Recession Caused Firms to Delay Development Initiatives

New York — Sept. 13

For a variety of reasons, including limited budgets, most U.S. companies had to put some management development initiatives on hold over the past four years, according to a survey by AMA Enterprise, a division of American Management Association International.

Forty-seven percent of respondents delayed at least one program and 36 percent did so in several cases, the survey. AMA Enterprise, which provides organizations with assessment, measurement and tailored learning services, surveyed top managers and executives from more than 300 organizations.

Among the reasons for the postponed programs were limited budget, shifting business priorities, lack of resources, lack of time and lack of senior management support.

Sandi Edwards, senior vice president for AMA Enterprise, said: “It’s no secret that the recession challenged development efforts at most organizations. Broader management development programs were most frequently put on hold, while certain strategic training projects moved forward in response to pressing business priorities.”

Also among the study’s findings:

A majority of respondents also agreed that soft skills training was affected more by delays than other types of programs; respondents with delayed initiatives were evenly divided on whether they agreed with that decision. Among the 17 percent of organizations that have thus far avoided delays, a majority conceded that there are planned initiatives that may yet be postponed, and of the various stalled programs respondents consider both management and leadership development as most likely to benefit their organizations in 2013.

Conducted during July and August, the survey population consisted of 312 senior-level business, human resources, management professionals and employee contacts drawn from the AMA database of contacts.

Source: American Management Association