Future Friday: Training will be critical in the next decade

Training in technology and leadership will be critical to success in the coming decade.
Training in technology and leadership will be critical to success in the coming decade.

According to a study conducted by Oxford Economics for SAP on SuccessFactor clients the future for many companies shows them to be unprepared in a number of different areas regarding people, talent, and HR. One area in which these companies reported being behind the curve, from both the executive view and the employee view was in training. That will be a major stumbling block for future success.

The study

The study, Workforce 2020, was focused on the European, Middle Eastern and Asian companies. They found these companies “…lack the structure, strategy, culture, solutions and resources to manage employees effectively.” I sincerely doubt that a survey of American companies would have been different.


One are in particular that was suffering was in training. Companies are deficient in two areas in particular, technology training and leadership training. The study showed that “The need for technology skills will grow over the next three years, especially in analytics and programming/development. 48% say analytics skills will be needed by employees in three years, and 59% say programming/development skills will be needed.” Yet little is being done to provide this technical training despite that the workplace is becoming ever more technological. And it is not due to the millennial generation not being interested. They are very interested and are in fear of becoming obsolete because they don’t get training. Yet training remains in short supply and company executives don’t address the issue. Despite wanting trained employees companies are not doing much to provide the training necessary to make employees successful.

Leadership training

Two weeks ago I addressed The Impending Leadership Cliff. Companies, despite this very foreseeable disaster, do little to prepare people. In the survey only 41% of employees surveyed said “their company offers them opportunities to expand their skill sets.” Millennials, in particular, are dissatisfied with options for development and a clear career path. Employees in general feel their company executives are not prepared to lead the company in the future. According to the survey “Ratings across a range of leadership attributes are middling at best.”

What will it take?

Despite surveys like this one, and executives own admission that having talented employees is critical to their success, less than half do anything about it. We are not going to be able to rely on technology doing all the work. There is still “human” work that will have to be done, but it is going to require skill levels and decision making abilities that our employee base does not have. Companies are going to have to step up and start producing training for employees otherwise these companies will go through a crisis of leadership and lack of talent that may prove to be disastrous.

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