Corporate training courses and executive education programs (exec-ED and ExEd) are rising across the US. Yet many HR leaders still view learning and development (L&D) as a waste of time, money, and resources. So, are they right, and if not, how does a business ensure a decent return on its L&D investment?

For corporate training to succeed, it must be highly relevant to the stakeholders. That means the participants, bosses, and the business. Therefore, all leadership development plans should set clear expectations and include follow-up and refresher courses. Moreover, L&D needs tracking and measuring to have a lasting impact.

Relevant corporate training courses offer incredible value. They attract top talent to your organization, improve leadership retention, and increase productivity. In this article, we look at the buzz around the benefits of corporate training and how to get it right.


The Concept Behind Corporate Training Courses

Business training programs are as much about the individuals they coach as the companies they serve. People are your number one resource. And without the right talent in today’s competitive market, business growth will slow or stall. So, employee training aims to eliminate weaknesses while strengthening skills to improve productivity.

Corporate coaching allows leaders to develop their hard and soft skills further. And well-trained leaders perform with enhanced competence and confidence. Investing in your top talent also adds more potential leaders to your managerial pipeline. And that, in turn, helps secure your succession planning strategies.

This table sums up the benefits of corporate training courses for leaders and businesses.

Identify and develop one’s leadership styles
Implement efficient motivational strategies
Develop better communication skills
Strengthen confidence
Make better business and people decisions
Manage workplace conflicts
Enhance delegation skills
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Strategic thinking
Job satisfaction
Increase productivity
Nurture future leaders
Close gaps in the talent pipeline
Reduce staff turnover
Improved corporate learning culture
Benefit from more effective teams
Improve strategy execution
Attract better employees

There will be others, depending on the nature of your business and its objectives.

Types of Corporate Leadership Training Programs

Leadership has no graduation, so there is always room for progress. According to research, leaders strive to develop new skills and bolster existing ones in five critical areas [1] [2] [3] [4] [5].

  1. Effective communication
  2. Motivation
  3. Delegation
  4. Strategic thinking
  5. Emotional Intelligence (self/social-awareness, self/relationship management)

Training courses are popular at all management levels, not only with emerging leaders. However, building a leadership bench has become urgent for many US companies. Researchers found that 67% of human resource (HR) heads and 78% of talent management leaders see it as a priority. And the way to bench strength is through effective training [6].

How to Strengthen Your Organization’s Pipeline

EWF’s highly targeted corporate training courses strengthen your employee career management strategies. We provide your talent pool with a complete leadership development ecosystem. Our professional team designs programs that help recruit, retain, and reward your top talent and emerging leaders as you prepare them for future high-impact roles.

Let EWF Help You Develop Your Next Generation of Talented Leaders

Reasons for the Accelerated Interest in L&D

There is nothing new about corporate training courses, of course. But what is novel is the rise in interest businesses and individuals have for L&D programs. From 2021 to 2026, the expected L&D growth is USD 46.22BN. And forecasters predict this momentum to accelerate at a CAGR of 8.77% for the 2021–2022 period [7].

Many companies previously placed staff training as a low priority. They worried that employees would use their newfound skills and knowledge to seek other employment. However, research shows the opposite is true. Workers at all levels are happier when employed by companies that invest in them. It results in job attraction, job satisfaction, and worker retention [8].

Training & Development Influences Decisions
A Gallup Poll found job-related training and professional development influenced millennials’ decisions to apply for positions. Continual development and growth is also a top factor in retaining this cohort[9].

Proper training has been shown to increase efficiency and productivity, earning companies a better return for every hour of employee time. As a result, businesses with targeted learning programs have higher profit margins than those with none. Furthermore, training increases efficiency and productivity, saving time and adding value.

The Potential Pitfalls of No Corporate Training

The Real Cost of Missing/Low-Investment Training - EWF International

What does the so-called Great Resignation mean for leadership development? The job titles may be the same, but the employment landscape is changing fast. There are now more leadership positions than people to fill them. So the best way to catch the attention of talented job seekers is to advertise ongoing training and professional development.

The Real Cost of No or Low-Investment Training

The belief that high-quality coaching will see newly trained leaders jump ship for pastures new is a dated one. HR Magazine reported that companies that don’t develop their workers risk damaging workplace morale and their bottom line. In the study, employees at the top of the group had an average of $1,595 in training spent on them [10].

