In a new SkillSoft survey among British business decision makers, 66% say training budgets have been unaffected by the economic conditions and 83% expect to maintain or increase their training budgets in the year ahead. Moreover, according the survey – which polled 96 business decision makers in UK firms with a formal training programme – 95% of the decision makers polled say they match training to business goals and strategy so they can measure the success of the money they invest.

Used strategically, companies can map employees’ existing skills against a competency framework that shows what skills are needed, how they’re measuring up and then identify where there are knowledge gaps that can be filled. E-learning is a proven and prescriptive method of closing the knowledge gaps.

This paints a picture of business leaders who appreciate what training can do for their operations but not content to sit back and hope it works – they need to know it works. And they’re using skills appraisals, measuring business performance and running individual feedback programmes to confirm the efficacy of their training and measure their return on investment.

“Delivering a fast return on investment is at the heart of any successful operation and staff training should be part of that equation,” says Kevin Young, UK general manager at SkillSoft, the e-learning specialist. “The speed, effectiveness and flexibility of e-learning in delivering cost-effective and accountable workplace training is central to that goal.”