Growing Your Business
Many companies view training as a component of their employee benefits package - an expense to be controlled, not an investment to be maximized. At ROI Learning we're serious about training as an investment and we're serious about measuring your return on your investment dollars.

Measuring the Return on your Investment

New York retail legend John Wanamaker once said, "Half of my advertising is wasted ...the trouble is, I don't know which half." Many managers feel the same way about training and the root cause is similar to the problem with advertising: the relationship between cause and effect is unclear.

It doesn’t have to be this way if you build a well-designed business case for every training program you launch. The key questions are:

  • What business problem is the training intended to solve?
  • What new business opportunities is the training designed to create?
  • What metrics can we use to determine the success of the program?

The key is to create a hypothesis that links the training with a business metric and then to establish a performance baseline against which improvement can be measured.

A Sales Training Example

ROI Learning Services is working with a company that specializes in sales training. Two of their courses are designed to help salespeople overcome their reluctance to contact new prospects and to help them contact higher level people in their prospects’ organizations. With this kind of focus, we study the volume of cold calls and we ask sales people to report on the organizational levels of their contacts using a simplified, 6-level hierarchy: 1)individual contributor/user, 2) first line supervisor, 3) middle manager, 4) director (manager of managers), 5) senior executive, and 6) president or CEO. By capturing data before the course to establish a performance baseline and then capturing data two, four, and six months after the course, we can accurately guage the impact the training has had on two important determinants of sales volume.

Ongoing Performance Support is Key to Success

One of the keys to improving post-course performance is the provision of on-going support. Too often training interventions are one shot events: the students come to the course, receive new information, practice new skills, and are motivated by the instructor and their fellow students to apply what they have learned when they get back to the field. Of course, when they return to their offices the rest of the company is practicing business as usual, no one else attended the course, and most students revert to their pre-course behavior almost immediately.

Practical, Low-Cost Technologies Can Help

With effective post-course follow-up the real world impact of training can be dramatically improved. If Using new technologies, like email and the web, and more traditional, personal follow-up, students can be periodically re-motivated and their skills refreshed, overcoming the deadening effects of the status quo and the loss of knowledge and skill that can occur as time passes after a class.

ROI Starts the Right Discussion and Leads to the Right Answers

By starting with questions about ROI - Return On Investment - we get our client's attention and the discussion usually leads to the identification of specific opportunities for training to contribute to key components of the company’s business strategy. By understanding the expected impact of training on the business in greater detail, we measure that impact and demonstrate the business value of training.

Download a PDF version of the full article on which the information on this page was based.

©ROI Learning Services, 2003-2016.