The Top 5 Trends of Talent Development

Published on 12-10-2018

Talent development describes a comprehensive pool of HR measures designed to retain top talented employees on a long-term basis. LinkedIn recently published a report about this topic with a focus on – you guessed it – workplace learning. We summarised the Top 5 future Trends according to the Workplace Learning Report for you!

The report is based on a survey of approximately 4,000 professionals, including executives, employees, talent developers, and people managers, globally on LinkedIn with the purpose of providing a comprehensive view of modern workplace learning. The following trends reflect the key results of the report. They describe the potential impact of talent development but also challenges for employees and their supervisors.

The Top 5 Trends of Talent Development

1. Training for Soft Skills is #1 priority

The report shows clearly that training for soft skills is the number one priority of Talent developers, executives and people managers throughout their talent development. Why? Because those soft skills are what makes us stand out as humans – after all, robots and AI don’t have them. In an increasingly digitized world, teams with well-developed soft skills will make the cut.


2. Balance today’s challenges with tomorrow’s opportunities

Today, talent developers focus mainly on the employee development needs of today. However, executives and people manager ask for more: They expect talent development to also look into the future and to identify industry trends in order to prevent internal skill gaps. Finding a balance between what is relevant now and what will be in the future is crucial.

3. The rise of digital transforms learning

With an increasingly diverse, multi-generational workforce, talent developers depend on online learning solutions more than ever before. A majority of employees (68%) prefer to learn at work. Putting an emphasis on personal development and providing employees with the time and facilities to pursue this desire is essential to stay further relevant as an employer. Flexibility and individuality are key!


4. The big challenge: Making time for learning

The #1 reason why employees don’t engage with the offered workplace development is that they don’t find the time to do so. However, 94% of employee would stay longer at a company that actively invests in their personal development. Getting employees to make time for learning is, therefore, the biggest challenge for talent development for executives and talent managers.

5. Manager involvement equals an increase of employee engagement with learning

It does not come as a surprise that an active leadership increases the engagement of employees with talent development programs. Managers are an essential part of the employee experience. Having managers actively encourage employees to make use of offered learning opportunities will not only increase their involvement but also the overall impact. According to the LinkedIn study, 56% of employees would take manager suggested course – that’s a pretty good number! You can find more about the importance of leadership in our new white paper.

The ability of the talent development function to positively affect culture and help plan and execute change make it a dynamic player in driving organizational agility, innovation, and growth that contribute to lasting market leadership. – Tony Bingham CEO of ATD

The Role of Culture

The right corporate culture is crucial for successful talent development. According to 96% of questioned people managers, a culture of learning is important to the business as it closes skill gaps and increases employee satisfaction. That is why talent development leaders today are embracing the role of “relationship builder”. They focus on cultivating relationships, which are the foundation of a learning culture that thrives in a workforce where change is the new constant.


However, it isn’t only up to talent developers to establish a thriving culture of learning. The role of leadership, in general, should not be underestimated. After all, leaders and the most public figures of the organization. They have the power to shape culture from the top down and underline the importance of continuous learning and growth among employees. The report shows how executives encourage learning:

  • 68% encourage employees to participate in L&D program
  • 58% speak about learning resources
  • 48% participating in L&D events
  • 43% speak about the culture of learning

In a nutshell, an effective learning culture needs employee engagement, executive endorsement, and manager involvement.

What does the concept of Cultural Fit describe? And what impact does it have on a company’s performance? CompanyMatch has released a white paper on this hot topic. Please do fill out the attached form to start the download. For free!

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