Here is a step-by-step guide on how an executive can identify the best opportunities to improve their organizations return on its training investment.
- Identify Skill and Knowledge Gaps: Utilize tools like staff surveys, performance reviews, and feedback sessions to understand where your employees might be lacking skills or knowledge. Conduct regular meetings with managers and supervisors to get a ground-level perspective. Industry benchmarking can also provide valuable insight into skills your organization might be missing compared to competitors.
- Align with Strategic Goals: Review your organization’s strategic plan and identify the skills and knowledge required to reach these goals. Consider the future direction of the company and any changes that might affect your workforce. Align your training initiatives with these goals to ensure your staff are equipped to support the strategic direction.
- Analyze Customer Feedback: Regularly review customer complaints, feedback, and reviews. Recurring issues could indicate an area where employee training could improve the service. Improving these areas will not only increase customer satisfaction but may also contribute to increased sales and customer retention.
- Stay Updated with Market Trends: Regularly research industry trends, updates, and advancements. Consider whether your organization has the knowledge and skills to adapt to these changes and remain competitive. Implement training programs in these areas to keep your team up to speed.
- Identify Efficiency Improvements: Look for areas in your organization where efficiency could be improved. This could involve the use of new software, updated processes, or better project management. Training in these areas can often lead to improved productivity and cost savings.
- Prioritize Training Initiatives: Once potential training areas have been identified, prioritize them based on impact and cost. High-impact, low-cost initiatives that align with your strategic goals are a good place to start. Remember, training that can quickly improve your bottom line, customer satisfaction, or operational efficiency will give you a quicker ROI.
- Evaluate and Adjust: After implementing training, measure its effectiveness using the metrics and process mentioned earlier. Use these evaluations to continuously improve your training programs, ensuring they provide the skills your employees need and contribute to a positive ROI.
Remember, this process should be ongoing. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your training initiatives will help ensure they continue to meet your organization’s needs and contribute to your strategic goals.
Metrics for Assessing Training:
Here is a down to earth, common sense way of evaluating a course at the most basic level at the bottom moving to the topmost important business objective: “Did the investment pay off?”
By using the right tools and following these steps, you can learn a lot about how your training programs work. This information will help you make your training even better, keep your staff engaged, and get the most from your investment in staff development.
Want to Learn More?
Certainly, here are some books and resources that can help you delve deeper into the topic of training effectiveness and ROI:
- “The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development into Business Results” by Roy V. H. Pollock, Andy Jefferson, and Calhoun W. Wick. This book provides a systematic approach to designing and delivering training that leads to real business results.
- “Telling Ain’t Training” by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps. This book offers practical and effective methods for training design and delivery that ensure learner engagement and knowledge retention.
- “Training Ain’t Performance” by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps. A valuable resource that focuses on moving beyond training to improving workplace performance.
- “Measuring the Success of Learning Through Technology” by Tamar Elkeles and Patricia Pulliam Phillips. This book explores the process of evaluating the ROI of e-learning and virtual training programs.
- “Training on Trial: How Workplace Learning Must Reinvent Itself to Remain Relevant” by James D. Kirkpatrick and Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick. This book suggests an evidence-based approach to justify the value of training.
- “Revolutionize Learning & Development: Performance and Innovation Strategy for the Information Age” by Clark N. Quinn. The book explores how learning and development needs to be revamped for the digital age and offers insight on how to align training with strategic goals.
- “The ROI of Human Capital: Measuring the Economic Value of Employee Performance” by Jac Fitzenz. This book provides practical tools and techniques for quantifying the contributions of individual employees to a company’s bottom line.
Remember that while books are great sources of knowledge, it is also beneficial to keep up to date with the latest research and articles from reputable business and HR journals. Websites like Harvard Business Review, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and Training Magazine often publish insightful articles on these topics.