Why 2019 is the year for Talent Development

Talent Development is now at the forefront of businesses minds, with increased support from the top, in terms of commitment and budget, 2019 is the year of development.

Talent Developers play an integral role in achieving business success.

Over the past three years, L&D managers have reported increased support from their senior leaders, not only in the form of advocacy, but budgets have continued to increase year on year. This eludes to the fact that business leaders are increasingly seeing the value of investing in their people and their futures. This is further supported by a recent LinkedIn study that found that 82% of L&D managers reported that their leaders actively support professional learning initiatives. This increased support from leaders has therefore enabled L&D managers to have a more strategic role in the business, and with that a growing capacity to influence business success.

As well as increased budget, L&D Managers are utilising technology to further their reach within the business and encourage all employees to become ‘lifelong learners’. The LinkedIn report highlighted that managers are investing more budget into eLearning and online based platforms, and less on instructor lead training. This is a more sustainable method of delivery long term, as the workforce continues to move online. This also means that training is more scalable and can therefore be more cost-effective.

As the adage goes, the jobs the next generation will be doing haven’t even been invented yet. Therefore, it’s important for L&D departments to take the lead and encourage employees to continue to develop their skills in order to remain competitive and relevant in today’s workforce.

Furthermore, the UK’s latest L&D report revealed that businesses who spent more than the national average (£300 per employee) on development, were twice as likely to have highly satisfied employees.


The State of L&D in 2019

According to LinkedIn’s latest Workplace Learning Report, the number one priority for Talent Developers is to identify the skills gap within their workforce and try to close it. Albeit, this is made harder by evolving digital and technology-based skills.

Their other top priorities include:

  • Increasing engagement with learning programs
  • Developing career frameworks
  • Providing consistent and valuable learning to employees globally
  • Training for soft skills
  • Delivering company-specific insights to close organisational skills gaps
  • Understanding the impact of technology and automation on skills development


Talent Developers have also had to find different ways to communicate with their staff, in order to keep up with the changing workforce. For example, they are leveraging marketing communications, such as email marketing and company intranet comms, as an avenue to promote and encourage learning. Additionally, they have changed the platforms in which they communicate with employees, now utilising apps and online based platforms, as well as leveraging managerial relationships and asking managers to encourage employees. The LinkedIn Report determined that 74% of employees want to learn during their spare time at work, which has forced Talent Developers to create easily accessible and frictionless learning opportunities.

The average cost-per-hire in the UK is £3,000, which makes replacing people who have stopped learning quite expensive.


How Talent Developers are changing the workforce

Cultural change

Fostering a culture of continual learning and development and ensuring that it is a regular topic of discussion is important. Some managers are not only including it in their employee’s performance reviews, but even their monthly catch ups. Consistent learning and development not only leads to happier, more satisfied employees but also reinvigorates their passion and prevents staff from becoming stagnant in their role.

Making learning agile

It’s important that Talent Developers can provide learning solutions that employees can easily integrate into their daily working lives, whether that be on-the-job or off-the-job training. The programs need to be flexible, adaptable and easily accessible. In order to accommodate different employees needs, they should also offer personalised pathways, that are determined one on one.

Lean towards soft skills

In an effort to keep up with the ever-changing workplace, businesses are also providing more training around soft skills. This includes training around emotional intelligence, problem-solving and effective communication, etc. Soft skills are imperative and can assist employees in any and every job.

Relating learning to promotion

Some Talent Developers have established programs whereby if an employee meets their learning objectives or completes their development plan for that year, they are then automatically considered for a promotion. This incentivises employees to be proactive and take control of their own development, but also highlights the clear link between learning and the outcomes it can provide.



LinkedIn – 2019 Workplace Learning Report

Top 35 Facts for UK Recruiters 



Author: Melanie Beckham

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