November 26, 2014 Leave a comment
Well for those of us fascinated by L&D statistics and the meaning and implications behind them, ATD (Formerly ASTD) have just released their annual state of the industry report for 2014. So what does it have to say and what implications can we draw from it.
So what did it cost?
Firstly we see that spending on training for organisations has gone up, not by much, around 1%, but still it has gone up to an average of $1208 per employee. The interesting thing about this number is that it is much higher for smaller organisations (less than 500 staff) at $1,888 and much lower for large organisation (over 10,000 staff) at $838 per employee. Much of this can be put down to larger organisation being able to take advantage of economies of scale when it comes to development, maintenance and delivery costs of training and have the same dollar spend spread over a large group of employees.
We see also that learning hours used is about 31.5 hours per employee across the board which is relatively the same as last few years. An interesting wrinkle to this average is that medium size companies (500-9,999 employees) only come in at about 27 learning hours used per employee and while this might be interesting to attempt to investigate further, it may simply have to do more with the relative size of the data samples then any other actual trend. Again we also saw that direct expenditure on learning as a percentage of revenue again remained relatively stable at around 1.2%. The vast majority of this spend is, as it has been for many years, made up by the internal costs to organisations for the delivery of training, remaining again in the mid 60% range. With external services (27%) and tuition reimbursement (10%) making up the balance.
So what did we deliver and how?
The three content areas that made up more than 34% of all the training delivered were;
- Mandatory and Compliance Training
- Managerial and Supervisory
- Profession or Industry specific
with the bottom 3 areas being;
- Executive Development
- Interpersonal Skills and
- Basis Skills
As far as delivery methods for training goes the winner and continuing champion by a long margin is of course – Instructor Led Classroom Based. Yes folks yet again, face to face classroom bases training got the gong for being the most frequently used delivery method at 54.6%. Not a bad effort for the old-timer in my opinion. To be fair to the up and coming, much-lauded new world of learning deliver self paced online learning came in second with 17.9% and the most important game changing learning and development technology mobile or m-learning came in with a massive 1.7%. All right I apologies for being a little facetious there, but I think what these numbers show is something quite simply for all of the rhetoric about mobile learning being the most important development in L&D ever are simply well not stacking up at the moment at least. Even when we throw all of the technology based delivery methods together they still only account for about 38% with the balance being taken up by options like self based print based learning (which by itself and I find this incredibly interesting accounts for 4.75% of delivery, three times higher than mobile learning).
So what is this all mean. Well I think for the most part we as an industry should be happy with the results. We are seeing consistency in spend and the kinds of training being delivered. There seems to be no great surprises (well except for those who tout M-learning as the next big thing, ok I will stop now) and seems to be to be much what you would expect from a stable, mature industry that know what its goals are.