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AllenComm Partners with Association for Talent Development (ATD) for 2021 State of the Industry Report

Organizations are reporting they expect to continue to expand use of eLearning over the next five years to deliver all types of training to employees, including onboarding, compliance training, sales and leadership training.

That’s just one of the conclusions drawn in this year’s 2021 State of the Industry Talent Development Benchmarks and Trends report authored by ATD and sponsored by AllenComm. According to data collected from organizations globally across all sectors of industry, in 2020 the pandemic and market conditions were driving accelerated digital adoption and transformation. Almost all (98%) of organizations reported using virtual classrooms to conduct learning, and 97% used some form of eLearning. And based on conditions, “most organizations expected virtual classroom use to increase or stay the say through 2021 and into 2022 even as they recovered from the pandemic.”

The annual report examines global talent development practices and trends to identify key content updates, delivery methods, and shifting priorities for learning and training. The report is a valuable resource for learning and development (L&D) professionals, organizational leadership, and HR department staff to observe trends over time and use the information as a benchmark to develop solutions for training needs.

This year, according to the report, the average organization spent 3.1% lower than the average spend in 2019, but spent a greater percentage of payroll and revenue on direct learning expenditures.

Most organizations invested in trainings to meet compliance and professional certifications, and help leaders learn skills, including interpersonal skills such as empathy and communication practices, to manage remote teams.

Some other key findings of this report:

  • Large companies (at least 10,000 employees) had the lowest direct learning expenditure – defined as internal services, learning suppliers, and tuition reimbursement – per employee, at $739. Smaller companies (less than 500 employees) recorded the highest direct learning expenditure, at $1,985. These results are likely due to economies of scale.
  • Finance, insurance and real estate organizations were heavily represented in the sample results due to increased training needs. On average, organizations in these industries spent $24 more per employee on learning.
  • The spend on healthcare learning dropped and was less than the average across industries, although learner hours increased slightly (.3%). On average, healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations spent $1,174 per employee on learning.
  • “The number of employees per talent development staff member […] increased from 430 to 447, before adjusting for outsourcing. These numbers likely reflect the changes in how learning was delivered; when organizations use virtual classrooms and e-learning, they have the potential to reach more learners with an offering.”
  • ATD’s research report Developing Virtual Managers: Driving Excellence From Afar found that by the end of 2020, 77 percent of managers had at least one direct report who was partially or fully in another location. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 21 percent of managers fit this description. The report also found that organizations that provided training on how to manage in virtual settings were much more likely to be strong business performers.
  • Despite the pandemic, many organizations remained committed to on-the-job learning but took those activities online, as well. Knowledge sharing activities were ranked as “highly important” by respondents.
  • Mobile learning was a significant, with use of laptop computers (84%), desktop computers (70%), smartphones (48%), and tablets (45%).

This is the third year AllenComm has sponsored ATD’s State of the Industry report. Of the annual report, AllenComm CEO has previously said, “Our interest in sponsoring this report directly supports our ongoing efforts to create innovative and transformative results for our clients. This report will help L&D leaders prioritize where they should p lace their efforts to motivate and engage employees.”

In response to the conclusions in this report and ongoing experience with clients, AllenComm is committed to offering transformative ILT to VILT content conversion and updated training development to meet the needs of a remote workplace.

For more information on how we can help with digital learning transformation, or for more information regarding this report, please contact us directly.