Developing Future Leaders:
An Imperative During the Skills Shortage Crisis

As organizations navigate the turbulent waters of current and growing skills shortages, it’s more critical than ever to prioritize the development of future leaders. Interestingly, Brandon Hall Group™ data shows that improving leadership development is more likely to be focused on existing leaders and not future leaders. Contrast that with top learning and talent management priorities and we have a problem. There is a disconnect between learning, talent and operations leaders about what the priority should be when it comes to upskilling the workforce.

Priorities for Heavy Investment in 2024

Learning and Development

  • Upskilling and reskilling the workforce (42%)
  • Linking learning to performance and career development (36%)

Talent Management

  • Career development/succession planning (26%)
  • Competency and skill gap assessment (26%)

Leadership Development

  • High-potential identification and development (18%)
Source: Brandon Hall Group™ study, HCM Outlook 2024

Brandon Hall Group™ Smartchoice® Preferred Provider Learning Pool stands ready to help. Their data-driven solutions offer a smarter approach to upskilling. Focusing on future leaders is critical to any effective upskilling strategy. By identifying and investing in building foundational leadership skills early, the organization can be confident they have a solid pool of leaders ready to keep the company moving forward exactly when and where they are needed.

Participants in the Brandon Hall Group™ Developing Great Leaders Study indicated several tactics they are focusing on to improve leader impact on the business. Many of them can be heavily impacted by strong and effective upskilling activities. For example:

  • Increasing the focus on leader readiness for next roles (48% of respondents)
  • Placing more emphasis on preparing first-time and frontline leaders (46%)
  • Creating a heavier focus on developing high-potentials (41%)

There are numerous benefits to focusing on future leaders. Including:

  1. Ensuring Business Continuity

With the skills shortage making it harder to attract and retain top talent, developing leaders from within becomes a strategic necessity. By identifying high-potential employees and providing them with targeted development opportunities, you create a succession plan that safeguards your organization’s future. This ensures you have capable leaders ready to step up when key roles become vacant, minimizing disruption to your business. 

  1. Driving Innovation and Adaptability

The complex challenges posed by the skills shortage require innovative solutions. By developing future leaders who are agile, creative problem-solvers, you equip your organization to navigate uncertainty. Cultivating these skills in your future leaders positions you to thrive in the face of adversity.

  1. Boosting Employee Engagement and Retention

In a tight labor market, retaining your best employees is paramount. Providing growth and development opportunities is a proven way to boost engagement and loyalty. Brandon Hall Group research routinely shows that opportunities to grow are a key driver of retention. By investing in your future leaders, you demonstrate your commitment to their growth, making them more likely to stay and contribute to your success.

  1. Shaping Your Culture

Leadership development isn’t just about imparting skills – it’s a powerful tool for shaping your organizational culture. By developing future leaders who embody your values and vision, you ensure that your culture remains strong even as your workforce evolves. In a skills shortage, a healthy culture becomes a key differentiator in attracting and retaining top talent.

Learning Pool’s approach to upskilling and learning can help companies to empower their team to direct their own upskilling journey. Having a data-driven approach makes it easier for the organization to find the extraordinary talent who may be hiding in plain sight.

Learning Pool offers both the employee and the organization a clear understanding of how their current skill set matches up with organizational goals so that personalized, purposeful learning can be assigned. Leveraging the data then allows companies to measure the impact of upskilling across the business.

The skills shortage presents daunting challenges, but it also offers an opportunity to re-focus on what matters most: your people. By prioritizing the development of your future leaders, you not only safeguard your organization’s future but also create a more engaged, innovative, and resilient workforce. The research is clear – investing in leadership development isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a strategic imperative for success in today’s challenging landscape.

About Learning Pool

Learning Pool is a technology company that helps global companies solve their biggest employee performance challenges. Be it for compliance, onboarding, upskilling, or the entire business, Learning Pool’s enterprise portfolio of solutions develops an effective and agile workforce through data-driven learning experiences. Global organizations choose Learning Pool for a smarter way to optimize employee performance. Learning Pool’s commitment to business impact and continuous innovation is why they stay.  Wherever you find ambitious companies investing in their people, you’ll find Learning Pool.

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Matt Pittman



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Matt Pittman

Matt Pittman brings nearly 30 years of experience developing people and teams in a variety of settings and organizations. As an HR Practitioner, he has sat in nearly every seat including Learning and Leadership Development, Talent Management and Succession Planning, Talent Acquisition and as a Human Resources Business Partner. A significant part of those roles involved building out functions in organizations and driving large scale change efforts. As a Principal Analyst, Matt leverages this in-depth experience and expertise to provide clients and providers with breakthrough insights and ideas to drive their business forward.

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