This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

June 23, 1999

Workers Want Growth

192 days until January 1, 2000

Today's workers are hungry for knowledge to build their career potential. As they assume responsibility for their own career management, people are more driven to continually upgrade skills, knowledge, and capacity. Whether they stay with one employer or jump from one to another, workers want to maintain and strengthen their marketability.

An increasing number of workers, particularly young people and information technology workers, are choosing employers based largely on growth and development opportunities. A survey at the April 1999 American Management Association Human Resources Conference revealed that a significant majority of companies see training as vitally important in recruiting and retaining top talent.

Where will people find growth opportunities: seminars, workshops, conferences, computer based training, mentoring, stretching experiences? Most will be acquired through employment. Employers are getting the message, strengthening their training functions. Attendance at the May 1999 conference of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) was evidence of renewed corporate interest.

Other sources for personal and professional growth include colleges and universities^×for both credit and non-credit courses. Additional learning opportunities will be sponsored by trade and professional organizations. More educational vehicles will be available through the internet, satellite, and videoconferencing. Distance learning is on the threshold of an explosion, making even more knowledge available to people who ordinarily would not have such full access.

Where's the money? Who will fund seminars, workshops, executive briefings, and classes--inside and outside the corporate environment? First, the traditional approach of corporate-sponsored and -paid, in-house training will continue... and will probably expand significantly. Second, people will seek self-funded learning--at colleges, universities, conferences, and special seminars. Third, outside learning experiences will be paid by employers on a sponsorship or reimbursement basis.

More people will look to employers to pay for their growth. Savvy employers, recognizing the importance of growth, will use training and other growth opportunities as a recruiting tool, for leverage, and to differentiate themselves from companies less sensitive to worker demands. Increasingly, workers will stay with their employers because of ongoing learning opportunities and educational benefits.

Research Invitation: As part of research we're conducting with ASTD, we're seeking companies that link training and development to recruiting and retention. If your company does this, please contact Roger Herman at

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