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Annual State of the Industry Report Released Showing Training Trends in Employee Development and Skilling

This month, Association for Talent Development (ATD) released its 2022 State of the Industry Report sponsored by AllenComm. The report reveals trends across industry in employee training and development and speaks to business priorities in the coming year.

Organizations are likely to continue to favor use of technology, including custom eLearning courses, as a knowledge sharing tool in training and on-the-job learning going forward, even as people returned to in-person work as the pandemic evolved last year.

That’s one of the conclusions drawn in this year’s ATD 2022 State of the Industry Report, an annual review of talent development trends, spending, and activities. The report was released this January 2023. This is the fourth year AllenComm has sponsored the report, which reveals important organizational priorities for employee training and development.

According to findings documented in the report this year, most organizations invested in employee training and development dedicated to leadership training, with additional development of managerial and supervisory content, partially in response to the need to help managers more effectively lead fully remote or hybrid teams working partially from home.

Training to develop interpersonal skills was the second-biggest area of content development, accounting for a total of 12 percent of the learning portfolio. The emphasis for interpersonal skills training related to communicating and working with others, such as teamwork and empathy.

Other areas of content emphasis included mandatory and compliance content, as well as profession-specific and industry-specific training content. These include such training courses as:

  • Industry-Specific Compliance, such as banks training employees to meet FDIC requirements
  • Ongoing Required Skills Development for Medical, Engineering, and Legal Professionals
  • Occupational Safety and Health, including training to reduce spread of COVID-19 in the workplace
  • Sexual Harassment 
  • Cyber Awareness and Privacy

The report this year also demonstrated that virtual learning continues to be a major delivery system for employee training programs. As remote employees were returning to workplaces in 2021, the learning hours attributable to in-person training in instructor-led classrooms rose to 30%, from a low in 2020 of 16%. For context, from 2016-2018 the number of training hours conducted in-person in instructor-led classrooms ranged from 49 to 54%.

Additionally, the report demonstrated that in-person learners in-office were more likely to use online spaces for learning in 2021, with 67% of learners using some form of eLearning.

Some other key findings from the report this year:

  • The average organization had a direct learning expenditure of $1,280 per employee in 2021
  • Per employee spend was one percent higher than the average spending for 2020
  • Although direct learning expenditures were mostly unchanged from 2020 to 2021, it made up a greater percentage of payroll and lower percentage of revenue than it did in 2020
  • On-the-Job Learning – including coaching during work, job shadowing, and rotational training – has become a critical part of training development

This is the fourth year AllenComm has sponsored ATD’s State of the Industry Report. The report is available to ATD members for free, and a webinar to discuss the findings will be presented on Jan. 26. For more information, visit the ATD website at

For more information on how AllenComm can help with digital learning transformation, custom eLearning content development, learning facilitation, and instructional design, or for more information regarding this report, please contact us directly at [email protected].

About AllenComm

For more than 40 years, AllenComm has partnered with Fortune 500 companies to create and scale transformative learning solutions. Extensive instructional design experience, innovative learning technologies, and agency-level creative teams enable AllenComm to stand out in the learning landscape. Considered one of the top ten firms of its kind in the country, AllenComm wins over 40 awards year-after-year for their solutions. Partnering with AllenComm to supplement and support human capital management needs has helped customers reduce expenses, shorten onboarding periods, and raise the impact of sales and compliance efforts.