The Role of L&D in Today’s Talent Strategies

Talent development and retention rightfully sits at one of the top priorities of organizations. After all, it is the people which lead an organization forward. And not all the people; it is the top 20% of the workforce that generates 80% of the business- what we commonly know as the 80:20 rule or the Pareto principle. True, there is unemployment by and large; but the paradox is, there is also a huge demand for skilled workforce. This implies that though people are surplus, skilled people aren’t, which is the reason for organizations trying to attract and retain the best talent that they can get.

The Role of L&D in Today's Talent Strategies

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This led us to a quest, to try and find out what the latest talent strategies are. And the findings were not very different from what we expected. Reid Hoffmann,¬†cofounder and the executive chairman of LinkedIn and a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock, says about what he calls the “Tours of Duty”, that inspite of organizations hiring employees for a long term perspective, the current trend is to hire suitable talent for short-term, specific roles and projects. The ushering in of the Information Age supported by big data has crunched organizations into either being agile or losing out. Businesses are responding by quickly hiring the best people, who are motivated, flexible and willing to take risks along their career paths. This has created a new sort of employer-employee relationship that places ‘performance’ at the centre. And it’s mutual- organizations that give the best opportunities are favourite with the best talent, and vice versa.

The Global Human Capital Trends Report by the Deloitte University Press in its comprehensive report on Engaging the 21st Century Workforce identifies 12 key trends shaping the human capital agenda in the coming years. One of the trends as they call it is- Corporate Learning Redefined, which looks at how traditional learning methods are being replaced by the “flipped classroom” which is essentially a blend of instructor-led, online, mobile and game-based learning structured in social learning formats to build motivation and competitiveness. The top organizations have shifted from “push” learning systems where training had to be pushed to employees, to “pull” learning wherein employees are self-motivated to learn anytime and anywhere.

In fact, the rate-of-learning is playing a deciding factor when it comes to choosing jobs. Come to think of it- would you like to take a role that pays decently but doesn’t really add value to your personality? You go to office, do your duties from 9 to 5, switching between same or similar tasks and come back; and it goes on. Or something which pays you a little lesser, but offers a wonderful environment of learning and building your personal capabilities which ultimately makes you more confident and skilled to steer your career the way you want it? The learning environment naturally makes you more competitive, more aware- thus polishing the best out of you. Obviously then, the immediate (lesser) pay takes a slight backseat because of endless opportunities that lie in the future.

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