Training and Development Trends for 2014


What are some training and development trends we can expect to see in 2014?


As many HR professionals know, finding the right talent and leadership for their organizations is a major business challenge. A 2013 Deloitte Conference Board survey of CEO’s found that “human capital” is the top challenge they face in their businesses – rated more than 10% higher than “operational excellence”. There are many factors leading to the lack of qualified workers.

Business leaders agree that our educational system is not able to keep up with demands. Many college graduates do not possess the entry level skills they need to start work without training. Another issue we are faced with is the drop in the U.S. birthrate, that has dropped well below the rate needed to maintain our replacement rate. The United States is also becoming an “older” country, which brings with it all the challenges of high spending on entitlements, reduced economic growth, and the need to quickly improve our immigration policy. While these issues are discussed at a national level, what do we as HR and business managers do?

One suggestion is simple – we have to think like economists.

In some situations, for specific jobs, there is simply not enough talent to go around – meaning HR professionals and business leaders must buy, build, and harvest new talent in the workforce. How would an economist think about this issue? This is a “supply” and “demand” problem. And unfortunately, research has shown that workforce planning remains a major weakness in most organizations and in HR teams.

How can this be solved?  Some think that offering higher salaries is the only answer; however, research shows that money is a “hygiene” factor in employment, so once you meet the competitive market for salaries, you must provide other incentives. These include career advancement opportunities, culture, benefits, work environment, and a mission people believe in.

What else would an economist do? They would start looking for more supply. One way is to “harvest” new talent, also called “talent harvesting” or “candidate relationship management.” For example, building relationships with excellent candidates who are in their second and third year of college. Economists would also look at retention rate, internal talent migration, and cross-training opportunities within the company to keep employees from leaving. Any program that keeps employees working a few years longer, improves retention and creates career development will have a positive effect.

Bottom line:  HR professionals should think about their internal organizations as “economies” just like the outside world, and the better you understand the dynamics the better you can meet the needs of the business.

Is training your employees a goal for 2014? Do you hope to impact retention and engagement now before your company gets desperate for talent? Get your Training and Development program off to the right start by asking strategic HR inc. to help. We have the expertise to conduct a Needs Assessment and/or to recommend training options for your staff. Visit our Training & Development page to learn how we can help you implement a successful training program.