New Research From Cornerstone Reveals Organizations Aren’t Meeting Employee Development Needs

September 12, 2023

Screening talent

New report finds nearly half of employees don’t believe they have what they need from their employer to build the skills they will need for the future

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Sept. 12, 2023 – Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., a leader in learning and talent experience solutions, today announced the release of its 2023 Talent Health Index, providing a comprehensive view of the state of talent programs across organizations worldwide. The report, led by the Cornerstone People Research Lab, finds most organizations are falling behind with their talent health initiatives. The data reveals a persistent gap between what employees think they need to be able to grow and develop at work, and what today's talent programs are actually providing them. This enduring gap cements the need for organizations to invest more in a holistic talent strategy to develop their people’s skills and adapt to sweeping workplace changes. 

Key findings from the report include:

  • Employees want more development opportunities from their organizations: Findings showed that 41% of employees don’t believe they have what they need to develop their skills. Furthermore, 65% of employees are seeking additional learning content, 62% of employees are eager to find more coaching and mentoring and 59% of employees are on the lookout for more career guidance.
  • Most organizations have significant room for talent program improvement: The average Talent Health Index score placed employers in the Administrative maturity level, demonstrating a mastery of the basics and very early exploration of new innovation. In this level, talent programs are behind in automation and have yet to build a robust learning strategy.
  • Organizations are slow to adopt emerging talent innovation: Only 37% of organizations say they leverage learner-centric tools to streamline talent processes and info, and more than 60% of organizations stated they are not yet leveraging AI technology to optimize their talent.

The Skills Confidence Gap Persists

A series of survey questions also addressed how employers and employees perceive how their organization is supporting their overall learning and development, growth paths and specific skills development. The report findings revealed a vast majority of employers feel confident they can develop their people’s skills (88%), while employees agree to a far lesser extent (59%) — creating a 29% confidence gap. Since Cornerstone’s initial 2020 research on skills confidence among employers and employees, this gap has remained stagnant at around 30% year over year, signifying that organizations have yet to provide the level of skills development tools and support that employees are looking for.

High-Performing Organizations are Fit for the Future 

Not all organizations are lagging in maturity. The report showed that organizations that rated themselves higher in customer satisfaction, productivity, employee retention and overall performance —categorized as High-Performing Organizations (HPOs) —exhibited a notably higher score on the Talent Health Index as well. On average, HPOs landed in the Sophisticated level and, specifically, exemplified higher maturity levels in these three dimensions: Content Strategy, Skills Strategy and Performance Management.

Employees at HPOs also rated their talent programs higher in key areas related to development and opportunity:

  • 96% of employees at HPOs see their organization tangibly demonstrate how they help them develop
  • 92% express confidence in their talent development initiatives
  • 96% believe their employer cares about them and their growth

Additionally, HPOs reported a 6% skills confidence gap — a 5x smaller gap compared to the average organization.

Comments on the Research

  • “In an environment of constant change, workforce innovations, and new cycles of talent development, improving the maturity of your talent programs is critical. The secret to adapting to all these new workplace changes and thriving in the future lies in an organization’s willingness to modernize their talent strategies and invest in their people,” said Himanshu Palsule, CEO, Cornerstone. “Through our Global Talent Health Index, we aim to help customers identify areas of significant opportunity, create a roadmap for success, and build talent programs and employee experiences that drive real business impact.”
  • “Understanding the current state of your talent programs and organization is the first step in building exceptional programs to support an engaged and thriving workforce,” said Jennifer Clouser, Talent Development Specialist, The Pennsylvania State University. “By completing the assessment, your organization will receive a report detailing where on the maturation journey, from Foundational to Transformative, your talent programs lie. This knowledge can be used to enhance the strategies of the organization.”

Take the Survey

Coinciding with the release of the Talent Health Index, Cornerstone today also announced the availability of a free, online self-assessment, offering organizations an in-depth evaluation of their talent program’s maturity level along with related resources for continued development. To see how your talent program stacks up on the maturity model, take the free, online self-assessment here.

Research Methodology

Cornerstone partnered with The Starr Conspiracy to create the Talent Health Index report, surveying more than 700 talent and business leaders and over 1,400 employees across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Survey questions focused on the maturity level of seven critical talent program dimensions, including Culture & Technology, Skills Strategy, Learning & Development, Content Strategy, Performance Management, Talent Mobility and Talent Reporting, Data & Analytics. Based on respondents’ answers, the maturity of their organization’s talent program was defined in one of four overarching maturity levels: Foundational, Administrative, Sophisticated and Transformative, with each level building on the previous one. See the report for a full overview of the research methodology.

About Cornerstone People Research Lab

Established in 2020, the Cornerstone People Research Lab is comprised of a team of Cornerstone’s in-house researchers and third-party industry experts who conduct both internal and external research to make data-driven discoveries about the world of work today and identify emerging trends that will give rise to new work models. The Lab’s two primary areas of focus are corporate learning and development trends and issues related to the experience of people at work.

About Cornerstone

Cornerstone powers the future-ready workforce with its leading AI-powered talent experience platform designed to unite technology, data and content and inspire a work environment of growth, agility and success at scale.With Cornerstone, organizations modernize their learning and development experience, deliver the most relevant content from anywhere, accelerate talent and career mobility and establish skills as the universal language of growth and success across their business. Cornerstone serves over 7,000 customers and 100 million users and is available in 180 countries and 50 languages.

Media Contact 

Carolyn Harding, Cornerstone

© Cornerstone 2023