The study compares the top 25% of the group with the most investment in training to the rest. The results show that employee training influences workers and financial performance.

  • 24% higher gross profit margins
  • 218% higher income per employee
  • 26% higher price-to-book (P/B) ratio

It’s clear from this and various other studies that low-investment training is a bad decision. Thus, the way to attract and retain top talent is to increase—not cut—training budgets.

Will This Be the New Normal?

The importance of corporate training cannot be overstated. Effective leadership development is the new normal for companies that strive to maintain their competitive edge. The COVID pandemic has changed the world of work forever, and it’s a job seeker’s market. How prepared is your company to become part of The New American Workplace?

The new normal workplace needs to attract and retain leadership talent through L&D. Therefore, HR leaders must do more to address the goals of corporate training.

Here are four HR recommendations for 2022 and beyond: 

  1. Training for senior leaders on how to adjust to the new normal workplace
  2. Next-generation training tailored to the post-COVID hybrid workplace 
  3. Assimilate a growth mindset with training & management programs
  4. Initiate mentoring and reverse-mentoring learning programs

Peer and Observational Learning


Depending on your organization, it might also pay to promote peer learning, mentoring, and constructive feedback. This approach helps to drive independent thinking and self-examination. However, vicarious and observational learning is best used in addition to—not in place of—direct, hands-on, formal-type coaching. 

Does Your Company Need Corporate Training?

Whether your company needs corporate training programs depends on the size and nature of the business. But for most competing organizations, employee training and development are vital for success. Also, L&D investment improves the bottom line, attracts top talent, and reduces employee turnover.

These are critical considerations in a world of talent shortages. So, high-quality training should be included in the goals of corporate HR teams everywhere. The result is that your leadership improves their skill set while the business becomes more productive. There will also be a new company learning culture and a happier workforce.

Corporate Spending on Training Programs

Since 2012, more companies have begun to recognize the importance of corporate training. There was a slight dip in 2018 and through the worst pandemic period. But in 2021, investment started to rise again, and the trend is set to continue.

This chart shows the total US training expenditures from 2012 to 2021.

 Data source: Statista Research Department

What Goes into Corporate Training Courses?

The ideal training plans are often tailored to the needs of individuals, teams, and organizations. And the best instructors and facilitators hold the participants accountable for their leadership learning and follow-through.

Whatever the type of coaching, every training curriculum should be well-prepared, practiced, and receive senior management buy-in. It should also be measured, reassessed, and improved over time for the benefit of all parties.

When Staff Training Courses Fail

Not all corporate training courses succeed, but that doesn’t always mean they’re bad. The problem is that too much training is general rather than targeted. So when an audience struggles to stay awake, it’s a sure sign of a wasted course.

Leadership offline and online learning should check seven boxes to succeed:

  1. Targeted nurturing to support the specific needs of an audience
  2. Training fully aligns with people and priority business objectives
  3. The course identifies and caters to crucial gaps in learning and performance
  4. Includes interactive, relevant, enjoyable learning experiences
  5. Senior managers follow up on course progress and participant feedback
  6. Course leader holds participants accountable for personal progress
  7. Management measures and rewards newly acquired and applied skills

The key takeaway here is relevance and engagement. Some staff training fails because it’s irrelevant to the audience, poorly presented, or both. But get it right, and leadership training is an excellent investment despite the initial costs.

EWF Quality Corporate Programming for Leaders

Are you struggling with your talent bench? EWF International offers custom corporate programming using proven, actionable leadership development strategies. Our expert coaches help your organization create and maintain a pipeline of experienced and emerging leaders as potential successors.

Read How EWF’s Corporate Programs Strengthen Your Talent Pipeline

Summing Up Why Corporate Training Is Growing

There’s enough evidence to sway old ways of thinking about corporate-focused training programs. HR leaders can see how companies that train staff run better by enhancing people and business productivity. They understand its value as a recruiting and retention tool that promotes job satisfaction and knowledge transfer.

Lastly, leadership training curriculums are growing because the evidence proves how training cultures add flexibility and efficiency in the workplace.