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7 Trends to Expect for Talent and Learning in 2019

7 Trends to Expect for Talent and Learning in 2019

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time to start looking forward to the new year and decide what HR and L&D professionals need to prioritize for 2019.

  1. Business sustainability

Business sustainability is the primary driver for the prioritization of talent management. Without a clear strategy today, companies will fall behind, and many will become unsustainable in the long term. Look no further than the collapse of Sears or the Dow Jones Industrial Average where 30% of companies listed fifteen years ago are replaced by companies embracing technology and innovation to drive business sustainability and growth.

  1. It’s all about people

People development will be the single most important priority for CEOs in 2019 and beyond. Amidst rapid transformations due to the pace of technology advances, innovation and automation along with a massive generational change in the market, talent development is pivotal for long-term success and an absolute business imperative. Organizations that fail to engage, upskill and encourage innovation in their workforce will undoubtedly fall behind, losing both talent and market share.

  1. Culture will eat strategy’s lunch

Companies are learning that culture is everything. It is harder than ever to attract and hire top talent with U.S. unemployment at 3.7%, a historic low, and a rate some would consider full employment. In 2019, investing in workplace culture to address engagement and turnover will be a growing priority as companies strive to become a place people love to work.

  1. The importance of the employer brand

Ninety percent of CHROs say that the competition for critical talent will increase over the next 12 months. Companies will look to create a captivating and authentic employment brand with a strong focus on attracting top talent. Companies are going to feel more pressured by their employees to respond to political and cultural events or movements.  Leadership will have to consider how to deal with #metoo or events like the Google walk-out as employees are looking deeper into the values and purpose of here they work.  Such maneuvers will be difficult as they also must to steer clear of alienating segments of their customer base.

  1. No more annual review (phew)

Companies will ditch the yearly review and move toward continuous or monthly feedback programs that create tighter manager/employee alignment and better communication. By providing in-the-moment coaching, companies create a strengths-based culture resulting in higher quality work and employees who are more engaged and stay longer. Mentoring will continue to grow. Wellness and rewards will emerge as significant areas of focus and mentoring will increase as a way to manage people further.

  1. LMS 2.0 -Technology will support talent

Finding and matching talent to the ever-changing needs of the modern, agile business is fueling new applications of the LMS causing a resurgence of this category that will gain traction in the future. This “new” LMS must be equipped to address:

  • The steady growth of regulatory or mandatory compliance in emerging and established industries
  • An increase of services-based economies combined with changes in technology forcing organizations to build can continuously refresh talent supply chain
  • The growing demands to efficiently train a flexible workforce to reach rapid productivity
  • The competition for specialized talent requiring organizations to continually engage employees to attract, retain, and develop the best talent
  • Mobile is no longer optional. More daily interaction of talent, HR and employment functions need to be first as an option. Along with this, a rise in the move to suites of fully integrated –consumer looking technology to support not only the employee needs but provide HR actionable data not previously available.
  1. Development (L&D) is now dealing with “adulting” themes

HR is getting pulled into the arena of developing skills beyond the job. New hires (Millennials) are not coming equipped with the ability to run a meeting, have interpersonal discussions, deal with conflict or quickly adapt to changing environments.


What other topics do you see as a priority for HR and L&D professionals in 2019? Post your suggestions below and let’s get a conversation started.

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