This is a benchmark that I have often been asked for, but didn't have until I ran into information on the 2008 Corporate Learning Factbook, an annual study of corporate training budgets, spending and trends published by Bersin & Associates.
When reviewing a total rewards program, it can be helpful to include data on employee training and development, relative to market practices.
Other findings from Bersin's research:
- The average spending per learner of $1,202 is roughly equivalent to last year. Spending varies significantly from industry to industry; the highest spending industry is finance & insurance ($1,061 per learner) and the lowest is retail ($594 per learner).
- 21% of all training dollars - overall - are spent on leadership development and management/supervisory training, making this the largest area of investment on a cross-industry basis. Not surprising given the increasing evidence that we are or soon will be facing a real deficit of leadership talent.
- While leadership/management training is a top priority overall, specific industries are investing heavily in other areas, including:
- In telecommunications, 23% of training program dollars are spent on customer service training
- Technology companies are spending 29% of training program dollars on sales training
- Pharmaceuticals are spending 25% of training program dollars on compliance and other mandatory training
- E-learning has grown dramatically. The use of self-study e-learning now accounts for 20% of student hours, up from 15% last year. Related to this, this year's study has also shown a sharp increase in new web-based and collaborative learning resources, including podcasts, blogs and wikis.