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TD Executives Increase Confidence, Focus on Developing Managers
CTDO Magazine

TD Executives Increase Confidence, Focus on Developing Managers

Friday, June 15, 2018

Senior leaders today are considerably more confident about the outlook for talent development than they were at the end of 2017. The Talent Development Executive Confidence Index (TDXCI) is a quarterly assessment of talent development executives' short-term expectations for the health of the talent development function in organizations. The TDXCI for Q1 2018 read 64.8, which is 5.8 points above the Q4 2017 score of 59.0. The Q1 2018 TDXCI score also was 3.7 points higher than the average score of 61.1 seen across all 2017 quarters.

The TDXCI is measured on a 100-point scale, in which a higher index score reflects a more optimistic outlook. It 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:


  • the ability to meet talent development needs
  • the impact on corporate performance
  • the perception of the value of the talent development function
  • the availability of resources.
    Scores for all four key indicators were up from the previous quarter. In particular, a large increase was seen in the indicator for the impact on corporate performance, suggesting that more talent development leaders are confident that talent development programs are aligned with corporate performance goals.

    The Q1 2018 TDXCI also asked the 186 participating talent development executives how they felt spending on specific categories of learning programs would change in the next six months. Developing leaders at all levels is clearly a priority, with 40 percent expecting a growth in spending on programs to develop frontline leaders (or first-line managers). Another 54 percent expected spending on frontline leader development to hold steady, and only 6 percent expected spending to fall.

    It's wise for organizations to invest in managerial training. Gallup estimates that managers account for 70 percent of variance in employee engagement. Commitment to leadership development at the senior-leader level also remained strong, with 33 percent of TDXCI participants expecting an increase in spending on executive development programs, and another 61 percent expecting it to remain the same (only 6 percent predicted a drop).


    The TDXCI also tracks trends in emerging tools, technologies, and strategies. According to participants, microlearning, interactive video, virtual classrooms, and mobile technology for learning will be major influencers on talent development in the upcoming months. Technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, wearables, artificial intelligence, and robotics are still very new and not in use for talent development at most organizations, but they hold great promise and are of interest to many industry executives.

    Read more from CTDO magazine: Essential talent development content for C-suite leaders.

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