Employers are investing more in leadership development, spending 14 percent more than they did in 2011.

That brings the total to an estimated $13.6 billion in 2012, according to new recent research by Bersin & Associates, a membership-based human resources research and advisory services firm.

Additionally, the research reveals a transition in spending further down the leadership chain as employers are focusing on developing all levels of leaders, particularly high-potential talent, to remain competitive. Among the respondents that excel at leadership development, they spend an average of up to 60 percent more per participant, resulting in 20 times greater employee retention. 

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