Global-Talent Challenges Growing, Changing
By Kristen B. Frasch
Today's rapidly changing global marketplace is intensifying the challenges multinational employers face in trying to execute effective learning and development programs.
So says a joint report by the Institute for Corporate Productivity and the American Society for Training and Development titled The Global Workplace: Learning Beyond Borders. It reflects two studies of 637 worldwide employers in 2008 and 2012. Although the number of respondents indicating their global learning initiatives were successful went up (29 percent in 2008 to this year's 32 percent), all cited challenges that remain.
Cultural intelligence, for instance, "is a highly nuanced and critical competency," it states, "yet some respondents to the 2012 study reported that they believe their corporate leadership [sometimes doesn't understand] the stakeholders in various countries."
Among the top challenges cited as hindering global-learning programs were budgetary constraints and insufficient staff (with 83 percent, respectively, saying it was a problem to very high, high or moderate extent), followed by travel, at 68 percent.
Ravin Jesuthasan, Chicago-based global-talent-management-practice leader for Towers Watson, says he's not surprised by the indication that global training has a long way to go to become fully efficient. The good news, he adds, is that organizations are "being much more careful and thoughtful about what their emerging skills are that they will need ... ."
Many are also teetering between whether they should hire the costlier, position-ready talent or take on lesser-trained people who they can pay lower salaries to and train and develop more slowly into the job.
What does Jesuthasan see as the underpinnings of this "new deal," as he calls it?
The seismic and tectonic market shifts -- which are, in turn governing dramatically shifting global-talent pools and needs -- all speak to "why training is going to [eventually] come back with a vengeance," he says, "[because] as we have that much more volatility, the needs of employers will keep getting much more complex."