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Developing the Next Generation

An employee’s ability to learn on the job while simultaneously being selected measured and developed as a future leader can be a headache for businesses. Every company claims it plans for the future, but the reality is that the expertise and leadership that drives it usually slip away with the best intentions of having learning and development as well as the succession plan in place. The real-world nightmare is losing key leaders across an organization. Those who can leave, will. Some of that can’t be prevented; some people want to move on regardless, and some people are just leaving the workforce. According to Bersin by Deloitte’s Predictions for 2014, leadership will be a big challenge in 2014. “Executives are struggling with leadership gaps at all levels — from first-line supervision through top leadership (more than 60 percent of all companies cite ‘leadership gaps’ as their top business challenge). This year, baby boomers will begin to retire in large volumes; one oil company told me that they expect to lose 30 percent of their workforce in the next three years.” This is echoed by Sue Ashford and Scott DeRue, leadership writers at the Harvard Business Review’s blog, “Nearly 60 percent of companies face leadership talent shortages that impede performance. Even with unemployment rates as high as they are globally, that’s staggering to consider.” That, despite the fact that U.S. companies spent upward of $13.6 billion on leadership development in 2012, according to research by Bersin by Deloitte. What’s clear is that when it comes to developing future leaders, too many organizations are simply going through the motions or worse yet, doing nothing at all.
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