Training can be expensive, so the question becomes, “…to invest or not to invest” the time, money, personnel, software, etc. When we start to ask about the return on that investment, the evaluation most logically starts with the cost and quality of learning provided by the training. To conclude, however, that all poor returns on that investment are driven by the training quality is as unrealistic as saying that a light bulb is the cause every time the lights go out.
Everyone should feel the responsibility for the return on investments made to train employees. Effective companies drive learning and the application of learning from many different levels and directions, and effective training is created by input from multiple business partners. It often takes investment from the business strategist all the way through the chain to the trained employee to ensure the learning is applied effectively enough to see the expected business benefits. But stuff happens.
How many of these training glitches have you seen?
- New scripts were misapplied because no one asked Marketing about their intended purpose.
- Old software versions were trained because someone in IT sent the wrong PDF to Training.
- Employees were angered by company changes, so most of them never used the behavior skills they were excitedly practiced in class.
- Executives canceled the wrap-up conference calls in the training agreement; they said they would rather have their team out closing sales.
- The best solution was not trained because no one asked the people doing the job how they had overcome the problem.
- The business owner faced legal issues because he neglected to share his ethical expectations with his new leaders after sending them to labor law classes with his HR vendor.
- Overwhelmed supervisors neglected to prioritize the follow-up practice in staff meetings like they’d planned to do after training.
- And, yes, we’ve all been underwhelmed by ineffective training facilitated in classrooms or tedious online learning that is easy to skip through for ‘credit.’
Can training ROI be measured? Sure! Can accountability around that ROI be created? Yes!
Is it easy? Rarely…
It is definitely worth the investment of time to examine what business results you want improved through training and to implement effective learning you can afford. Though training is not our core strategy, our solutions align the people and processes in your business so they are all working toward shared results. Pepperbox would love to help you increase your return on any of your investments!