Society is placing more and more responsibility on companies, business cycles are becoming shorter, things are becoming more complex and the ambiguity of information is also making it more difficult to take the “right” course of action. As a result, the world of work has also become a world of learning. In work-based learning, a close connection between knowledge and practice is sought and the learning success must prove itself in everyday business and new or extended skills should be acquired.

In 2019, German companies spent approximately EUR 41.3 billion on continuing education for their employees (Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft IW). This is almost 23% more than in 2016. According to the figures of the Federal Statistical Office, the relative expenditure per employee in Switzerland is not significantly different. Furthermore, Hougaard & Carter (2008) state that USD 46 billion is spent annually on leadership programmes worldwide.

The amount of “money” that the company spends says nothing about what effects this investment really has in the end.

In a trend study, “Weiterbildungsszene Deutschland”, it was found that in the end, further training courses bring little “return on investment”. Transfer-strong models were able to show that managers do not make their contribution to effective human resource development and that ultimately the majority of investments are wasted. The summary of the research has shown that leaders need to devote more time to the role of human resource developers. Especially members of the new generations, such as “Y”, strive to acquire as large a portfolio of competences as possible.

Understanding the company as a learning world and, as a leader, finding ways and solutions for employees to recognise the need for further training and, at the same time, keeping an eye on the benefits for the company, is one of the decisive competences of a leader today.

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