Learning hours and expenditures are up — again
- Businesses spent $1,273 per employee on direct learning in 2016, up from $1,252 in 2015, according to the 2017 State of the Industry report from the Association for Talent Development. The average number of formal learning hours per employee also grew to 34.1 hours in 2016, up from 33.5 hours in 2015.
- Expenditures were broken down into three categories: 61% was allocated to internal costs; 26% to external services; and 13% of the spending represented tuition reimbursement. In dollars, companies with fewer than 500 workers averaged $2,016 per employee; midsize organizations (500 to 9,999 employees) spent $973 and companies with more than 10,000 workers spent $673.
- The report, sponsored by LinkedIn Learning and Study.com, says that 2016 is the fourth year in a row that spending and learning hours have increased. Formal learning hours were defined as hours not embedded in other work activities.
The data makes sense, given other trends in employee learning: as companies scramble to fill vacancies, often stalled by skills gaps, investing in training that’s timely and effective has become a necessity. Employers are training in non-conventional ways, as well. The BYOD trend has helped management reach out to deskless workers, as mobile platforms begin to support training and tracking.
The same goes for spending. New and emerging tech, including VR and AR are changing the way learning is delivered, but they can be costly at the outset. The reward for employers, however, may be particularly worthwhile in high-turnover industries. Retailers like Walmart, for example, have adopted new tech in professional development training, aiming for improved retention and a steady stream of potential managers.
- Association for Talent Development Learning Investment and Hours Are on the Rise