Training and development spend set to rise in 2008

Almost half of large companies in Western Europe plan to spend more on training and L&D in 2008, according to Human Resources consultancy Mercer.

Its 2007 European Total Rewards Survey found 46% of 200 multinationals surveyed planned to up their training spend this year. Just 4% said they would spend less, while half said expenditure would remain steady.

Some 66% of those polled said their companies would spend more on career development programmes for management in 2008, while 32% said expenditure on this would remain steady. Just 2% said it would fall.

Mercer principal Paul O’Malley said: “Companies in Western Europe are looking at increasing choice in rewards as a way of differentiating themselves from competitors. Investing more in training and career development is one such tactic in talent management strategies and should help increase employee engagement and satisfaction.”

Respondents were also asked what were the most important challenges they faced in the coming year. Retaining high performers ranked first and was named by 85% of those asked. Attracting the right talent was rated very important by 80% and engaging employees by 62%.

When asked how effective their company’s total rewards strategy was in ensuring employee satisfaction, only 18% of those asked said very.

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