December 2020
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Put Employees in the Driver's Seat
TD Magazine

Put Employees in the Driver's Seat

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Talent development is no longer about owning others' career development but instead about enabling individuals to take charge.

This year has been a time of great change, upheaval, and uncertainty for organizations and their workforces. But with that comes the possibility, once the pandemic is over, to build more sustainable and resilient processes and approaches to developing and managing people.


In a recent whitepaper, Finding Purpose, the HR and talent solutions consultancy SHL shares insights into how organizations must reinvent their talent management approaches and what that means for business leaders, HR, and talent development professionals.

According to SHL, we are now in an age of human revolution, with three driving factors:

  • Artificial intelligence and automation have transitioned many jobs—from manufacturing to services—with an accompanying shift from technical skills to interpersonal skills.
  • Organizations feel the pressing need to constantly evolve to prevent disruption.
  • People are living and working longer and need to seek out lifelong learning to remain relevant.

With many people fearing their jobs will no longer exist or worrying about how their skills will translate in the future, the need to continuously develop, reskill, or upskill is top of mind. So while companies must maximize employee productivity and efficiency, they also need to offer opportunities for individuals to expand their personal and professional growth. That means HR and talent development professionals have dual roles: using training to prepare employees to meet business needs and enabling employees to drive their career development.


SHL points out that this approach requires those in people development to have a new mindset. No longer do they own career development opportunities; they instead need to relinquish control, empower everyone in the organization to take charge of it themselves, and offer support and nudges when needed. They should use data and analytics to gain insights into the people they serve and to improve the types of career experiences available. To ensure this new ecosystem for talent management, HR and talent development professionals can assist business leaders in building inclusive learning cultures and individuals in taking ownership for self-directing and curating their career development.

By working in tandem, business leaders, people development professionals, and employees can nurture personal evolution and propel business transformation.

About the Author

I'm a developmental editor at ATD Press, working primarily with books. I joined the ATD team in December 2014. I review manuscripts and team up with authors to produce well-written and well-developed books. Before ATD, I worked as a jack-of-all-trades editor for a small editing and design firm in DC. with a focus on economic and development reports. I have a master's in publishing from George Washington University.

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