We have analyzed a number of company reports to identify different approaches to learning investments and evaluate how companies could improve the effectiveness of their corporate training. We found that top companies offer 2-3 times more training for employees than the rest.
One of the key drivers for company success and competitive advantage in the modern economy are the intangible assets. Whether it is a great brand, streamlined production, or innovative R&D processes, success relies on Intellectual Capital, or more specifically on the Human Capital.
Companies have different and overlapping objectives for their training programs. Often the objectives relate to closing the skill-gap by re-skilling employees, creating a work culture of productivity, improving organizational agility, motivating employees, and to have an overall positive impact on business goals.
The best way to analyze the issue would be to look at companies’ Corporate Learning Strategy, training plans, budgets and content, and to run analytics with the data from their Corporate Learning Platforms. Obviously this data is not publicly available, so comparing companies is not straightforward.
However, as training metrics are included in the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards framework (Global Reporting Initiative), some companies report these metrics as part of their Corporate Responsibility / Sustainability reporting. From these reports, a specific metric for “number of training hours” can be used as a proxy of the Corporate Learning approach and Human Capital investments, acknowledging that it doesn’t directly show how effective the training was, i.e. how well the training succeeded in achieving the training objectives.
In our study, we have analyzed a sample of GRI Sustainability reports of large European and US companies who have published the related training metrics (G4-LA9: Average hours of training). This sample includes a total of 60 companies across industries, 32 based in Finland, 13 in the US, 7 in the UK, 3 in Germany, and 1 in both Denmark and France. While the sample size is relatively small, it indicates that there are surprisingly large differences between companies in terms of the amount of training (in hours) they provide to their employees per year.
The following picture outlines average training hours per employee by company. The companies have been further grouped into three groups based on descriptive statistics quartiles:
The different training approaches raise further questions and improvement opportunities for these companies:
In our earlier white paper “Five Best Practices in Optimizing Learning Experiences for Organizations” we discussed some ways to improve learning effectiveness. These include:
Contact our learning transformation consultants to discuss the right approach towards optimizing learning investments for your organization. Key considerations and next steps relate to having a clearly defined corporate learning strategy, which requires understanding where your organization currently stands, what the targeted business outcomes are, and an indicative timeline for your learning transformation.