The Ironclad Case For More Learning
Ken Keis: The Most Profitable Companies Provide The Most Training
When you omit learning
and training from your
business practices, you
put a slow leak in your bank account.
It's easy to think you are saving money
by cutting "training" in your organization.
But when you delete training,
you join the ranks of customers who
don't service their vehicles.
In 2000, the American Society
of Training and Development (ASTD),
of which we are members, conducted
a research study that involved more
than 3,500 organizations in multiple
industries including automotive.
After the information was calculated,
it was clear that organizations not
committed to continuous learning/
training were, on average, the least
The most profitable organizations
invested double the average
investment 240% or more into
training and learning for their people.
Here are the results of the learning
vs. non-learning companies:
Training provided, per eligible employee,
- Average organizations: 26.3 hrs.
- Learning organizations: 62.5 hrs.
Investment for learning initiatives, per
employee per year:
- Average organizations: $1,040
- Learning organizations: $2,600 260% more per person
Investment for learning initiatives,
converted into percentages of payroll:
- Average organizations: 1.8% of payroll
- Learning organizations: an amazing 3.6% of payroll
The delivery preferences of the Learning
organizations and the average
organizations were very similar.
- Instructor-led: 80%
- Technology-delivered: 8.4%
- Self-paced or distance-learning: 8%
- Various other methods: 3.6%
One of the main reasons for the poor
showing of technology-delivered learning
was participants' frustration with
"not right the first time" launches of
e-learning programs such as CDROMs
that crash, slow Internet service,
and email learning that lacks
interactivity. The study also documented
that once a learner has a
negative experience with e-learning,
he or she is significantly less likely to
take future e-learning courses.
Projections show a doubling of
technology-delivered learning over
the next 18 months. By 2003, close
to 20% of learning will be technology-
Who conducted training for the
- 96.6% used outside learning firms
- 89.7% used colleges and universities
- 86.2% used product suppliers
- 86.2% used independent contractors
How did they grade their employees,
to ensure the company maximized
their return on investment?
- 98% conducted an annual performance review.
- 92% documented individual development plans.
- 83% documented each individual's competencies or skill sets.
- 78% produced skill-certification programs.
- 64% conducted peer reviews or 360° Feedback Assessments.
How did the top businesses operate,
to achieve higher profitability, compared
to their peers?
- 97% had problem-solving teams or quality-circle teams.
- 92% included job-rotation or cross-training as part of their process.
- 78% of the Learning Leaders involved their employees in the management of business decisions.
The bottom line?
Training generates the highest
business profits! Many businesses
across the country are seeing firsthand
what learning/training can do
both for their employees and for
the organization as a whole. Although
there is still a significant gap between
the Learning Leaders and the "average"
organizations, the developing
trend is toward more learning and
training two factors critical to an
Ken Keis, MBA, CPC, is President and
CEO of Consulting Resource Group
(www.crgleader.com), a Vancouver-based
firm that consults, trains, and publishes
HR assessments for organizations
interested in improving productivity and
performance. He can be reached at
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