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Research Brief: Workplace HR Trends and Implications for Developing Leaders

July 30, 2014

Leadership development is an important part of the solution for helping organizations successfully respond to emerging workplace trends.


Based on a 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study, there are a number of trends impacting human resource issues in the workplace have significant implications for organizational leaders. Thus, these trends suggest a need for increased investments in leadership development, as well as adapting the focus of leadership development efforts.


Among the top workplace trends of greatest relevance to leadership development efforts are:

  • Increased global competition for jobs and talent as a result of increasingly innovative and dynamic non-US based organizations that are proving to be a substantial source of competition for qualified employees compared to US-based organizations

  • Numerous baby boomers who are leaving the market for retirement, resulting in substantial loss of knowlege and talent needed to guide organizations into the future

  • Sizeable number of baby boomers who are remaining in their roles because they cannot afford to retire, reducing the availability of career options for younger workers and potentially increasing turnover

  • The need for cross-cultural understanding and interaction skills given the increasingly global nature of most organizations


The study consisted of the views of 1,500 HR professionals was conducted in May 2010.


© 2014 Kevin Nourse, PhD

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