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U.S. L&D Benchmarking Survey: 2018

Talent development is a key driver in moving American organizations forward. We surveyed L&D managers and directors in some of the U.S.'s largest companies to learn how they are investing in talent, how they measure the impact of workplace learning, and what attitudes different levels in the organization hold about corporate learning.

In order to better underline the connection between L&D and company growth, we added an additional layer of analysis by segmenting companies with increased revenue in the last financial year.

We hope that you're able to use this survey to help you benchmark your L&D department and organization against others in the nation and illuminate the challenges and trends that will shape the near future.

Learn about:

  • Training budgets, number of training days and L&D departmental budgets of organizations across the United States.
  • How employee retention, satisfaction scores, attitudes about learning and overall company revenue are correlated with L&D initiatives
  • The most popular training mediums and topics of 2018
  • The most common challenges L&D professionals face
  • What learning technologies are most used today 

Key takeaways:

1. Leadership and management are the highest development priorities

Across industries and company-sizes, developing leaders in the organization is top-of-mind for L&D professionals in 2018.

2. Large companies appear hesitant to reinvest revenue increases into L&D

Although they spend above the survey average on training per employee, professionals from large organizations were less likely than their SME counterparts to predict a budget increase for their department.

3. Proving the business impact of training is key

L&D professionals who track the ROI of training are more likely to have increased
resources, higher satisfaction with how their department performs, and of course, executive buy-in.

4. Coaching is correlated with revenue growth

External and internal coaching as the primary form of workplace learning for senior members of staff is common-practice at companies which reported increased revenue in the last financial year.

5. The key to engaged staff is executive buy-in and technology

A staff highly engaged in workplace learning is correlated with use of learning technologies and a close working relationship between L&D and executives

The 2018 L&D Survey

1. How many employees work in your organization?

2. Which industry best describes your organization?

3. How do you think your L&D Department Performs in comparison to your competitors? 

4. How do you predict your L&D budget will change in 2018?

5. What is your annual training budget per employee?

6. How many days of training does an average staff member receive per year?

7. What is the average retention rate of your staff? 

8. How satisfied is your staff according to your latest employee satisfaction survey?

9. What subject is your top training and development priority? 

10. What training method does your company use to train senior - mid - and entry-level employees?

Large companies were 2x more likely to use blended learning across all levels of the organization.

11. What is the biggest challenge your L&D department faces?

12. What technologies will your L&D Department utilize in 2018? 

97% of departments planning to use VR for training said their department was important or critical to organizational success.

13. Would you describe your organization as having a culture of learning?

14. How do you assess the impact of L&D on staff?

15. How much does your L&D department contribute to your organization?

16. How does the top management of your organization value L&D?

Download the full report below:


U.S. L&D Report

What's included?

  • The employee training budgets, highest priority training topics, and most-used training methods of today.

  • Down to earth advice from L&D leaders to help you work with emerging technologies, develop your learning culture, and measure and promote the business impact of workplace learning.

  • What challenges L&D professionals rate as #1 in 2018, how they rate executive engagement at their company, assess the impact of training and more!

U.S. L&D Report: 2018
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Contact Details

Columbia Business School

This survey is sponsored by Columbia Business School Executive Education.

Last updated: 28 Feb 2019

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