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July 2017
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TD Magazine
Measurement/Evaluation Is the Top Skill Needed by L&D Pros

Whether you're a new talent development professional or have years of experience in the field, it's always important to keep your skills fresh. That's why it might be a good idea to check out Modernizing Learning and Development to Enable the Workforce of the Future, a 2017 report from Human Capital Institute (HCI) that surveyed more than 200 learning professionals about the skills they think need to improve across the industry.

The most-cited area for improvement, identified by 63 percent of respondents, was qualitative measurement and evaluation skills. That response should surprise no one: As recently as 2016, ATD Research found that 53 percent of talent development functions find it somewhat or very difficult to attract employees with the necessary skills to conduct evaluations of learning programs, and discussions about how to demonstrate the business value of learning have raged on for years.

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The next most-needed abilities were a deeper understanding of business strategies and iterative and collaborative instructional design skills, cited by 46 percent and 44 percent of respondents, respectively. Influencing skills and stronger business relationships for content knowledge rounded out the top five, cited by 42 percent of respondents each.

What are talent development professionals doing to hone those capabilities?

According to the HCI report, the most common method of adding new skills is to attend certificate programs within the L&D or HR fields. Nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) of the survey's respondents had attended at least one of these programs within the past two years, with nearly 20 percent attending four or more.

About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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