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7 Learning and Development Statistics You Should Know

Nearly half (46 percent) of workers say the COVID-19 pandemic caused them to reevaluate their skill sets, and 19 percent say pursuing higher education or learning a new skill is a greater priority. At the same time, companies have needed to rethink traditional workplace learning and how to best fit training opportunities into the new world of work.

Employee training has changed significantly over the past several years, as demonstrated by these learning and development statistics.

69% of companies have increased employee development

Most of today’s jobs didn’t exist in 1940, and 85 percent of jobs that will exist 10 years from now don’t exist yet. The pandemic may have accelerated this shift. It’s estimated that 85 million jobs will be displaced, and 97 million new ones will be created in the next three years. This is leading to skilled talent shortages, with nine in 10 leaders saying they already face skill gaps or expect them to develop within the next five years. 

It’s no surprise upskilling and reskilling is the top priority for L&D professionals globally. Fifty-eight percent of companies say that closing skill gaps has become a priority since the pandemic began, and 69 percent are engaging in more skill-building than before the crisis. 

An effective learning and development program will help you fill your current skills gap and train the talent you’ll need to be successful in the future.

64% of L&D professionals say the pandemic made learning a must-have

The COVID-19 pandemic majorly disrupted people’s lives and the world of work as we once knew it. Many organizations deployed digital learning programs to help employees navigate the crisis and stay productive from home—and these programs made a notable impact. 

As a result, 64 percent of L&D professionals agree that employee development shifted from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” during the pandemic. The focus on employee training is expected to continue, as 59 percent of Human Resource leaders have said building critical employee skills and competencies is a top priority for 2022.

94% of workers said they’d stay at a company longer if their employers invested in their careers

About half (48 percent) of America’s working population is actively job searching or watching for new opportunities—and many are taking action. Employee turnover has been steadily increasing, recently reaching a 22-year record high. This is an expensive problem for employers, as it costs one-half to 2x the employee’s annual salary to replace them.

Investing in talent development can help with employee retention. Career development is the leading reason people leave their jobs, but 94 percent of workers said they’d stay at a company longer if their employer invested in their careers.

These training and retention statistics explain why 87 percent of HR leaders say their employee learning and development program will be critical to retaining talent in 2022. 

Strength-based learning can result in 23% higher employee engagement

Developing your team members’ strengths has many worthwhile benefits, rather than focusing on overcoming their weaknesses. Strength-based learning can result in up to 23 percent higher employee engagement, 18 percent higher performance, and 73 percent lower attrition. 

Take action on these learning and development statistics by reconfiguring employee job responsibilities to focus on their strengths and interests. Sixty percent of employees say the ability to do what they do best in a role is important to them, which can help with engagement, performance, and retention. In fact, changing a top performer’s responsibilities will improve the likelihood of retaining them by around 20 percent—even if their title and pay remain the same.

New employees with clear development plans are 3.5 times more likely to say their onboarding process was exceptional

Only 29 percent of new hires say they feel fully prepared and supported to excel in their roles after their onboarding experience. But employees who say they have a clear plan for their professional development are 3.5x more likely to agree that their onboarding process was exceptional. Which of these employee training and development statistics would you like to apply to your team?

Incorporating L&D into your employee onboarding process can be the difference between an engaging, effective new hire experience and one that falls flat. 

79% of L&D professionals expect to spend more on online learning

Nearly half of organizations increased their overall L&D budgets for 2022—which may be in response to the Great Resignation. A quarter of businesses with above-average attrition over the past year significantly increased their budgets, compared to just 13 percent of companies with below-average attrition.

Employee development budgets are also shifting toward online learning and the technology that powers it. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of L&D professionals expect to spend less on instructor-led training, while 79 percent expect to spend more on online learning. And 93 percent of remote HR leaders who are increasing their L&D budget in 2022 plan to spend more on learning and training technology (like a Learning Management System). These employee training statistics show a clear focus on L&D in many organizations this year.

27% of L&D professionals use survey tools to measure program effectiveness

Learning and development statistics can give you an idea of the impact a training program can have on your team, but you’ll want to assess the results for yourself. Measuring the impact of your training investment will help you quantify your return and justify your budget. 

The top 10 ways L&D professionals measure the impact of workplace learning are:

  1. Qualitative feedback from employees using online training courses
  2. Satisfaction of employees using online training courses
  3. The number of employees that consistently engage with learning content
  4. Employee engagement survey scores
  5. Qualitative feedback about behavioral changes that employee training was intended to drive
  6. The number of online training courses completed
  7. An increase in the number of skills employees are developing
  8. Team/organization/business metrics (i.e., deals closed, customer satisfaction) before and after employee training
  9. Time saved/productivity increase
  10. Employee retention 

More than a quarter of learning and development professionals use survey tools to measure employee training program effectiveness. 

Final thoughts on these learning and development statistics

Employees rate professional development opportunities as the number one driver for great work culture. And 58 percent said they would take a job with a competing company if the new company had a better culture.

As turnover remains sky-high and talent shortages are expected to intensify, a corporate training program benefits your organization as much as it benefits your team members. Offer continuous learning opportunities so you may strengthen your workforce while improving employee engagement, retention, and performance.

Want to learn more about how employee training can transform your business and help you address the challenges outlined in these L&D statistics?

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Jen Dewar

WorkRamp Contributor

Jen Dewar is a marketing consultant in HR technology, focusing on developing educational content for HR professionals and recruiters. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, lifelong learning and development, and treating people like people throughout candidate and employee experiences. Outside of work, you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe, enjoying a glass of wine in Sonoma, or hanging out at home with her family.

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