more collaborative, flexible, imaginative, and innovative and/or to discover your leadership “edge.” www.facebook.com/BestPrincipledSolutions. @leadercoachKT.