Canadian organizations spending more on staff training: a step in the right direction

Organizations that invest, reap the rewards

OTTAWA, Feb. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Between 2010 and 2012, Canadian organizations increased funding for training, learning and development, according to the 12th edition of The Conference Board of Canada's Learning and Development Outlook.  Spending was up $17 per employee, a modest reversal of the downward trend of the past two decades.

The Canadian organizations surveyed in the Learning and Development Outlook spent an average of $705 per employee compared $688 per employee in 2010. Despite this modest increase, overall learning and development spending is down nearly 40 per cent from its historic high of $1,207 in 1993. Over the past 20 years, spending has declined in both the public and private sectors and in organizations of all sizes.

"Although we are observing slightly higher increases in spending in the most recent survey, it is unlikely that expenditures on learning and development will rise to levels seen in the past without a stronger organizational commitment to enhancing learning environments," said Donna Burnett-Vachon, Associate Director, Leadership and Human Resources Research.

"This is a significant issue because we know that organizations with strong learning cultures tend to realize better business results. Those who invest more in learning and development are the organizations that are being rewarded with higher levels of employee performance, customer satisfaction, and quality products and services compared to their competition," she added.

The report shows for the first time, the alignment of leadership development practices and overall organizational learning cultures. Organizations with strong learning cultures provide leadership development practices that are far more effective than organizations having moderate or weak learning cultures.

  Canadian organizations spent an average of $705 per employee on learning and development (L&D) in 2012-13, a slight increase from 2010 results.
   A majority of Canadian organizations (60 per cent) consider leadership development a strategic priority; yet only about one-third rate their leadership development practices as being effective.
  Organizations with strong learning cultures invariably have strong leadership that supports learning and development delivery. Leadership development plays a crucial role in supporting learning culture.

The Conference Board of Canada study also shows that organizations continue to rely heavily on informal learning—and are putting more emphasis on e-learning, especially in areas such as online social networking. The percentage of organizations with strong learning cultures that frequently or always use social networking has more than doubled in the last two years.

The report, Learning and Development Outlook - 12th Edition - Strong Learning Organizations, Strong Leadership, is based on the responses to a biennial survey of Canadian organizations. In 2013, a total of 198 organizations completed the Learning and Development Outlook survey.

Join us for a special 60-minute interactive webinar which will dive deep into the Learning and Development survey results. 

Video with caption: "Video: Watch Donna Burnett-Vachon, Associate Director, Leadership and Learning at The Conference Board of Canada, discuss learning and development trends in Canadian organizations.". Video available at:

SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada

For further information:

Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221
The Conference Board of Canada

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