Indian organizations on average spent US $331 per employee on training and development in 2011, according to a study on learning and development trends in India, by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and Harvard Business Publishing (HBP).

The figure includes learning and development staff salaries, travel costs for L&D staff, administrative costs, non salary development costs, delivery costs (such as classroom facilities and online learning technology infrastructure), outsourced activities and tuition reimbursement.

The survey was distributed among organizations with more than 1,000 employees. Forty-one organizations responded to the survey, with the responding organizations employing 27,394 employees on an average.

The number of learning hours used per employee on average in 2011 for responding organizations was 49.7, the report revealed. This represents a strong training and development programme, putting the organizations in this study on par with ASTD best award-winning organizations, which averaged 49.1 hours used per employee.

In 2011, responding Indian organizations report spending 2.4% of employee payroll on direct learning expenditures. This falls in line with data reported in the ASTD state of the industry report data, which in the past 10 years has reported direct expenditure as a percentage of payroll ranging between 2.2% and 3.2%.

Among the key priorities, building a leadership pipeline topped the agenda for most companies, followed by mid- to senior-management training and using technology for learning and development.

"If one were to ask a CEO what keeps them awake at night, talent development would come in the top in order of priority," Ian Fanton, vice president, global sales and marketing, HBP told TOI.

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