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Developing Human Capital: Using Analytics to Plan and Optimize Your Learning and Development Investments by Gene Pease, Barbara Beresford, Lew Walker

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Chapter 1The New Workforce

The Millennials are coming!

—CBS News, February 11, 2009

Learning and development (L&D) generally represents an organization’s single largest investment in its people. The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) estimates that U.S. organizations spent over $150 billion on training in 2011.1 Our intent with this book is to show you how you can use analytics to better manage the learning and development needs of a thriving organization in a rapidly changing environment. It is no coincidence that the field of human capital analytics is growing in popularity at a time when organizations are managing up to five generational cohorts in the workplace. These generational groups represent different backgrounds, ideals, challenges, and opportunities, many of which can be better understood through the various analytical tactics presented in this book. It’s going to take the evidence and insights from analytics for organizations to effectively manage their workforces—and their human capital—for competitive advantage.

DEFINING THE GENERATIONS

Despite what the buzz around the Baby Boomers and the Millennials may have you believe, there are five generations in the current workforce:

  1. Traditionalists (born prior to 1946)
  2. Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)
  3. Generation X (born between 1965 and 1976)
  4. Millennials (born between 1977 and 1997)
  5. Generation 2020 (born after 1997)2

For the purposes of our discussion, in this chapter we focus on the three ...

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