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3 Critical Insights from the 2013 ASTD State of the Industry Report

An important part of planning for the new year is assessing what’s worked and what hasn’t in the past. The American Society for Training & Development’s 2012 State of the Industry report is a valuable resource for doing just that. Looking at trends will help you decide where to focus your efforts in 2013 in order to have the greatest impact on your business. Here are OpenSesame’s top three takeaways from ASTD’s survey overview:

1. Large companies are spending less per employee for training than medium and small companies. While this may mean small businesses are missing the opportunity to reduce costs by leveraging online training tools, it’s a great reminder for training managers and large businesses to make sure they’re taking advantage of all the opportunities to use their budget more effectively.

Take a look at your budget. Is your spending in line with your peers? Are you missing opportunities to use your budget more effectively?

2. Global 500 companies focus on sales training ahead of executive development and basic skills. ASTD reports that Forbes 500 companies spend more time and money training their team in sales, allocating fewer resources to training for executive development, interpersonal skills and basic skills. While sales training may earn immediate returns, neglecting crucial programs like leadership development harms your ability to continue growing into the future. As you kick off 2013, make sure your training portfolio includes investing in all the skills and competencies your company needs to succeed.

3. eLearning is on the rise as part of blended learning strategies. ASTD found that most companies use a mix of instructor-led, self-paced, and technological training. They report, “After a slight dip in 2010, technology-based methods have rebounded to account for 37.3 percent of formal hours available across all learning methods.” They also note the increasing popularity of mobile delivery of training.

Companies want learning content to be always available to their employees, and they use technology to make sure the learning function is “always on” – with social networks, curated resources and online courses instantly available to support employees within their workflow.

While each organization faces unique challenges in creating their learning and development program, comparing your programs to your peers’ will provide useful opportunities to spot needed improvements in the new year.

Have you read the 2012 State of the Industry Report? What changes will you be making as a result of what you learned there?

(Image source: Joel Penner’s Flickr)