Insight April 26, 2023 Lisa Sacchetti

Education and Technology Primer: Corporate Training

Corporate training is the backbone of continuous professional development for most of us. After secondary education and higher education have concluded, it is our employers who can have a huge impact and influence on our learning and career progression. Employer provided training has increased in access and effectiveness through new EdTech solutions. Further, most companies now consider organizational learning and development as critical to a successful growth strategy. It’s become a non-negotiable for organizations who want to maintain a competitive edge, attract key talent, and provide top performers motivating career progression.

Research from Skyquest suggests that the global corporate training market is set to hit just over $490bn by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 8.9% over the 2022-2028 period. This is impressive growth coming out of a challenging economic period and it signifies both that companies are investing heavily in learning and development, and that the advancement of education technology is expanding the efficiency and effectiveness of the training outcomes being achieved.

Here at The Renaissance Network, we find that effective corporate training can be a catalyst for improved employee morale, productivity, and retention – and given our work in the EdTech space, we strive to keep our finger on the pulse of how the industry is developing more generally.

What’s the Current Outlook for the Corporate Training Industry?

Skyquest’s research goes on to show that companies are spending an average of $1,396 per employee on corporate training, up from $1,295 the year before. The spending focus in company budgets varies widely, but the most common components seem to be learning management systems (39% of companies), authoring tools (36%), online learning tools (30%), and content development (30%) according to a 2022 survey completed by Training Magazine. This aligns with what we’re seeing with our clients as companies seek to systematize and scale their corporate training efforts to achieve better outcomes in 2023 and beyond.

The question of who delivers these training programs is still relatively mixed with about 52% of respondents to a World Economic Forum research project suggesting that they plan to use internal resources to reskill and upskill employees. The rest utilize the services of professional third-party providers who offer specialist resources, expertise, and technology that are not the core competency of the company that wants to invest in the training.

With better technology comes the capacity for more sophisticated corporate training programs that align with the challenges of modern business. Let’s now look at some of the key trends that are developing in the industry.

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5 Key Trends in Corporate Training

These five trends encapsulate some of the most important changes that we’re seeing in the corporate training industry and they represent the forefront of the evolution that we’re seeing across the board:

1. Upskilling and Reskilling

The modern business landscape is fast shifting (as is our world) and so we can’t rely solely on the initial set of skills that our staff has acquired so far in order to get us to where we need to go. Learning needs to be a continual process where we are consistently upskilling and reskilling our staff to tackle challenges as they arise, and to adapt to changing circumstances in order to stay relevant.

This is not only important from a competitive advantage point of view, but it also is crucial for keeping employees engaged and invested in their careers and in their ability to contribute to the company’s wider mission. Investing time and resources into helping people upskill themselves and learn new capabilities improves retention rates and helps to develop natural career pathways for growth and expansion within the organization.

2. Microlearning

As with so much of our world, corporate training is also trending towards smaller and smaller pieces of content within curriculums of all types. Corporate employees are naturally time-poor and so microlearning allows for key concepts to be communicated in bite-size chunks in a way that can be absorbed and applied practically as quickly as possible. This style of training is aligned with the way that people are consuming information in their personal lives (on social media specifically) and so it makes for better adherence and completion rates for training programs.

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3. Learning on Demand

In a similar vein to the point above, employees are also responding much better to corporate training programs that are available on demand, so that they can be accessed and completed at a time most convenient for the person in question. This allows people to shape their weeks effectively and dig into necessary training material as and when it makes sense to do so.

This is analogous to the just-in-time information methodology where employees can seek the requisite materials as and when they face a particular challenge, rather than going through a highly structured in-person seminar where most of the knowledge is not going to be immediately practicable.

4. Supporting Career Pathways

One of the most important factors for retaining top talent today is demonstrating a clear career pathway for ambitious individuals who want to improve their skills and constantly push themselves to get better and better at what they do. We’ve written before about how important this is, and we’re starting to see just how mission-critical established career pathways are when we analyze the key reasons for poor employee morale in the marketplace.

Career pathways empower employees to take control of their careers and to see the growth potential within that organization – even if it hasn’t been realized yet. It also allows the company to align its employee development with the long-term strategic plan of the organization so that the reskilling and upskilling processes are most effective.

5. Certifications / Badging

Effective corporate training leans into basic psychological principles and that’s definitely one element at play in the trend toward certifications and badges. Employees are much more motivated to complete specific training programs if they receive a certification or badge as recognition of a successful effort. Just as importantly, certifications provide an outward-facing source of proof that the person has acquired specific skills and it gives them career capital that they can leverage in various ways both here in this job and in other roles in the future.

Crucially, these certifications need to be genuine and objectively earned if they are to hold any weight. They should not merely signify participation, but also reflect a relevant level of competence. so that they are meaningful to career progression and on-the-job success.

Case Study: What are Some Corporate Training Firms Doing Right?

To get a better sense of the current state of corporate training, let’s look at a few companies that are delivering solutions that move the employee development needle for the companies they work with.

D2L Corp (Canada)

D2L is building highly functional and intuitive learning management systems that allow companies to carefully craft career pathways and manage the deployment of training programs in a curated and seamless way. Their software allows for complete customization of the learning platform – enabling companies to configure it according to their needs both present and future. Combine this with the leading learning methodologies that are already built in and you have yourself a powerful means of transforming corporate training and everything it touches.

Franklin Covey Co. (USA)

Franklin Covey is focused on leadership and workplace culture because they believe that these factors are what unlock exceptional performance across any organization. Built on the foundation of Stephen Covey’s ground-breaking book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this company builds products and solutions that embrace the best of what we’re learning about effective behavioral change. This is very important if you want to see real results, because even with the best curriculum, if you’re not delivering it in a way that’s going to drive practical change – then it’s simply not going to get you the results you’re looking for.

John Wiley and Sons Inc. (USA)

Widely known as Wiley, this company is a leader in research and curriculum development for a wide range of developmental outcomes. They cover a wide spectrum of different topics and skills but excel in their ability to create highly relevant and timeous material that prepares corporate employees to face real challenges, and gives them a valuable certification in the process.

Skillsoft Ltd. (USA)

Skillsoft is all about transformative learning experiences in IT, business, leadership, and compliance. They have a far-reaching set of courses and learning programs which are constantly being improved and updated as the needs change on the ground. In addition, they’ve also built their own learning platform which delivers this material and this can be used by companies to craft highly specific and measurable training pathways to propel workplace development outcomes.

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Contact us to Help You Build your World Class Team

Here at The Renaissance Network, we’re extremely passionate about education and technology solutions and it’s highly encouraging to see the big steps forward that the industry is making to deliver highly relevant, personalized, and meaningful training for employees across the world.

We help our clients build and optimize hiring funnels to attract, hire, and retain the right people to take their companies to the next level. If you’d like to explore how we can assist your organization, be sure to get in touch today, and let’s see how we can find you top talent!

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Lisa founded The Renaissance Network in 1996 with the mission of building world-class teams and quickly developed a focus on the growing Education and Technology vertical.

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