Talent development—designed to attract, develop, motivate, and retain productive, engaged employees—is essential to an organization’s success and sustainability.

According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if the company invested in their employee learning.

This considered, leaders should prioritize continuous efforts to:

  • Engage talent
  • Identify opportunities for learning and development (L&D)
  • Train for expectations, and
  • Manage outcomes

So, how can you facilitate talent development in your organization? Let’s find out.

Why Is It Important to Develop Talent in the Workplace?

At its core, talent development is the process of building your people in line with your company’s goals and plans (and just a little secret from us: your people are your greatest asset).

Let’s be honest: When organizations are not actively striving to help employees achieve their potential and goals, people are more likely to jump ship and look for something better.

This harsh reality is WHY talent development is so important in your organization!

Talent development can make employees feel seen and supported; therefore, making them more likely to stay and grow within their current organization.

What is the Process of Developing Talent?

The process of developing talent is not as quick as a bi-monthly “learn and lunch,” a set of slides for employees to click through, or a brief meeting before the team heads out for the weekend. 

What does this mean for leaders? It might be time to ditch the idea of leaving new hires to complete courses on computers or grouping the whole team together for all learning and development efforts.

Instead, the process of training and development is continuous throughout the lifecycle of an employee and should be performed on an individual, ongoing basis.

The good news? Leaders can kickstart and maintain talent development in just a few simple steps (and some patience and dedication never hurt anyone either!)

Wondering what these steps are? Let’s dive in. 

What Are the Four Steps of Talent Development in Your Organization?

Engage the Talent

Leaders can access the talent of the team as well as get employees involved with the process. A cookie-cutter approach to developing talent won’t have the same results as a collaborative, adaptable process.

But what does this process look like?

Employees can play an active role in how they want to develop their talent. For example, the skills they want to perfect, career opportunities they may want to pursue down the line, and how the company can help them accomplish these goals (i.e. what learning opportunities will work best for them).

Identify Learning and Development Opportunities

Leaders can take an inventory of current employee skills and identify opportunities for learning and development within their team.

Leaders can do this by asking questions like:

  • What skills are utilized?
  • How can the team improve our soft skills?
  • Are there any gaps in the workforce?
  • Is the team gaining hands-on experience?
  • Is the team lacking any particular KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities)?
  • How is the company supporting career development?

Train For Expectations

Leaders can consider company objectives and strategies, effectively training employees to meet these expectations. These expectations can include:

  • Role requirements
  • Role alignment
  • Value alignment, and
  • Culture accountability

Leaders may implement the strategies of upskilling, reskilling, or cross-skilling to meet expectations.

Let’s Talk Upskilling, Reskilling, and Cross-Skilling

What the heck is upskilling, reskilling, and cross-skilling!? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.


Providing existing employees with new or more advanced skills within their role through education and training. Read on to learn more about upskilling.


Helps employees learn new skills that will be useful in an entirely different role.


Gives employees the skills to perform multiple functions at a company. 

What is the Difference Between Talent Development and Upskilling?

Talent development and upskilling are similar but have a few key differences.

We like to think of it like this:

Upskilling focuses on just that: Skills! Talent development, on the other hand, takes a broad approach to encourage employees to learn and grow.

Moreover, talent development includes skills and upskilling but is not just limited to those attributes. A talent development strategy may include more soft skills, culture, and role alignment than upskilling does.

Manage Outcomes

A talent development strategy should include clear objectives and performance indicators. Leaders can consistently measure progress by utilizing these indicators. 

Need Help Developing Talent in Your Organization?

At Culture Works, we value the opportunity to help businesses implement learning and development programs into their company culture. Our team of experts is ready to partner with your team to build greater organizational success.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business implement these programs and contribute to positive company culture.

Interested in more information? Read on to see how learning and development can transform your company culture.

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