Developing the next generation of leaders is the top talent management priority for organizations this year, replacing 2011’s top priority of addressing skills gaps for critical roles.

More than 200 organizations completed the online survey from Global Novations. The majority of respondents identified leadership development as the key development focus for 2012, followed by critical skills for managers, which includes coaching and performance management.

Managing multiple generations in the workforce also emerged as the largest global talent management challenge. Other challenges that are affecting global workforces include: emergence/advancement of women in the workforce, ethnic/racial differences in the workforce, cultural differences across geographic borders and regional/local legislation regarding equality. More respondents indicated their diversity and inclusion strategies were developed centrally from headquarters (55% in 2012 vs. 46% in 2011.)

For formal learning programs, respondents plan to use virtual instructor-led training, online self-paced learning or a combination of both. Organizations surveyed are spending at around 2011 levels or more on social and web 2.0-based informal learning programs such as social networking, blogs, wikis and forums.

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