Learning is at the core of talent management

This week, we'll be covering our newest research on the learning management buyer. You can download the full report for free here.

During the rise of talent management technology over the past 20 years, learning has taken a back seat to performance management. Of course, the shortcomings of performance management are well documented, and the death of the performance appraisal has been predicted enthusiastically for the past decade.

The Jack Welch “up-or-out” method of talent management drove the development of talent management platforms that did one task well: identify who should be promoted and who should be fired. However, it did nothing to engage or inspire people.

If performance management drove much of the past growth in talent management technology, it’s time to acknowledge the passing of the baton to learning and development. Look no further than GE — Jack Welch’s old company — to see how development has become entwined with performance.

“Managers are expected to dedicate time to prepare for a detailed discussion of a direct report’s performance and values, strengths, development needs, and development plans,” said Raghu Krishnamoorthy, GE’s vice president of executive development and chief learning officer.

Learning and development are becoming the foundational, common elements of all talent management in many ways.  

  • Performance management is driven by what people know and how they are enabled to succeed.
  • Succession and career development is about empowering employees to explore their own desires and knowledge shortcomings in the context of an organization’s future needs.
  • Recruiting is guided by what your organization knows already and where it could use expertise that will keep the ball moving forward.
  • Analytics runs all of it behind the scenes and can’t be possible without an organization understanding what it knows and how it can get better.

Want to learn how learning is transforming the talent management stack? Download "The Enterprise Learning Buyer, 2014" to learn what technology vendors need to know about this rapidly shifting market.