Companies not Scrimping on Exec Training

January 24, 2011 ( – More than 98% of corporate HR executives and other executives in a recent poll say modest management training spending hikes should continue this year despite lingering economic uncertainty.

A news release about the survey by SMU Cox Executive Education said the finding is significant in light of the 44% of CEOs predicting economic improvement but 34% admitting they had been hit with a 2010 financial decline. Fewer CEO’s than last year expect the local, national or global economies to improve in 2011.

“Although business leaders are mixed in their outlook, HR leaders are saying they plan to invest in human capital. The current economic challenges and ongoing climate of change and uncertainty demand a more aggressive response from management development leaders,” said Frank Lloyd, associate dean, Executive Education, SMU Cox School of Business, in the news release.

Most of the learning and development professionals agreed on how to focus their still-limited ability to invest in human capital. Over two-thirds intend to focus on their high potentials.

The four areas where respondents suggested spending will have the most impact are: leadership and executive development, management accountability, interpersonal and organizational business skills, and aligning leaders with the business strategy.

The nearly 100 respondents to the HR leadership development survey included professionals attending the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) HR Southwest Conference in Ft. Worth, Texas, and HR corporate leader members of the SMU Cox School of Business Human Resources Roundtable.