Who, Exactly, Is Responsible for Employee Development?

In a recent issue of Chief Learning Officer Magazine, Mike Prokopeak reported on a recent poll by Lee Hecht Harrison.

An overwhelming 91 percent of workers said that job training and career development were among their top priorities…Six percent called it a “duty.” Just 3 percent said it is a hindrance.

The polling agency sees this as a shift – traditionally responses indicated that training was a hindrance to busy people getting their work done.

Kristen Leverone, SVP and Global Development Practice leader at Lee Hecht Harrison, suggests that a large number of employees are not getting the development they need, and that perhaps part of that issue is due to over-reliance on managers to manage the development of their direct reports.

I don’t know about you, but I see this phenomenon in the organizations I work with. Heck, in many places manager spots are vacant, with other managers sort of covering the responsibilities of a departed one. In this situation, the only thing that happens is the putting out of day-to-day fires. Identification of talent and setting up employees with optimal training opportunities is so far on the back burner that it might as well be off the stove.

Where there is a wider organizational commitment to development and training, and the systems to support it, this is less of a problem. Where the worker can see what training is required for the levels s/he aspires to, it’s possible for him/her to take the initiative in seeking out that training.

Who is accountable for talent management at your organization?  Are employees empowered to do some of it on their own initiative?