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SumTotal Releases Latest State of the Industry Report on the Modern Workforce

Joint research with Fosway Group reveals less than half of organisations are confident their approach is the right one for the modern workforce

London, United Kingdom – May 25th – SumTotal, the leading provider of talent management solutions, has announced the release of their Transforming Talent in the Modern Workforce research. The research was conducted in partnership with Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR and learning analyst, including a survey of SumTotal customers from the EMEA region, supplemented with in-depth interviews with Directors, Heads of Department, and Managers.

Changes in the world of work, evolving employee expectations and advances in technology are creating a perfect storm that is transforming the modern workforce and the modern workplace. Pitched against a backdrop of growing skills gaps, the pressure on organisations to rethink their talent approach – and systems – is intense. This research shows that the majority of organisations are not ready to tackle these challenges, with only 44% confident that their talent management strategy is ready for the modern workforce.

„What we have found with this research is that many organisations are not only unprepared, but worried about their ability to meet the expectations of the modern workforce,“ said Larry Neal, CEO, The Skillsoft Group. „In not having a clear strategy for their talent management, many organisations are risking losing out to more agile, innovative and proactive competitors. This research highlights the challenges that most organisations are facing, but also demonstrates the ways in which they can overcome them as well.“

„Focusing on millennials and technology disruption can detract from addressing other major workforce trends“ commented David Wilson, CEO of Fosway Group. „The workforce is aging and becoming more diverse, virtual and freelance working are on the rise, and skills gaps continue to grow. Employees with the right skills are in high demand so there is huge pressure on organisations to deliver a strong employee proposition. This research reveals real answers for how HR and learning can attract, retain and develop the talent required to help their organisations succeed.“

Key Findings Include:

Workplace culture is holding organisations back

  • Only 44% believe their talent management approach is ready for the modern workforce.
  • In only 16% of cases is organisational culture not a barrier to when looking to improve talent management processes.
  • 86% find managers‘ skills and attitudes an issue when meeting the expectations of the modern workforce.
  • 88% find other priorities and time an issue when tackling change in the workplace.

The structure of the modern workforce is changing all the time

  • 33% of employees work in flatter organisational structures.
  • 42% of employees work where their skills are in demand rather than because of company loyalty.
  • 27% of employees are contingent workers rather than permanent members of the payroll.

Confidence in talent is precarious at best

  • In the most vulnerable areas of digital, soft skills, leadership and management skills, less than 15% of respondents think they have all the skills they need to succeed today, never mind tomorrow.
  • Around 67% of our survey respondents say that workers now need to learn – and get up to speed – more quickly.

Digital is everywhere

  • 44% report that employees are working more often using a mobile device as their primary tool.
  • 55% report that collaboration and social media tools are key to working in their organisations.
  • 68% see the more and more impact of virtual technology on their workforce.

The research paper can be downloaded here.

About SumTotal Systems
SumTotal Systems, LLC, a Skillsoft Company, is the world’s only unified Human Capital Management Solution. SumTotal’s award-winning Talent Management Suite enables companies to attract, know, mobilize, develop, progress and reward their workforce. SumTotal is continuously innovating to best meet the market challenges of attracting, retaining, developing and engaging the multi-generational workforce. The Talent Expansion Suite includes three key components – Talent, Learn and Work.

About Fosway Group
At Fosway Group we understand that developing and engaging people is how complex global organisations deliver performance and achieve success. Just as every employee’s talent journey is unique, so is every organisation’s people strategy. Fosway Group’s analyst and advisory services deliver the insights your organisation needs to achieve results and eliminate risk. We know that every aspect of next generation HR and talent are more intertwined than ever. When you work with us, you accelerate your insight and make better decisions. We’re Europe’s #1 independent HR analyst, and just like the Roman road we draw our name from, you’ll find that we’re unusually direct. We don’t have a vested interest in your technology or consulting choices. You can depend on us to tell you what you need to know to succeed. Example clients include: Alstom, Aviva, Boots UK, BP, BT, Centrica, Deutsche Bank, Faurecia, HSBC, International SOS, Lloyds Banking Group, Novartis, PwC, Rolls-Royce, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sanofi, Shell, Swiss Re, Telefonica, Thomson Reuters, Toyota Europe, and Vodafone.


Edward Armstrong
Senior Client Manager
+44 20 8811 2157

Harriet Vivian
Marketing Communications, EMEA
+44 1276 401977