Wednesday, December 16, 2015

5 Trends & Predictions in Corporate Training for 2016


Edward Brown, M.S.

Training is imparted to employees to ensure that they stay competent, competitive, and resourceful for an organization. The very purpose of providing corporate training is to ensure that employees are skilled sufficiently enough to take up any challenge, as well as tackle any changes in the workplace. 
Most of the employees of an organization come from diverse backgrounds and hence possess different skills and mindsets. This is where the call for diversity becomes most important. Different ethnicities and backgrounds have various decision-makingprocesses. If corporate managers can encourage greater self-initiative and inspiration within a diverse corporate community, this makes for business opportunities that create groundbreaking innovation, which leads to greater corporate productivity and profitability. So what trends and predictions for 2016 will lead to corporations becoming more profitability by employees becoming more proficient? 

1.    An upsurge in critical thinking and soft skills training. A 2012 American Management Association (AMA) study asked 768 managers and executives about the importance of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity (described as the Four C’s) to their organizations. An estimated 74.6% of the managers and executives who responded to AMA’s survey believed that the Four C’s will become even more important to their organizations in the next 3 to 5 years.

Prediction: Forbes 2014 Corporate Learning Factbook indicates that the U.S. spending on corporate training grew by 15% last year (the highest growth rate in seven years) to over $70 Billion in the US and over $130 Billion worldwide. Seventy-percent of organizations cite “capability gaps” as one of their top five challenges (Bersin, 2014). Corporate investments in skills gap training will continue to increase as the global economy becomes more competitive.

2.    Corporate training directly tied to employee performance and evaluation. Wittbrodt (2014) suggested that an underperforming employee in a high-performing group (numbering 3 or 4) can bring productivity down by 30-40%. To put this in dollar terms, the annual revenue lost by an underperforming employee can be as high as $300,000 (Wittbrodt, 2014).

Prediction: As corporations require human resources departments to play a more active role in business development, corporate training, employee performance, and evaluation will become more granular for corporate profitability. Underperforming employees will be terminated in greater numbers with documented cases of underperformance. Particularly, this will impact regions of the country that have traditionally maintained strong employee unions.

3.    Decision-making skills assessments will become part of the hiring process. Maggitti (2015) noted that “The Wall Street Journal reported last year saying, according to an study, employers are asking more often for critical thinking skills in their new hires. The study says that since 2009, mentions of critical thinking have doubled in job postings.”

Prediction: In addition to reading and writing evaluations, problem-solving and critical thinking assessments will become part of the employee vetting process to ensure that employees not only have the formal educational requirements, but also the decision-making skills to be self-directed and self-reliant employees.

4.    The increase in corporate training certification programs. Go2HR (2015) noted that “Offering training programs and identifying clear career paths for junior employees leads to easier recruitment and lower turnover. Classes in such areas as language skills can increase communication between employees and improve work efficiency” (Go2HR, 2015).

Prediction: Corporations will create more in-house proprietary training certification programs as a way of expanding their mission as learning organizations (LO’s). Some corporations will have the magnitude of GE’s Crotonville management training center while others will have smaller on-site facilities tailored for junior employees during the onboarding process. Additionally, these training centers will become a part of the process for promotional opportunities, as well as profit centers for other companies to send their employees. 

5.    Corporate training will require more measurable results and outcomes. McAlone (2015) pointed to a University of Cambridge study conducted on Macat, an online learning platform and critical thinking tool, which found that using Macat caused improvement in both discipline-specific and general critical thinking skills also in just 8 hours.

Prediction: Corporate training, in-house or off-site, will require guaranteed results at the end of each training session. There will be less tolerance for “Motivational speeches” and more demand for inspired training that lead to qualitative and quantifiable outcomes. Consequently, corporate training providers will have to create methods, models, and systems that meet these expectations as opposed to “canned” presentations that fail to build workable skill sets.
The year 2016 will see a recommitment by corporate managers to providing the necessary tools for a productive workforce with employee compensation commensurate with documented success in work performance, as well as professional development.
Edward Brown, M.S., designs critical thinking and strategic thinking models for Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute, Inc. (Core Edge).

To view Core Edge’s catalog of critical thinking and decision-making models, visit:


Bersin, J. (2014, Feb. 4). Spending on corporate training soars: Employee capabilities mow a priority. Forbes. Retrieved from
Go2HR (2015). Investing in your entry-level employees really can increase your company’s profitability. Retrieved from
Maggitti, P. (2015, June 2). Be the problem-solver: Employers want graduates who can think critically, analyze data, and challenge the status quo. U.S. News & World Report (Knowledge Bank). Retrieved from

McAlone, N. (2015, Nov. 4). This Cambridge-approved startup says it can make you smarter in just 8 hours and it’s now raised $30 million. Business Insider (online). Retrieved from