According to trainingindustry.com, in 2015, companies globally spent $355.6 billion on corporate training initiatives - $160 billion of which was in the US. This was a 10% increase on the previous year. The importance of corporate training today is clear. Across almost every industry, organizations report a skills gap, particularly in tech. The dramatic advance of technology over the last few years has seen employees forced to adapt and accumulate new skills that very few at their companies will have at all, rendering on-the-job training inefficient and slow. Finance departments, for example, are now using cloud-based services and data analytics far more, so employees must learn at least the basics to ensure that they’re helping their firms use them to the best they can, yet analytics is so recent a practice that it unlikely there will be peers to teach them.
However, increasingly employers are showing reluctance to pay for corporate training themselves, and pushing the cost onto the individual. Obviously, the primary reason for this is simply that they can pass on the cost - individuals have shown that they are willing to pay, so why would they not? According to a report titled ‘Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision’ which spoke to 19,000 working millennials and 1,500 hiring managers across 25 countries, 95% of American millennials say they are willing to foot the bill for training themselves. This may solve one problem in that corporate training is often seen as a jolly and having the individual pay for it means they will likely take it more seriously. Equally, though, employees are far more likely to take a vested interest in the success of the company if they have benefited from training that they’ve had paid for, rather than had to pay for themselves.
The idea of online corporate training is now a lot more appealing to many organizations. Having an instructor come into the office is time-consuming, expensive, and distracting for others. In response to this, companies are turning to online training providers, which can now provide a similar level of engagement, yet allow the student to learn in their own time.
The rise in online training platforms, driven by self-authored video, online communication channels, and virtual learning environments are all growing rapidly as training tools. These come in a variety of formats, for example live chat webinars offering personal interaction. There are also huge libraries of executive training material available on the internet, including our Innovation Enterprise On Demand service, which enables employees to pick up new ideas and techniques without having to leave their home or office.
The digital economy is going to continue to revolutionize the nature of the workforce for many years to come. Companies must be aware of the impact of these changes, the opportunities they present, and how their workforces can best take advantage of them. In this climate, companies must adopt a permanent learning approach, in which employees are always looking at materials. There are now a vast amount of resources out there, and companies have to develop a real training strategy if they are to really exploit them.