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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, February 03, 2019 1:00 am

Survey: Emerging talent not being developed

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Emerging talents.

They have less than five years of full-time work experience, but oh, so much potential.

Unfortunately, many leaders are failing these folks.

A new study by ATD Research found that organizations face challenges in developing what it calls emerging talent, a demographic that comprises at least 50 percent of the workforce for 1 of 5 participants in the study.

Career development and addressing skill gaps are among the biggest challenges employers face, ATD said in a January news release.

“This challenge is significant because developing emerging talent has valuable benefits, including improved retention, increased engagement and morale, and increased overall organizational performance,” the release said. “Other benefits include building more robust pipelines for leadership roles and an improved ability to attract top emerging talent. Failing to develop this group has potentially troublesome consequences.”

We've been warned.

The Association for Talent Development, or ATD, calls itself the world's largest professional membership organization for those who develop employees, improve performance and help organizations achieve results. The Alexandria, Virginia, group has members from more than 120 countries.

The study included 215 participants from organizations of various size, a spokesman said Friday through email. The online survey was conducted between August and September last year and the study included interviews with “subject matter experts.”

The release said just 12 percent of respondents indicated their organization provides effective career development for emerging talent.

Leading career development opportunities include on-the-job learning (74 percent), mentoring or coaching (70 percent), and regular performance or development feedback (69 percent), the association said.

The biggest skill gaps include future leader development, managerial and supervisory skills, process improvement and critical thinking.

Emerging talent is more likely to both use just-in-time learning and embrace emerging technologies (60 percent), the association said. Members of this group often access learning through mobile devices (59 percent) and use workplace social media or collaboration tools such as Slack or Yammer (58 percent).

The association offers some simple recommendations to improve the work environment for young talent, including having direct talks and involving mentors. Employers should also consider how to best deliver information to this demographic and avoid “always lumping together or separating out emerging talent.”

The organization is scheduled to have a webcast on best practices and other recommendations for emerging talent this Thursday.

For more information, go to

Super slacking

Here we go again: Super Bowl Sunday. Next up: Absentee Monday.

In a new OfficeTeam survey, 54 percent of professionals said they know someone who's called in sick or made an excuse for skipping work after a big game.

That's up from 41 percent in 2016.

And bosses don't like it. Senior managers – 42 percent – identified playing hooky the day after as the most distracting or annoying employee behavior when it comes to sports. Spending too much time talking sports was considered annoying by 18 percent.

Among individuals in 28 U.S. cities surveyed, senior managers in Cleveland (56 percent), Denver (52 percent) and Chicago (51 percent) were most annoyed by staff missing work the day after a big game.

Professionals ages 18 to 34 (65 percent) most often said they know someone who's played hooky following a major sports event, compared to those ages 35 to 54 (52 percent) and 55 and older (36 percent).

The online surveys were developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments and more than 2,800 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees.

The OfficeTeam staffing firm is part of Robert Half International.

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears online as a blog at