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Talent Development Executives Less Confident about the Health of the Industry
Thursday, April 28, 2016
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ATD’s Talent Development Executive Confidence Index (TDXCI) for the first quarter of 2016 reveals that industry leaders are more pessimistic about the outlook for talent development than they were at the end of 2015. The TDXCI provides a quarterly check on the health of organizational talent development functions across a broad range of industries. 

Until the most recent survey, the index was known as the Learning Executive Confidence Index (LXCI). The report’s name changed with the Q1 2016 survey to reflect ATD’s name change and to recognize the expanded impact that the industry’s leaders have on their organizations. 

Indeed, the role of today’s talent development executives is to oversee functions that build the knowledge, skills, and abilities of workers to achieve organizational success. Although the executives participating in this survey may have such varied titles as chief talent development officer, chief learning officer, or director of learning and development, these individuals are all leaders in the talent development field. 

A Drop in Overall Confidence 

Talent development executives are less optimistic about the health of the function that they oversee—the TDXCI score fell to 60.9, compared with last quarter’s score of 64.3 and the Q3 2015 score of 68.0. The score is reported on a 100-point scale, where a higher score indicates greater optimism. 

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The TDXCI is a composite score that takes into account four key indicators for how talent development executives believe the talent development function will change during the next six months: 

  • ability to meet talent development needs
  • impact on corporate performance
  • perception of the value of the talent development function
  • availability of resources. 

Most Executives Think Funding for Talent Development Will Remain Flat 

Anticipated funding for talent development directly affects the TDXCI. In addition to asking about the four key indicators, the survey also asked participants how they thought their workplace’s funding for talent development would change during the next six months. The survey found that 23 percent expect to see an increase in funding during the next six months, which is 12 points lower than last quarter’s 35 percent. 

However, the percentage expecting funding to decrease is 22 percent, which is very close to the 21 percent seen last quarter. Indeed, the decline in the percentage expecting in an increase is almost entirely explained by the increase in the percentage who expect funding to stay the same, increasing from 44 percent last quarter to 55 percent this quarter. 

Learn More and Get the Full Report for Free 

Learn more about the TDXCI and download the latest report and past LXCI reports at www.td.org/tdxci. The full report provides an overview of the TDXCI methodology, takes a closer look at the four key indicators, and explains changes in economic indicators such as unemployment and gross domestic product (GDP) and how these shifts are related to movements in the TDXCI

About the Author
Maria Ho is the research manager for the Association for Talent Development. She authors research reports and other research products, analyzes data, and develops research plans and quantitative models. She also promotes and presents ATD’s research by blogging, posting on social media, and giving presentations. Maria is especially interested in performance measurement and evaluation and the impact of new technologies on training.

Prior to joining ATD, Maria was a public policy researcher, data analyst, and writer at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.  

Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and a master’s degree in economics from Johns Hopkins University.
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