34+ Employee Development Statistics, Trends & Facts [2024]

December 1, 2023 0 Comments

Want to supercharge profits?

The data shows investing in employee development pays dividends.

Organizations with robust learning cultures see 17% higher profits and over 50% greater productivity.

The numbers speak for themselves – for every $1 spent on training, companies net $4.53 in returns.

Case in point: major corporations like Heineken, Marriott and Walmart are pouring billions into upskilling.

They aim to equip workforces for the future while driving retention.

These statistics can guide human capital investment strategy.

Top Employee Development Statistics: Editor’s Pick

  1. Organizations who invest in employee development are 17% more profitable. [1]
  2. 59% of Millennials highly value development opportunities. [2]
  3. Career development investments boost engagement, resulting in 202% productivity. [3]
  4. 23% percent of workers made training and development their top priority. [4]
  5. 84% say learning culture can boost resilience and aid employees. [5]
  6. 76% are likely to stay at firms offering continuous training. [6]
  7. $82.5 billion spent on training in 2020 during pandemic. [7]
  8. Corporates in the U.S are spending more than 100bn on training. [8]
career development hikes engagement and productivity

Why Invest in Employee Development?

Want to know the unfair advantage that comes with investing in employee development programs?

Take AT&T for example.

By retaining employees through upskilling initiatives, AT&T estimated savings of at least 21%.

The company invests over $1 billion on training, but expects an ROI over 131%.

That’s equivalent to $1.31 billion!

These outsized returns are why more and more organizations are hopping on the employee development trend.

Check out more compelling statistics showing this advantage below.

Boosts business success [1]

When you invest in employee development, it’s not only about acquiring new skills but also fostering a culture of learning within the company.

Studies show that organizations with a robust learning culture:

  • 92% more inclined to innovate
  • 52% more productive
  • 17% more profitable compared to their counterparts

Attracts top talent

Gallup discovered that 59% of millennials highly value development opportunities when considering a job.

To attract top talent, showcase your ongoing career development programs during the application and interview phases. [2]

High employee engagement!

The Dale Carnegie Institute’s research reveals that a highly engaged workforce can yield remarkable productivity gains, up to 202%.

Investing in career development and training programs makes employees feel valued, fostering higher engagement and job satisfaction. [3]

Boost resilience and aid workers

More than 4 out of 5 organizations (84%) believe that cultivating a learning culture can improve organizational resilience and create a more favorable environment for employees.

When a company invests in training, it sends a message to employees that they are valued team members, each holding unique and vital roles within the organization. [5]

82% of managers use training to retain staff

Keeps the best employees around

When employees can grow in their jobs, they’re likely to stick with your company.

Surprisingly, 82% of managers use training and development to stop employees from leaving. [5]

This shows how growth chances keep employees interested.

How Much Does it Cost?

Did you know that small companies spend $1,678 per employee on training and development?

This cost seems to be higher than at large organizations, which spend around $924 per employee.

We’ve curated recent data on corporate training expenditures from companies across the United States.

Here is what the numbers show:

Small companies spent 80% more on training per employee than large companies [7]

Recent expenditure report from 2020 during the pandemic’s impact indicated a total spending of 82.5 billion dollars on training.

The average training cost per employee across different company sizes was as follows:

Business or Organization SizeCost per Employee
10,000 or more$924
corporate training expenditures increased to 23%

Corporates in the U.S  are spending more than 100bn on training [8]

In 2023, corporate training expenditure in the United States rose by an additional 200 million U.S. dollars compared to the preceding year. 

The total spending on workplace training in the United States decreased from 93.6 billion in 2017 to 82.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.

However, it then increased to 101.8 billion in 2023. [8]

$4.53 returned per $1 spent on training [9]

A book from Accenture suggests that when companies spend money on training their employees, for every dollar they invest, they get back about $4.53 in return.

That’s a return on investment (ROI) of 353%. [9]

Companies Investing in Employee Development

When workers hear “employee development,” training often comes to mind.

However, our study revealed this encompasses much more, such as:

  • Enabling employee growth & satisfaction
  • Fostering leadership equity
  • Facilitating intergenerational insight swaps
  • Soliciting continuous feedback

We’ve seen top companies practicing exceptional employee development.

