What Are the Biggest Challenges Facing Training Teams?

“Corporate L&D is challenging & rewarding.”

Every year, we ask what challenges our respondents face. We are particularly interested in the different strains for “Internal Trainers” (those who are responsible for a learning population within their organization) and “External Trainers” (those who are responsible for a learning population outside of their organization). As in previous years, the two groups share time and budget constraints, but from there, their challenges diverge.


Internal trainers’ challenges are perennial and have barely changed since last year: they consistently lack money and time. This year, however, learner buy-in has moved up as the #2 challenge facing internal trainers, replacing executive buy-in.

As more forms of technology compete for a learner’s attention, the medium of training becomes just as important as the content. Internal trainers continue to rely on Learning Management Systems, but more than half are planning on implementing games/learning simulations in-person and online within the next two years.


For external trainers, the challenges they face are slightly different from the year before. External trainers have historically reported marketing as their top challenge, followed by time constraints, and business development.

This year, external teams are still focused on adapting to time constraints and marketing their training courses, but they now also face budget constraints.

What are your top challenges?

Where Do Training Teams Need Help?

“Corporate learning is often held back by outdated views held by senior management. The world is constantly changing and what worked 20, 10 or even 5 years ago doesn't work today.”

Next, we asked our respondents how they get help outside their team.

Finding Resources Outside of Their Departments

“Many employees see corporate learning as an obligation. Our goal is to turn corporate learning into a self-improvement tool in career growth.”

We hope that no training team exists in a vacuum. We asked what resources outside the training department our respondents are able to access.

When you are developing or delivering training, what resources outside of your department do you have access to?

People and technology are the most available resources: Over 77% of training teams seek the guidance of a Subject Matter Expert (SME) when developing or delivering their training.

Some teams, however, don’t have access to any resources outside of their department. 6% of trainers reported having no access to resources outside their department.

Outsourced Services

We also asked respondents what services they currently outsource to a vendor.

What do you currently outsource?

Perhaps because a large group of respondents are within our customer-base, the largest outsourced service is printing. Teams also leverage vendors to supply content, training classes and training locations.

A shocking 25% of trainers don’t outsource any services at all. Hopefully, they are not the same 6% who also don’t draw on internal resources.

We further broke down vendor outsourcing by internal vs external training. Internal trainers tended to outsource printing, content suppliers, and classes. External teams primarily outsourced print, but also relied on vendors for location and translation services.

What do you currently outsource (internal training)?:

What do you currently outsource (external training)?:

Overall, large companies either outsourced their training content and print, or nothing at all. Smaller companies similarly tended to outsource their print and training content. However, they typically outsourced more services overall than larger companies.

Conversely, department size doesn’t greatly affect what’s being outsourced. Both small and large teams typically outsource their training content and printing.