Workforce Management (01/11) Kranz, Garry
Data from the Corporate Learning Factbook 2011 reveals that for the first time in three years, U.S. companies expanded the size of their training staffs in 2010. The report, which is conducted by research firm Bersin and Associates in partnership with Workforce Management, found that the average increase was 6 percent to 5.3 staff members for every 1,000 learners. Companies also said that if their financial results improve during the next 12 months, they are likely to boost their training budgets even further. The report covered 748 U.S. companies that have more than 100 employees. Karen O’Leonard, a Bersin analyst and author of the fact book, asserted, “learning no longer is about courses and programs. Learning needs to be continuous, and it needs to be everywhere.” The accelerated hiring of trainers in turn triggered an increase in the number of learning hours delivered per company. Companies delivered an average of 4,538 training hours in 2010, a 13.5 percent increase from the 4,000 hours delivered in 2009, the report found. Leadership programs captured 22 percent of all training dollars spent in 2010, the Bersin/Workforce Management report shows. One example is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which offers online courses in “situational self-leadership” that have been merged with structured classroom work. After participants complete the curriculum, they work with executive coaches for at least three one-on-one sessions to examine and demonstrate what they have learned.
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Learning and development is back in vogue in the business community and playing a strategic role as organizations plan for the future.