Mission Critical: Learning Trends 2014
Are organizations investing in training? The answer is a resounding…YES! According to American Society of Training & Development’s (ASTD) 2013 State of the Industry report, for small organizations with fewer than 500 employees the direct expenditure in 2012 per employee was on average $1,800, midsize organizations with 500 to 9,999 employees on average spent $964, and large organizations with more than 10,000 employees spent on average $700.
What’s interesting is that smaller organizations, particularly those with fewer than 500 employees (which account for 36 percent of responses in ASTD’s Study), typically spent more per employee than larger organizations. This is the good news! Investments are still being made despite the fallout of the downed economy in 2008 and it’s not just the big players spending.
|Average Training Investment Per Employee|
|Small Companies (fewer than 500 employees)……………………. $1800
Midsize Companies (500 to 9,999)…………………………………….. $964
Large Companies (10,000 or more)……………………………………. $700
The real question remains… “are these training dollars being spent wisely?” Other research shows organizations need to rethink how these dollars are being spent based on current trends.
1. Complexity the New Normal
The landscape has changed – it is more complex, volatile, and unpredictable. The skills needed for leadership have also changed – more complex and adaptive thinking abilities are needed. According to IBM’s Global Chief Executive Officer Study: 79 percent of CEOs say the level of uncertainty and complexity will get even higher; less than half say they are prepared to manage it.
2. Management Talent Shortage
The shortage for management talent is intensifying; economic growth outstrips home-grown talent according to a recent article by Forum. Training investment will be required to elevate management skill levels. And, companies will need to grow their own by hiring potential talent, then investing in their development and retention. Also important will be to look among existing ranks for prospective leaders and groom them as well.
3. Group Effort vs. Individual Leader
Many experts today suggest that innovation, change, new directions and strategies emerge not from individuals, but from social network and groups. The Center for Creative Leadership reports, “If leadership is thought of as a shared process rather than an individual skill set, senior leadership must consider the best way to help leadership flourish in their organizations working together.”
4. Overwhelmed &Time Strapped
A survey conducted by Forum of 700 leaders globally, 91% said they have too many projects, activities and responsibilities; 75% said they have little or no capacity to do more with less and information overload is the norm. Employees are working harder with less downtime.
We need to rethink how we spend our training dollars in 2014!
Keeping in mind these drivers, it’s time to resist the urge to focus solely on the low hanging fruit or the “have-tos” like compliance and harassment training… still important but not exclusively so. Now, more then ever those who run organizations need to look out at the business landscape and deliver training and human capital initiatives that meet the needs of today’s employee. As you look to 2014 and investing your dollars, consider a strategic and planned approach with an end in mind.
2014 Key Imperatives
1. Create Opportunity for Collaborative Learning
For over 50 years at the core of the US business culture has been the individual leader. In the recent past this approach has not been effective as we become more connected through social networks and a rapidly changing society. It is almost impossible for any one person to know the solution or even to identify the problems. To meet the complexity of this new environment partnerships & collaborative leadership need to be supported with collaborative learning.
Collaborative Leadership needs to be supported with Collaborative Learning.
In 2013, MEA kicked-off cohort learning to support this approach where employees from diverse industries had the opportunity to learn collectively.
In 2013, MEA kicked-off cohort learning. Employees from diverse industries came together to learn collectively as a single force. Case in point: a manager from a manufacturing plant teamed up with an environmentalist who managed a landfill property and an entrepreneur who oversaw two small businesses. Their assignment was to discuss their employees’ performance issues. The team’s creative, objective thinking and discussion that followed provided each manager with ideas, solutions and approaches that could never have been developed in a single company or by a single individual. Relationships were built and discussions ran deeper than when showing up for a random class with strangers.
When building your own, create training experiences that are challenging, capture the attention of your audience, and are time sensitive for a fast paced workplace. In-house training should include:
- Chances for team bonding across functional areas
- Time sensitive, modular, easy-to-digest chunks of learning
- Easy to access online learning
- Independent time for reflection
- Open free flowing brainstorming & discussion
- A sense of fun
Multi-Level & Cross-Functional
Ensure effective learning is vertically integrated. Bring together different business unit leaders to learning initiatives. Create a consistent language and build opportunities for individuals to engage up, down and across the organization. Built into MEA Onsite training is this type of engagement across the organization starting with the executives, filtering through middle management to first line leaders.
2. Focus on Leadership Development
The ability to lead people effectively is roughly 3 to 4 times more important to a leader’s success than are other skills or knowledge according to the Carnegie Foundation. Employees need to think like a leader, get results through others, coach their teams and engage those around them.
For Starters Front Line Leaders
It’s not only about developing leaders, but making the investment where there is the greatest impact. First line leaders make up 50 to 60% of central players in company’s business strategy according to an HBR blog written by Fred Hassan. The annual investment per first-line leader has grown from $533 in 2009 to $1671 in 2012. Investment at midlevel and senior level has gone up as well, but not as much.
Life as we’ve known it in the world of training and development is evolving as is every other aspect of business. Take a look at your current approach: is it in line with current trends? If so, keep moving…if not, refocus your energies to mirror current needs for business results. Invest wisely!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://meainfo.org/app/uploads/2014/01/marian-vallotton.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Marian VallottonDirector of Training & Organizational Developmentmvallotton@meainfo.org[/author_info] [/author]