Surprise, training budgets take a hit in economic downturn

It may not be much of a news flash to HR professionals, but a new survey has confirmed that employee training budgets are typically one of the first victims when budget cuts hit.

According to a new survey by learning-services firm Expertus, training is often cut during tough economic times. Almost half of the 84 corporate and government training professionals surveyed reported their training budgets will decrease over the next year.

Among the findings:

  • For 2009, more than twice as many respondents expect budget decreases rather than increases.
  • 48% of respondents expect decreased training budgets in the coming year, up from 41% in 2008.
  • Only 17% expect a training budget increase in 2009.

As HR and training professionals struggle to prove the importance of employee training to their organizations, they’re looking for more low-cost training options and moving to more e-learning platforms.

From the HR Executive Online article:

One of the ways companies are trying to leverage their limited training dollars is through e-learning, Leon says, where he is seeing an uptick in interest.

“E-learning is easy to deliver to folks all around the world,” Leon says, noting that it is a less expensive alternative to live training with an instructor and the obligatory morning doughnuts and coffee. .

A move toward e-learning was also a trend identified by a roundtable of training executives assembled by Expertus, following the completion of the firm’s recent training survey.

“One of the main trends they discussed was realigning training to match the company’s goals,” says Gordon L. Johnson, vice president of marketing for Expertus. “You no longer have the luxury of being comprehensive when it comes to training. You need to do things that increase revenue, decrease costs or improve relationships with customers. Otherwise it will get cut.”

As we enter 2009, more companies will be turning to low-cost employee training options as a way to get more bang for their buck. Do you think the training industry will see more of a trend toward e-learning and online training outlets?


2 responses to “Surprise, training budgets take a hit in economic downturn

  1. Giving what the business needs is what is required. Efficiency in administration and technology support would help the company cut costs in a big way. Re-aligning learning and its associated priorities is very important at this point of time.

  2. Pingback: Training programs shown the door during recession « Training Marketer

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