ATD Research Topics

ATD Research Reports provide organizations with indispensable information, metrics, survey data, and benchmarks they need for optimal workplace performance. 

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September 2018
(Corresponding Webcast to follow) – SOLD
Sales Coaching
This research report will examine how organizations use sales coaching to develop salespeople, what makes an effective sales coaching approach, the benefits sales coaching provides to both the organization and its sales staff, and the barriers to sales coaching implementation and effectiveness. We will also explore what topics are discussed during sales coaching sessions and the focus of these sessions (e.g., account or territory knowledge, general sales skills), the frequency of sales coaching, and how organizations can successfully develop internal employees (such as sales managers and experienced salespeople) as sales coaches.
September 2018
(Corresponding Webcast to follow)
Succession Planning
This research will provide an update to ATD’s popular 2010 research on succession planning in addition to providing new insights. In particular, we are interested in the following questions: who has formal succession plans (and whether this has changed since 2010), what are the top challenges to succession planning, how are candidates identified for succession planning, who is primarily responsible for succession planning, what practices are used to develop candidates for succession planning and which ensure organizational success (e.g., the continuity of key business), what practices are used to prepare the individuals who are leaving and which ensure organizational success, to what extent do organizations seek talent outside for the succession planning pipeline (and where organizations go to seek this talent), which position(s) do organizations’ succession plans address, and how organizations address planned vs. unplanned changes in leadership and key roles. This report will also include actionable, research-driven tips for building succession plans.
December 2018
(Corresponding Webcast to follow) - SOLD
Developing Emerging Talent
It’s important for talent development professionals to understand the development needs of emerging, early-stage, or young professionals (defined as those with less than five years of full-time work experience in any workplace). The key questions of interest are: what skills do these individuals most need training on, what skills do they actually receive training on, and how is development offered (internal/external/tuition reimbursement)? How do these workers prefer to consume and share knowledge, how do they use technologies (for example, social, mobile, etc.) to do so, and how are their preferences different from other groups of workers who entered the workforce before them? The report will also look at the opportunities organizations provide for these individuals to discuss and pursue long-term career paths, and include input from experts in the field (including industry leaders and career development experts).
February 2019
(Corresponding Webcast to follow) – SOLD
2019 State of Sales Training
This research will provide an update to the 2016 State of Sales Training report by benchmarking key indicators, such as the average sales training expenditure per employee. The 2019 State of Sales Training report will also examine the delivery methods most frequently used; this metric will be broken out by sales model (e.g., inside sales, outside sales, channel/partner sales, and hybrid). The report will also look at frequency of sales training, annual sales training expenditure, and the distribution of the sales training budget. The research will include new analyses to identify best practices that are correlated with an organization’s sales success relative to its competitors and the ability of salespeople to reach goals. The report will include practical examples from organizations
February/March 2019
(Corresponding Webcast to follow) – SOLD
Developing New Managers: Key Elements in Training for Success
Front-line people managers must be able to engage, motivate, coach, and develop employees. But do first-time managers step into new leadership roles with the skills they need for success? This research explores some of the key challenges and issues involved in preparing first-time managers to hit the ground running. The research looks at all first-time managers, with additional emphasis on those from technical and sales roles, and those leading virtual teams. How are organizations training new managers? When does that preparation begin? What training methods are most effective? Does new-manager training in high-performance companies produce better results?
May 2019
(Corresponding Webcast to follow)
The Future of Work and Technology
From artificial intelligence to automation, advances in new technologies have already begun impacting businesses. To remain competitive, organizations will need to change the way they operate. These technologies may create or eliminate jobs, change job roles, impact business models, create competition from new industries, cause changes in customer needs, or alter market performance. This research seeks to identify the practices associated with future-ready organizations, offering information leaders can use to prepare their organizations to succeed in the next five years. The research examines how organizations and their leaders can position themselves to be competitive in the future through research, planning, and the creation of a culture that encourages preparation for the future. Additionally, the report will look at how influential new technologies (e.g., big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, wearable technologies, the internet of things, and 3D printing) will be on the future of work and the extent to which organizations have planned for, developed, or deployed training for any of these technologies. This research will provide interviews with top executives at companies that are preparing for the future in innovative ways.
June 2019 – SOLD
(Corresponding Webcast to follow)
State of Healthcare Training and Trends
This research will provide an update to The State of Healthcare Training (2016) report by benchmarking key indicators such as the average training expenditure; this report will also examine some of the newest trends in healthcare and how they impact talent development. The key questions of interest are: How many learning hours per employee? How’s the expenditure distributed? What’s the average cost per learning hour? The report will look at trends such as value-based care (VBC) and the shortage of employees in certain healthcare professions (e.g., nursing) and how these trends impact talent development functions and the programs they provide.