What we’ve gathered shows these organizations prove investing in employees pays dividends.

top companies leading the way in employee development

Heineken implementing a program called “reverse mentoring”

A survey at Heineken found that 86% of senior leaders wanted to learn from younger employees to gain new skills and experiences.

This inspired Heineken to start a program where junior employees become mentors to senior leaders and executives, known as reverse mentoring. [10]

Marriott tops Asia employers via employee development focus

Aiming to retain dedicated staff and fill over 55% of Australia leadership roles internally.

It partners with schools, emphasizes diversity/inclusion, female leaders, and local community training access. [10]

Workday centers talent strategy on employee development

Workday utilizes its platform for skills-based employee development, with 95% of participants and 96% of managers in its “Career Hub” gig program reporting honed skills and better team results. [10]

Walmart is investing $1B for their employees

In 2021, Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S., shared plans to invest nearly $1 billion over the next five years in its employees’ education and skills training.

Through the Live Better U (LBU) education program, the company will cover 100% of college tuition and book expenses for participating associates. [11]

Verizon’s offering a free program for 500,000 workers

Verizon’s Skill Forward offers free tech/soft skills training & job placement for 500K workers by 2030, part of a $44M commitment to prepare the workforce for tech careers. [11]

AT&T saves 21% by upskilling their employees

AT&T’s transformative initiative addressed a critical workforce challenge head-on: only half of its 250,000 global employees possessed the necessary skills for the future.

The company’s $1B retraining program is cheaper than the 21% median cost of replacing unskilled workers, preserving institutional knowledge. [12]

What do Workers Say?

We’ve compiled insights from various surveys conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management and the ADP Research Institute regarding employee development.

Here’s what we discovered:

  • 23% of workers prioritized training and development. [4]
  • 80% of HR managers said training gets and keeps workers. [6]
  • 48% of workers said training attracted them to their company.
  • 76% said they’re likely to stay if the company offers continuous training.
  • 3 out of 4 believe their employer provides relevant training 
  • 68% believe their employer meets their training and career development expectations.
  • 55% of employees feel they require more training to improve their performance 
  • 75% express satisfaction with their organization’s overall Learning and Development (L&D) efforts. [6]

FAQs about Employee Development

How does employee development impact business success?

Organizations with strong learning cultures are 17% more profitable, 52% more productive, and 92% more likely to innovate.

What returns can companies expect from development programs?

For every $1 spent on employee training, companies see $4.53 in return on average – a 353% ROI.

Why do employees value development opportunities?

59% of millennials highly prioritize development when job hunting. 76% of employees say they’ll likely stay at companies offering continuous learning. It aids engagement and resilience.

How much are companies spending on development?

In 2020, companies spent $82.5 billion on employee training programs, equal to $1,678 per worker on average. Spending continues rising, hitting over $100 billion in 2023.

What approaches are top companies taking?

Heineken does reverse mentoring to share skills. Marriott emphasizes internal mobility with 55% of Australia leadership roles filled internally. Workday centers talent management around development.


We’ve seen how industries are evolving faster than ever before.

What worked yesterday likely won’t work today.

Especially with ongoing advances in technology like AI, companies need ways to ensure employees can adapt.

As a result, we expect the employee development trend to accelerate further in the coming year. 

As companies identify upskilling as key to navigating relentless change, investment will only increase.

For further intriguing statistics, facts and trends, we invite you to explore our website.


  1. ClearCo. 27 Surprising Employee Development Statistics You Haven’t Heard Of
  2. Culture Amp. The importance of employee development in the modern workplace.
  3. Primetric. What Is Employee Development? Definition and Key Benefits
  4. ADP Research Institute. People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View
  5. Helpjuice. Employee Development Guide: How to Maximize Employee Potential
  6. SHRM. 2022 Workplace Learning & Development Trends
  7. Team Stage. Employee Training Statistics: Cost of Progress in 2023
  8. Statista. Total training expenditures in the United States from 2012 to 2023
  9. Forbes. What Companies That Grew In 2020 Realize About Sales Training
  10. Together. 10 Companies with exceptional employee development programs
  11. Global Opportunity Forum. Five companies investing in upskilling the workforce
  12. Valamis. Employee Development