Supervisory, Leadership, Diversity Training to Rise

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Both spending and staff time will be boosted in 2008 for supervisory, leadership and diversity training, according to an annual survey of more than 2,500 senior HR executives by Novations Group, a global consulting organization based in Boston.

Supervisory/management skills and leadership/executive development headed the list of 15 kinds of content, followed by diversity/inclusion training.

Supervisory and leadership content topped the list a year ago as well, but this year diversity/inclusion jumped seven points, the largest increase anticipated in the survey.

“Training & development budgets shouldn’t and don’t change dramatically from year to year,” said Novations CEO and President Mike Hyter. “To the degree that training is regarded by senior management as a fundamental strategic tool and the planning is based on business objectives, priorities may shift modestly but are generally consistent over time. Nevertheless, we see greater emphasis on building management bench strength as baby boomers begin to retire.”

The anticipated hike in diversity and inclusion budgets comes as no surprise to Hyter. “Diversity content today has less to do with addressing past grievances than with giving middle-level people greater opportunities for growth. In effect, D&I is increasingly an extension of mainstream supervisory and executive development programs.”

Hyter expects more employers to build alliances with training organizations in order to leverage resources more effectively. “Outside trainers will be asked to develop specific competencies, while basic needs will be met by in-house staff.”

Generational issues will also draw greater attention as employers address the gap between baby boomers and their replacements, said Hyter. “Succession planning will rise to the top of the T&D agenda. And organizations will expand talent management efforts that look at an employee’s entire life cycle in an integrated way.”

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