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Seven Trends to Influence Training in 2013

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The training and development sector will be shaped by some current trends in the year ahead, according to AMA Enterprise, a division of American Management Association.

"Employees today know more about T&D’s role in their careers and are savvier about tapping into opportunities from their companies and also external sources," said Sandi Edwards, Senior Vice President for AMA Enterprise, which provides organizations with assessment, measurement and tailored learning solutions. "Add to that growing scrutiny from senior management, tighter budgets and the relentless impact of globalization and we have a set of trends that every training professional must anticipate and adapt to."

The seven trends identified by AMA Enterprise are:

1. Training executives pressed to be transparent. Organizations need to become more open about their policies and practices, and the T&D function is no exception. This means greater openness about performance review criteria, changes in corporate strategy, career advancement opportunities, high potential program selection and even management succession.

2. Coaching to draw greater scrutiny. Coaching will continue to be a key tool in executive and leadership development, but there will be fewer blank checks as organizations expect to see clear success criteria as part of any engagement to get real return on this type of development investments.

3. Demand for training in the basics to reemerge. Because of the recession and budget constraints classic programs devoted to developing basic skills often took a back seat to highly-focused training modules designed to meet specific short-term needs or pressing business challenges. Expect to see a renewed demand to build communications skills, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity, all of which are needed to improve employee productivity.

4. Globalization to shape more leadership programs. While some organizations have long had a global dimension in their leadership development initiatives, most companies find they must play catch up, or lose ground in an increasingly integrated and competitive global marketplace.

5. Companies turn to training to build employee loyalty. With organizations facing more employee restlessness and turnover, senior management will turn to HR and T&D to build closer relationships with high-performing workers and to use development as a means to improve retention and engagement.

6. Workers more assertive about high potential programs. Where once the process of selecting candidates for high potential programs was discreet and low key, today it has become more open and ambitious individuals enthusiastically volunteer for any kind of leadership development offering.

7. Learning goes mobile. Blended learning approaches that integrate the best of Web 2.0 learning programs and social media –—accessible via both web and mobile devices—will make development opportunities highly flexible for the end user.

Change is nothing new to training and development, observed Edwards. "But some change is evident and other change less obvious. Development professionals must stay prepared and be able to respond to change in all its forms."

With more than 85 years’ experience and headquartered in New York, American Management Association is a global leader of comprehensive talent development. AMA Enterprise, a specialized division of AMA dedicated to building corporate and government solutions, transforms enterprisewide talent to fuel a culture of innovation, high performance and optimal business results.