5 Tips for ROI Training
We all know that training is necessary for a whole bunch of reasons: improving business operations, improving staff morale, keeping up to date with industry changes, to name but a few. But one of the biggest challenges that Business Managers face is how to measure the ROI for training when money is being spent. Here are a few tips to follow to make your lives easier:
1. IDENTIFY WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE AS RESULT OF THE TRAINING
Training for the sake of it very seldom brings results. You need to have a focussed approach and know exactly what behaviours you want to change as results of the training and what exact ROI for training you expect. If for example, your supply chain division has indicated that training is needed for warehouse staff, they should be able to identify what problems they are encountering which they believe can be addressed by training. These problems could include: write-offs after stock taking, orders take too long to be dispatched, too many stock returns, damages in the warehouse etc. By knowing exactly what the issues are in the division, you can plan a training intervention that will address these needs and add value to the business. You will be able to measure your ROI for training based on whether these identified needs are met.
2. PLACE A STAKE IN THE GROUND
Once you have identified the real need for training, you then need to look at measurements that relate to the problem. If we refer to our previous example of training for warehouse personnel and the Supply Chain Director identifies stock write-off as the primary reason for training, then you would need to place a stake in the ground which highlights the current status. By this we mean, what is the value of the stock write-off, how often does it happen and what is the desired target as a result of the training. By identifying this, you will be able to have a starting point for measuring ROI for training. Without specifics, you really are shooting in the dark and hoping that the hard-earned money you spend on training gives you a return.
3. PARTNER WITH A TRAINING PROVIDER
Partnering with a Service Provider who specialises in the field for which you require training is a must. Partnering means that the provider is not simply another creditor who gets paid for a service, partnering means that the service provider fully understands what the requirement for the business is and has the skills to address the need sufficiently. The Service Provider needs to conduct a site visit and truly understand the expectations of the training to ensure you get ROI for training. The Service Provider must build a training programme which speaks specifically to the need. Accreditation is also a key aspect, any training that you embark upon must provide your employees with an accreditation certificate that they can use for their own personal development. The Service Provider should also be able to direct you on the current skill levels of your employees so that the training programme is aligned at the correct level. Training should be aligned to the business need and address the real challenges that a business faces.
4. ENSURE MENTORING AND COACHING IS PART OF THE PROGRAMME
Classroom training is just one aspect of a beneficial training intervention. Each person may have a different learning style and it is important to address more than just the read/write aspect of learning. Practical application is key to the success of a learning intervention. This means that not only does the training course include workplace assignments, but that each learner has access to a mentor. Mentorship requires commitment from the business. Assigned mentors must be knowledgeable on the subject matter and must have the desire to see the learners implement new ideas and grow as a result. Coaching of the mentors is the responsibility of the Service Provider and by providing this additional service, the mentors will be able to work with the learners to show the best results.
5. MEASURE THE RESULTS
The measurement of results is a critical part of measuring ROI. By looking at where you placed the “stake in the ground” and what behavioural changes you have as a result of the training, you are able to truly measure the effect of the training. Of course, this is not an exact science because there are many other factors that may influence the result of the training. These could include any of the following: current status of the business environment and industry, any internal restructuring can negatively affect the benefits of training, lack of support for learners to implement change, insufficient mentoring of the learner to name a few. Measurement includes not only academic results but more importantly, has the business achieved the objects set out before embarking on the training.
In closing, ROI on training can most definitely be measured, but it requires the focussed attention of the learners, the service provider and the business team leader. The money you spend on training should deliver quality and productivity to the business and make a meaningful change to day to day operations.