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Where should we focus our L&D efforts over the next 12-18 months?

A recent article published by the HR Trend Institute* suggests that there are 8 key areas on which to focus for the next 12 months.

1. A focus on today, not on the future – focus on the Talent Management interventions that have an effect today.
2. From a standard to an individual approach – the most important trend in HR is individualism. Know the capabilities of your employees.
3. Blurring boundaries between internal and external talent – Talent is everywhere – make your talent pools larger (suppliers, partners, associates and alumni, etc)
4. Performance consulting – Good people want to become better. Give regular and granular feedback.
5. More focus on teams – Teams are the building blocks in most organisations.
6. The talent experience is important – Share employee positive experiences on social media – this creates employee engagement and helps to improve employer branding.
7. A more organic approach to talent management – “Go with the flow”, talent often starts initiatives without any corporate involvement.
8. Talent analytics is the foundation of all talent management initiatives – Move from the future to today and keep track of the capabilities your teams are involving. Track engagement of key players to make a match between the urgent opportunities and the available strengths of the talent.

Here are Oakridge, there are 3 of these areas where we feel our clients are moving towards rapidly:

1. More of a team focus (vs. individual development)
2. Performance Consulting
3. Focus on external and internal talent

The most important thing to start with is that the most successful organisations are doing it ‘now’ rather than incorporating into a longer-term business plan. There is an expectation from our CEO’s (and our employees) that we report the value of activity to the business…..more quickly!

Firstly, Team Focus is critical. Collaboration is important in every aspect of business, but as budgets become constrained and constant pressure is placed on L&D teams to deliver more with less, collaboration between different teams and departments is essential. We also find that, once individuals can see the advantage of collaboration to their work and performance, they buy into team and cross-team working. We also find that learning impact improves as individuals work together to solve real business problems. Impact is the No.1 measure desired by CEO’s. For those HR/L&D teams looking to enhance their ROI, this is a key area which can have a drastic impact.

Typically, employers evaluate people based on their ability to perform in the future. Performance Consulting ensures we focus on the root cause of an issue. So, this is not about leadership/management development per se but looking at the underpinning key issues and working towards delivering real business benefits and solutions. We find that action learning, peer-to-peer coaching and team coaching now support a great majority of our leadership and development interventions. Thus putting the learning into immediate practice and seeing an improvement in performance, whilst creating that demonstrable ROI.

Finally, creating a balance between the external talent pool and internal talent is imperative. The challenge is managing the expectations of internal and external talent who evolve quickly and expectations are high. We need to deliver modern learning experiences to retain and attract the right people to our organisation. However, Managers also need to encourage their teams to take control of managing their own careers and understand that development doesn’t just come to employees – they have the opportunity to seek it out. Different attitudes to work, especially amongst multi-generational workforces (particularly millennials), means that there is a great need for being in the ‘here and now’; such as immediate feedback. Transparency also appears on the wish list of the younger workforce; for example, we are aware of one organisation, which records every single internal meeting, which is then put onto the intranet to make it available to everyone!

What is your view? Where will your focus be for the next year? Please drop us a line here to let us know.

If you would like to read more about our forthcoming Leadership Forum, please click here:

* References:
HR Trend Institute

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