Cheers to 20 Years!

For the last 20 years, Training magazine has recognized organizations that provide best-in-class employee training and development.

2020 marks the 20th year Training magazine has recognized organizations that provide best-in-class employee training and development. I have been privileged to have been part of the process for the last 13 years—some things certainly have changed! In particular this year, we’ve focused on tying training to specific, measurable corporate goals. I continue to enjoy overseeing the evolution of the Top 125 application, learning about all the innovative things companies are doing in training, and celebrating the winners each year at the Training Top 125 Gala.

This year, retailer Dollar General Corporation, LLC, racked up its second consecutive #1 win, followed by MasTec Utility Services (#2), Best Buy (#3), BNSF Railway Company (#4), and United Shore (#5). Leading Real Estate Companies of the Year was inducted into the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame after earning a spot in the Top 10 for four consecutive years.

Some 31 new companies broke into the Top 125 this year. Here are some overall statistics from the quantitative analysis of the winning 2020 Training Top 125 applications:

  • The mean revenue was $7.8 billion U.S. and $12.9 billion worldwide. The mean training budget was $74 million, representing 5.96 percent of payroll.
  • The mean number of total employees trained per organization (including independent contractors and franchisees) was 40,008, with 20,745 trained in the classroom and 51,571 trained online. A mean of 409 courses were offered as instructor-led sessions; 19,399 were offered as online self-paced modules; and 195 were offered as virtual instructor-led classrooms.
  • The average number of full- and part-time trainers was 145 and 191, respectively.
  • Some 95 percent of Top 125 winners have a tuition reimbursement program. A mean of 11 percent of eligible employees made use of tuition reimbursement programs in the last year.
  • Some 99 percent of winners use employee satisfaction surveys, while 95 percent use competency maps. Some 69 percent tie managers’ compensation directly to the development of their direct reports.
  • On the evaluation side, 89 percent of applicants utilize Return on Value; 86 percent utilize Return on Investment; 78 percent utilize Balanced Scorecards; and 66 percent utilize Six Sigma. The Kirkpatrick Levels of Evaluation are more widely used: Level 1 (98 percent), Levels 2 and 3 (96 percent), and Level 4 (94 percent).
  • The average length of employee service was nearly 7 years, and the average turnover rate was 21 percent.
  • Internal candidates filled a mean of 39 percent of job openings, while employees referred a mean of 24 percent of new hires.

Visit to see the 2020 rankings. Congratulations to all of the 2020 Training Top 125 winners—we salute your stellar achievements!

Editor's Note

Training magazine is the industry standard for professional development and news for training, human resources and business management professionals in all industries.