May 06, 2015
Training & Development Survey Summary - 2015

Does your organization employ full-time trainers?

Does it offer developmental as well as job-specific training?

HR’s role

HR not only decides what training is needed (59.8%) but also evaluates training options and purchases training materials (59.8%). HR schedules training sessions (67.3%) and conducts the training (60.4%) as well. Additionally, HR helps supervisors with training for employees as needed (74.8%) and evaluates/hires trainers (43.1%).

When asked who makes decisions about training, 63.6% (85.2% in 2014 and 70% in 2013) of the participants in our survey indicated that it’s executive management. Human resources management is involved in making those decisions for 63.8%. In-house counsel is involved in the decision-making process for 7.3% and training/development staff is involved for 35% of survey participants. Supervisors and managers, however, are involved in the decision-making process for 57.3%.

Training process

Full-time trainers are on staff for 36.6% (up from 29.5% in 2014), while 39.3% utilize a learning management system. One hour is the typical session length for employee training for 35.3% of survey participants and it is two hours for 18.7%. For 17.6% four hours is the norm and a half-hour is the session of choice for 13.2%. Ninety minutes is regularly scheduled by 11.2% and all day training is typical for 22.5%. Forty-five minutes is the usual for 11.3% and training sessions of 15 minutes or less trails the pack at 5.3%.

Our survey shows that the method used most regularly for training employees is in-person presentations by HR at 56.1%, followed by providing printed materials at 37.7%. Online training is used regularly by 24.9% and video-based or DVD-based materials are regularly used by 16.1%. In-person training sessions presented by experts from outside the company are a regularly used method for 20.6%. Outside conferences are a regular staple for 15.8% and 11.7% regularly utilize telephone/audio seminars.

In the coming years, 80.6% expect to use online training and 80.1% plan to utilize in-person sessions conducted by the HR staff. Video/DVD will be used by 49.6% and mobile/tablet-based materials will be used by 31.9%. Telephone/audio conferences will be utilized by 38.4%. Experts from outside the organization will be brought in by 61.1% and attendance at outside conferences will be a staple for 64.2%.


Compliance training budgets in 2016 will remain level with 2015 for 54.7% and will increase for 22.2% of survey participants who answered this question. Development training leads the budget increase list at 35.3% followed by technical/professional training at 27.5%. Dollars budgeted for training infrastructure (e.g., LMS) will bump up for 12.3% and training budgets for HR staff (train the trainer) will increase for 19%.


Measuring the effectiveness of training is a formal process for an average of 47.6% (up from 24.4% in 2014) who answered this question in our survey. Supervisor or management input leads the list at 67.8% (26.8% in 2014), followed closely by evaluation of employee performance at 63.7%. Trainee evaluation of the trainer comes in next at 56.9% (43.2% in 2014), then testing trainees on the training content at 45.9% (33.8% in 2014). ROI (return on investment) and ROE (return on engagement) round out the list at 27.3% and 23.9%, respectively (up from 9.1% each in 2014).

Professional development

Formal mentoring programs are available for employees at 29.6% of survey participants who answered this question in our survey and they are available for supervisors at 22.5%. Manager-level employees are included in formal mentoring programs at 22%. Formal onboarding programs for new employees are in place at 76% and a formal training program for high potential employees is available at 35%.

Leadership/management is the professional development topic covered most (78.9%) when training management team members and company mission and values comes in second at 70.8%. Following closely is dealing with problem employees at 68.9% and ethics/integrity at 68.6%. Coming in next is team building at 64.1%. Other professional development training topics for management include:

  • Communication/presentation – 63.7%
  • Job-related skills – 58%
  • Time management – 50.7%

Our survey question regarding professional development for employees paints a picture similar to 2014 with job-related skills topping the list for 84.4%, followed by company mission and values at 79.2%. Next in line is ethics/integrity at 65.9% and communication/presentation at 54.9%. Other professional development training topics for employees include team building (52.6%), time management (45.4%), dealing/coping with problem employees (25.4%), and leadership/management (24.3%).

Employee training

Incoming employees with no college education require more non-technical training than their counterparts of prior years for 27.2%. This employee group requires the same amount of training for 49.1% and less training for 3.3%. Also, they require more tech training for 26.4%, the same amount of training for 53.6%, and less training than in the past for 5.5%.

College educated workers require more non-tech training for 21%, the same level of training for 58.4%, and less training for 8.8%. College educated workers require more tech training for 17%, the same amount of training for 57.2%, and less training for 14.8%.

The training topic most needed for the organizations represented by our survey participants is leadership/supervisory skills (19.2%), followed by engagement/motivation (12.3%). Training in communication skills comes in third at 11.6%, with performance management training next at 10.3%, then employee conduct/workplace respect at 10.1%.

More time for training is the number one need for 19.9% and cost-effective training is the number one need for 16.6%. A training needs analysis is at the top of the list for 11.7% and training measurements/metrics is the number one training need for 11.1%.

The number one complaint regarding training is a limited budget for 15.8% and not having enough time for training heads the complaint list for 13.3%. Having no formal training program is the biggest complaint for 10.7% and lack of management support is the number one issue for 10.4%.

Products and services

Cost of training products/services is a consideration for 87.7% of survey participants and the quality of the training materials is a decision factor for 78.4%.  Adaptability to their needs is important for 76.2% and the amount of time required for training is a factor for 74.8%. Ease of use is a consideration for 67.9%. Trainer credentials is a factor for 49.9%, while the ability to deploy training materials on mobiles/tablets is a consideration for 16.3% and the kind of equipment required is a consideration for 40.6%.

The most recommended source/vendor for training is SHRM at 63.7%. Coming in 2nd and 3rd are BLR (51.7%) and (50.6%). Rounding out the top five at 4th and 5th are OSHA (49.7%) and the Human Resources Certification Institute (42.9%).

Survey participants

Organizations with up to 250 employees account for 53.5% of our survey participants and 23.1% have 251 to 1,000 employees. Another 13.7% employ 1,001 to 5,000 individuals and 9.7% of survey respondents work in organizations with more than 5,000 employees.

Privately owned, for-profit organizations are represented by 54% of survey participants and not-for-profits account for 19.6%. Public corporations make up 11.7% and governments represent 14.7%. Industries include:

  • Manufacturing – 15.3%
  • Health care and social assistance – 14.3%
  • Finance and insurance – 8.6%
  • Educational services – 10.4%
  • Public administration – 5.7%
  • Professional, technical, and scientific services – 6.4%
  • Retail trade – 2.9%
  • Transportation and warehousing – 4.5%
  • Other services (except public administration) – 11.2%  

Our 976 survey participants are classified as Staff (16.6%), Supervisor (7%), Manager (55.8%), and VP or higher (20.6%).

Featured Free Resource:
Cost Per Hire Calculator
Compensation Quick Links
Copyright © 2023 Business & Legal Resources. All rights reserved. 800-727-5257
This document was published on
Document URL: