Learning Executives More Confident in Q1 2012

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ASTD research shows rise in expectations that learning will have positive impact on business performance.

ASTD is the world's largest association dedicated to the training and development field.

The index shows an increase in respondents who predict that the learning function will have a better impact on corporate performance in the next six months.

Learning executives’ optimism and confidence about the outlook and expectations for the learning function were higher in the first quarter of 2012 than the last three quarters of 2011, according to the latest measurement by the American Society for Training & Development(ASTD). The current Learning Executives Confidence Index (LXCI) surveyed 237 learning executives (LXs) about their expectations in four areas: impact on corporate performance; ability to meet learning needs; status as a key strategic component; and availability of resources. It is modeled on the CEO Confidence Indices reported by "Chief Executive Magazine" and The Conference Board.

The ASTD LXCI for the first quarter of 2012 was 67.3, up from 66.6 in the fourth quarter of 2011, reaching the all-time high score achieved by the index in the first quarter of 2011. The index fluctuated only 1.4 points throughout all of 2011 indicating that learning executives remained cautiously optimistic but could be potentially influenced by economic and job market instability. The 2012 first quarter index shows an increase in respondents who predict that the learning function will have a better impact on corporate performance in the next six months. The LXCI is measured by a 100-point scale.

Highlights from the LXCI for the first quarter of 2012 include:
•The majority (84.7 percent) of LXs expect either the same or better availability of resources to meet learning needs.
•21.7 percent think the impact on corporate performance will be substantially better in the next six months, up from 19.9 percent in 2011.
•The majority of LXs (63.3 percent) believe that the current economic situation will cause staffing levels to remain the same in the next six months.
•67.4 percent believe that the creation of new learning content will moderately or substantially increase.
•68.6 percent predict that their organization’s overall profit expectations will be moderately or substantially better.
•67 percent of LXs believe that their organization’s funding for workplace learning and development will stay the same or moderately or substantially decrease.

ASTD’s Learning Executives Confidence Index was launched in August 2008 and is designed to assess the outlooks and expectations of learning executives for the next six months.

Visit http://www.astd.org/Professional-Resources/LXCI.aspx to read the full report.

About ASTD
ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to the training and development field. In more than 100 countries, ASTD’s members work in organizations of all sizes, in the private and public sectors, as independent consultants, and as suppliers. Members connect locally in 120 U.S. chapters and with 20 international partners. ASTD started in 1943 and in recent years has widened the profession’s focus to align learning and performance to organizational results, and is a sought-after voice on critical public policy issues. For more information, visit http://www.astd.org.

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Kristen Fyfe
ASTD
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