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Top Tips on How to Get a ROI From Your Staff Training

Leadership and Management Training Programmes are Cost Effective!

In the current climate we have been seeking to encourage clients to introduce agreed outcomes with their training programmes. These can then be evaluated and measured  to demonstrate  they add value and ultimately improve the bottom line. This is becoming increasingly important for clients when they are looking to expend their budgets wisely.

Let me make myself clear here, I refer to well designed well delivered programmes that start with a carefully constructed outcomes which have been identified as having a direct effect on the bottom line of the organisation.

The CIPD have recently estimated the median annual UK training budget to be around £350 per employee. This is a significant amount of money! The question we should be asking is what specifically is the output in terms of return on investment of this training? All too often the answer is at best uncertain. Why is this?

Why Most Training Isn’t Evaluated or Measured

  1. People not realising that development programmes can be measured and evaluated
  2. Most programmes not measured beyond participant reaction sheets and reports of self-learning
  3. Confusion as to who’s responsibility it is – HR or training department or their client departments requesting the training
  4. Training not aligned to wider organisational goals and objectives
  5. Misapprehension that too difficult or too resource intensive to measure the effects of training.

Depending on the Company and it’s culture any of these factors can contribute to the lack of evidence that training brings benefits to the Company that are greater that the cost of the training.

Our Approach

What is really needed and what we do at Call of the Wild is to build in a detailed and thorough evaluation of the training programme at the start of the process. Collecting evaluative data at several stages in the programme enables organisers, stakeholders and providers to track and measure the effectiveness.

A useful starting point for the evaluation process still remains Dr Donald Kirkpatrick’s 4 levels model:

  • Reaction
  • Learning
  • Behaviour
  • Results

I do not intend to go into a specific description of each level here as much has been written about them. The real point of the 4 levels is to provide a sequential body of evidence which illustrates the value of the programme to the organisation in real terms.

In the case of Call of the Wild the process enables our clients to track the chain of evidence from the initial programme (Reaction and Learning) to the workplace (Behavioural change) and from the workplace to the Marketplace (Results).

This is equally true of our nationally recognised vocational qualifications Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) as it is of our bespoke development solutions.

Case Study

An example of our approach and philosophy behind this is the ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) programme we have developed and are delivering for 200 delegates from a large global engineering client.

We are capturing evidence at Levels 1 and 2 by the use of specifically developed evaluation sheets and also by the use of video booths which capture individual learning in real time. Themes developing are then compiled post programme and explored further with the delegates and stakeholders.

Level 3 data is being collected by the use of post programme structured interviews with randomly selected delegates and their line managers conducted by the delivery team in the workplace. These explore the extent to which learning has been applied when back in the workplace, help identify any barriers to the implementation of learning and inform further development of the programme itself.

Level 4 data based on Key Performance Indicators identified in the development phase will be collected post programme by the client. Success of the programme at Level 4 will depend greatly on how well Call of the Wild has done its job in ensuring that the learning environment was conducive to learning (Level 1), that appropriate learning actually occurred (Level 2) and that appropriate behaviours have been transferred back into the workplace (Level 3).

It is essential that all 4 levels were built in as there is compelling evidence for the cause and effect relationship between thorough evaluation and the required business outcomes.

To find out more about how to measure and evaluate your training and development programmes give us a call now!

"Experience plus reflection equals learning" - John Dewey