Learning & Development

Different Roles, Different Training Topics: More Results of the Training and Development Survey

In yesterday’s Advisor, we shared some results from our recent survey on training and development; today, further results and data from the study, including respondents’ takes on which topics covered in training are the most popular, the role of professional development, and products and services used for training.

A total of 976 respondents provided their opinions in the Training and Development Survey, conducted in April 2015.

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 teambuilding 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:

  • Teambuilding—52.6%
  • Time management—45.4%
  • Dealing/coping with problem employees—25.4%
  • Leadership/management—24.3%

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Training Topics

The following table indicates the training topics that our participants’ organizations provide to specific groups of employees:


Employee Training

Incoming employees with no college education require more nontechnical 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 technical 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 nontechnical training for 21%, the same level of training for 58.4%, and less training for 8.8%. College-educated workers require more technical 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%, and 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%.

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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 second and third are BLR® (51.7%) and HR.BLR.com® (50.6%). Fourth and fifth are OSHA (49.7%) and the Human Resources Certification Institute (42.9%).

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