With wage pressures pushing employee compensation demands higher and inflation and supply chain issues further straining employer finances, one might expect that budgets for learning and development would shrink or even be put on hold while the storms pass.
The opposite seems to be true, however. According to recent data from learning tech provider Epignosis and SHRM, the majority of HR leaders (57%) say their L&D budgets increased following the pandemic. And an even higher percentage (67%) said they planned to raise their budgets for 2022.
Rapid Changes Require Ongoing Training
Despite the financial strain many companies are under, there are a few factors that help explain the growing investments in training. First, the needs of companies around the world have often changed dramatically over the past couple of years. Changing global trade patterns, economic conditions, consumer preferences and especially the shift to remote work have meant that the same jobs workers were performing three years ago look quite different today, and companies need to train their staffs for the new reality.
Second, precisely because it’s so hard for employers to find and retain workers in the current labor market, making the most of the staff an employer does have is more important than ever. That means increased training, upskilling, and reskilling.
Employees Find Training Opportunities Engaging
Relatedly, training is a great and often relatively inexpensive way to keep employees engaged. Workers increasingly want to achieve personal growth and development from their jobs, and companies that offer such opportunities can set themselves apart from competitors.
Often when financial difficulties arise, companies start cutting non-essential expenses until the situation starts to turn around. Yet, despite historic inflation, supply chain challenges and a tight labor market, companies are continuing to increase their training budgets, illustrating the extent to which employers see learning and development as a priority.