From John: 5 Ways Your Culture Can Help (or Hinder) Talent Development

female business colleagues having a discussion
John Pembroke Photo
Late President/CEO

2 minutes

How well does your work environment support creativity, innovation and change?

In these times, developing your staff members to be the best they can be is more important than ever. But how well does your work environment support the kind of talent development that fosters creativity, innovation and change?

Our two-year study with The Creative Problem Solving Group Inc. looked at how an organization’s culture can help—or hinder—staff learning. Our research measured 10 dimensions of organizational climate, including employee engagement, emotional safety in office relationships, the way people treat new ideas and the amount of time spent on new ideas.

The study found that the best indicators of staff’s perceptions of talent development are the measures of employee engagement and how new ideas are treated. The results also show that emotional safety and the amount of time spent with new ideas impact talent development.

In all, this study suggests that if you want to develop your people, the work environment you provide for them matters a great deal. Fortunately, a review of the study’s open-ended comments gathered insights into elements of organizational climate that can either help or hinder your employees’ learning. These are things you can act on.

  1. Leadership, management and supervision. The study bears out something that seems intuitive: People who have an influencing role on staff can make a real difference in how employees perceive and take advantage of talent development opportunities.
  2. Teamwork and collaboration with colleagues and peers. A positive, open atmosphere allows for productive teamwork, and collaboration was found to be a key helper for talent development efforts.
  3. Opportunities, courses, conferences and programs. A wide range of learning options and staff’s awareness of them can also boost talent development in an organization. This includes access to educational opportunities that present the topic in the various ways people learn best, such as providing images or graphs for visual learners and a spoken explanation for auditory learners.
  4. Resources. Time, budget and technology were the three resources most often identified as impacting talent development.
  5. Workload and staffing. It takes time to learn. As a result, a heavy workload, staffing shortages or uneven distribution of work can challenge organizational talent development efforts.

While the start of Women’s History Month is a great time to think about creating a culture in which women can learn, among the things our CUES Consulting program can provide is guidance for building a work environment that will support the development of every employee. Building a culture that supports employee development will in turn foster the kind of creativity and innovation that can boost your organization’s success.

Since joining CUES in March 2013, John Pembroke has played a leadership role in developing and launching a new direction in CUES’ strategy, branding and culture. Under his guidance, CUES has revamped its membership structure and launched new institutes. Additionally, CUES has expanded its market further into Canada and the Caribbean. Pembroke’s experience includes 25 years in financial services, marketing and e-commerce. He also has served as chief marketing officer at PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, Florida. Pembroke holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Marketing and Policy Studies from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago.

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