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ATD Blog

How Healthy Is Your Talent Development?

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Optimizing organizational health is essential for staying ahead. But to fortify your strategies, it’s critical to have a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape. Enter the Cornerstone Global Talent Health Index (THI)—a compass to discovering where your talent strategy stands today. Cornerstone gathered answers via an online survey of more than 700 talented business leaders and more than 1,400 employees across North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific in 2023.

THI defines the essential components of a complete talent program and reveals how to overcome your most pressing talent challenges.

To reach the peak of the THI, your organization must concentrate on three fundamental principles: culture and technology, skill development, and learning and development. Let’s talk about why each of these matter so much.

Culture and Technology

In the contemporary workplace, culture and technology are intricately connected. High-performing organizations (HPOs) cultivate a culture that wholeheartedly embraces innovation. This involves staying abreast of the latest technologies or devising proprietary tools to continuously enhance the employee experience, making it more seamless and efficient. The commitment to fostering an inclusive, diverse, and rewarding environment for every team member is equally important.


Skill Development

A skills-based organization (SBO) is characterized by its emphasis on the development and application of employee skills as a primary driver of success. In an SBO, employees are not confined by traditional job titles or roles; instead, their skills and competencies define their contributions.

This approach encourages employees to continually acquire new skills, take on fresh challenges, and receive recognition for their contributions, irrespective of their organizational position. The organization’s success hinges on the skills within its workforce. By prioritizing training, upskilling, and reskilling initiatives, the collective self-improvement of employees becomes a shared benefit for the entire organization. HPOs consistently make deliberate efforts to enhance employee performance, ensuring sustained agility and increased dynamism over time.


Learning and Development

Recognizing that learning is a continuous journey, HPOs invest in learning and development programs to empower their employees, understanding that everyone benefits. Just as a basketball team needs training to excel in the season, organizations must prioritize developing their teams to achieve peak performance. HPOs recognize that learning is not just about acquiring new skills; it is also about creating a culture of continuous learning and improvement. They encourage employees to take ownership of their learning and development, and they provide them with the resources and support they need to succeed.

While the concept of talent health may seem abstract, I’ve spent more than two decades learning how to make it quantifiable. The THI is the result of my experience and provides a measurable framework for assessing the maturity of talent health across organizations just like yours. It does this by accounting for key dimensions like culture and technology, skill development, and other forms of L&D. When you hit all the right chords, you’re well on your way to becoming a high-performing organization.

To learn more about the findings from the latest Talent Health Index, join me at ATD 2024 International Conference & EXPO. During the session, Reimagining Talent Success Through 7 Holistic Dimensions, we will review the seven critical dimensions that encompass a healthy talent program and how to diagnose the health of your organization’s talent program.

About the Author

Mike is an accomplished executive with 25 years of experience. He has rich business and human capital management (HCM)  domain skills, including talent strategy, strategic workforce planning, communication, team building, business case development, and leadership. Prior to Cornerstone, Mike worked at Oracle for five years—including on the development of the HCM Value Consulting content, value analysis tools, and the management of a national value consulting practice—before joining the Oracle HR transformation thought leadership team. He also worked at SAP for seven years in its HCM Center of Excellence. Mike has been formally trained and certified in a number of disciplines, including human capital strategy, strategic workforce planning, value engineering, and business process transformation.

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