More than half of learning and development (L&D) professionals name budget issues as the top challenge they face in implementing training, according to a May 10 report from Virti.
Most companies initiate and maintain L&D programs to meet compliance requirements, they said, as well as improve employee technical skills and support career development.
“There is plenty of evidence in this survey indicating most companies see L&D as a compliance function — which, by definition, is a necessity,” Virti CEO Kurt Kratchman said in a statement.
“So, it stands to reason that executives support the function for compliance purposes, but they are less inclined to spend more than they have to on training,” he said.
At the same time, training around soft skills such as leadership and communication appear to be the most important courses offered, the survey found. In open-ended comments, professionals noted that L&D “attracts energized talent” and fosters a “culture of innovative curious thinking.”
Additional L&D trends appeared relevant in the survey. About half of organizations create most training content in-house, with about 17% relying mostly on external content providers. In addition, the shelf life of a training course seems short — about 50% said courses last a year or less.
Flexible learning options have also become prominent. Most organizations provide learners with a variety of choices, with 60% offering remote, live, and in-person options. About 56% said training can be completed anywhere and anytime from a computer or laptop.
About 39% train their teams through digitally immersive environments, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, at least some of the time as well. These respondents said VR and AR options provide better quality training and are more cost-effective in the long run.
In addition, about 67% of respondents said L&D has a positive impact on revenue.
“The takeaway for business and organizational leaders is that L&D isn’t about checking a box,” Kratchman said. “L&D has a direct influence on organizational development goals and corporate culture — and by extension, an indirect influence on growth and revenue.”
Employee development through L&D can help companies gain an edge during a tough economy, according to a recent report. The most profitable companies provide opportunities for employee reinvention and “intrapreneurship,” or growth and collaboration across teams.
When facing budget battles for L&D requests, HR leaders can try several tactics to gain approval, sources told HR Dive. Tying the request to a business need, using data, telling effective stories, and finding influencers within the company can help with the pitch.