Corporate Training Continues to Fall Behind in Its Ability to Create Tangible Career Paths for Employees

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 9:00 AM EDT
  • Almost 85% of corporate training departments feel ill-equipped to create new career paths for employees, according to new Josh Bersin research
  • Only15% of L&D organizations are far outperforming their peers, indicating the need for illuminating pathways for how learning and upskilling can help employees grow while helping organizations build critical talent for their future needs
  • Advanced L&D teams, by contrast, are delivering a 260% increase in financial results and four-fold+ improvements in growth, innovation, and market leadership through smarter matching of strategic hiring challenges with existing employee ambitions

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Josh Bersin Company, a research and advisory company focused on HR and workforce strategies, has published poignant new market analysis suggesting that most Learning & Development (L&D) functions are behind the curve in providing tangible career paths for employees, despite major recruitment challenges in their organization.

The Josh Bersin Company (PRNewsfoto/The Josh Bersin Company)
The Josh Bersin Company (PRNewsfoto/The Josh Bersin Company)(PRNewswire)
L&D functions are behind the curve in providing tangible career paths for employees, despite recruitment challenges

Currently, the majority of corporate training functions feel they lack the integrated tools, and internal skills to effectively create skills taxonomies and career pathways to better align L&D directly with employees' career aspirations and emerging skills gaps across the business.

The research, published in a new global report The Definitive Guide to Learning: Growth in the Flow of Work, suggests that although corporate training has come a long way and is now more integrated within the business-as-usual, employees crave a more "stretching" experience in their working lives, and will go elsewhere if internal career growth paths aren't obvious. Such a move, the study adds, would also simultaneously help fill the gaps in more skilled roles organizations are struggling to fill right now.

The new Bersin report presents a rich, detailed exploration of the current L&D crisis and what leaders need to know to support organizational growth through learning in a fast-moving market. As things stand, a third of the workforce in developed markets leaves their employer each year, because they can't see a meaningful career path ahead of them if they stay.

Successful employers are applying new strategies that simultaneously address both scenarios, the study concludes, and corporate training has an important role to play in enabling targeted opportunity identification and aligned matchmaking and skills development in the flow of everyday work.

Key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • 4/5 organizations are currently lagging in most areas of L&D:
  • The most impactful L&D practice (from a list of 94) is "creating extensive career growth options"
  • The most important L&D capability today is experimenting and innovating with new L&D technologies and approaches
  • Leading L&D operations are delivering a 260% increase in financial results and four-fold+ improvements in growth, innovation, and market leadership
  • L&D technology has an important role to play in connecting employees with new growth opportunities internally

The new Bersin study includes analyses of employers that are already leveraging the power of learning to facilitate growth in the flow of work with a view to retaining more employees, and filling more specialized roles. Examples include Walmart, Bon Secours Mercy Health, and Rocket Central, which shine a light on what's possible:

  • Walmart has built career pathways in its Live Better U program to help store associates develop through employer-sponsored learning and certifications and move into positions critical to the future of their business such as project management, cybersecurity, etc.—helping individuals to grow, while building critical talent for its business needs
  • Bon Secours provided a route for laundry service employees who already interact with patients and nurses every day, to become Nurse Assistants, with the future option to become a nurse—fulfilling its parallel need to solve nursing shortages
  • Rocket Central has a team of "Thrive" coaches who identify people who would be good fit for different roles internally, counsels them, and points them to learning and resources to apply for and thrive in those new roles.
Josh Bersin, global HR research analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company, said:

"The shortages of talent that exist around the world today will only get worse in the future, and half of the battle is keeping existing employees engaged and interested. If workers can build skills that will amplify their career growth potential and find opportunities to apply those skills and grow their careers within your organization, they will be less likely to leave in search of those opportunities outside your organization."

Nehal Nangia, Senior Manager, Research L&D, The Josh Bersin Company, added:

"If they could just harness the latest digital enabling tools and play a more proactive role in matching employees' individual development and career needs with the strategic recruitment challenges of the business, L&D functions have a huge opportunity here."

The Definitive Guide to Learning: Growth in the Flow of Work from The Josh Bersin Company is a broad-based, global industry study that was conducted via:

  • Discussions as part of the firm's extensive "Big Reset" discussions
  • Excellence survey (1,000 respondents, globally)
  • Statistical and descriptive analysis
  • Exploratory, validation and case study interviews.

The full report is available to The Josh Bersin Company corporate members, here.

About The Josh Bersin Company

The Josh Bersin Company provides a wide range of research and advisory services, including a corporate membership program, to help HR leaders and professionals tackle the ever-evolving challenges and needs of today's workforce. The firm's research team covers all topics in HR, talent, and L&D, including diversity, equity, and inclusion; employee experience; remote and hybrid work; wellbeing; HR strategy and capabilities; learning and career mobility; HR technology; organization design and development; and talent acquisition and mobility. With the Global Workforce Intelligence (GWI) Project, The Josh Bersin Company also serves to expand its support of market-leading businesses by helping them navigate the challenges of industry convergence while remaining future-focused.

Under the company's umbrella is the Josh Bersin Academy, the world's first global development academy for HR and talent professionals and a transformation agent for HR organizations. The Academy, which has seen more than 50,000 program enrollments since its 2019 launch, offers content-rich online courses, a carefully curated library of tools and resources, and a global community that helps HR and talent professionals stay current on the trends and practices needed to drive organizational success in the modern world of work. Visit or email

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