How to create excellent ROI from your Training and Development Programmes

How to create excellent ROI from your Training and Development Programmes


Learning and Development Programmes should have multiple objectives, including significantly changing behaviours, aiding retention, enhancing employee engagement, building the company brand for recruitment, and improving the quality of talent for future roles.  In order to ensure any training ‘sticks’, and obtain a high return on investment, organizations need to take a holistic view of their Training requirements, which will lead to increased alignment with the business strategy and overall significant performance improvement.

In order to create excellent Return on Investment from your Training and Development Programmes, follow these 12 initiatives, as implemented at Natural Talent:

  1. ensure the training provided is targeted to the participants specific needs by agreeing SMART objectives with the individuals and their line managers in advance
  2. in addition to individual objectives, make sure that all training is aligned with the company’s business objectives, vision, mission, strategy, competencies, values, and culture
  3. to create a real impact on the business, specific financial measures and KPIs should be agreed with the business before any training programme starts; this process can involve internal customers and key stakeholders in functions across the organization, such as HR, Finance, and IT
  4. the learning and development consultant should continually assess and monitor the engagement level of every participant throughout all learning and development programmes, with individual and team exercises identifying how delegates are absorbing the tools and techniques
  5. key personality traits, preferred ways of working, and development areas should be identified and assessed before, during, and after training programmes to assist in raising an individual’s self-awareness and identifying progress made
  6. Using an effective Coaching Training Style with interactive discussions and exercises, the Facilitator can check and test that each participant is developing new knowledge, skills, and attitudes, as well as ensuring that they have the confidence to apply the learning back in the workplace
  7. experential learning will result in significant and sustainable behavioural change, as new behaviours will become embedded and participants won’t ‘revert to type’ under pressure back in the workplace.  According to Tony Buzan the average attention span is only 6 – 8 minutes but subject retention is 90% when ‘Said and Done’ .  When individuals learn through experience and ‘doing’ and the learning is highly interactive, dynamic, motivating, and enjoyable, they will retain much more knowledge, and adopt skills more quickly, which all positively affect the bottom line
  8. At the end of each training day every participant should present back what they have learnt, what they will stop doing, start doing, and do differently. The facilitator should identify whether each individual and programme objective has been met.  Any further development areas should be combined in to their Personal Development Plans with goals aligned with the business strategy and SMART Action Plans for ongoing development
  9. Back in the work environment line managers, peers, mentors, and ‘buddies’ should check that the participants are demonstrating changes in behaviour as well as evidencing that they have completed the planned SMART Actions from the training days. Ongoing constructive feedback will assist in making the training stick.  Ensure that line managers and HR provide support, recognition, and/or reward for evidenced behaviour change and progress made
  10. A financial figure may be applied to the training regarding the impact of participants being more effective and meeting their KPIs, in order to contribute to the calculation of the ROI. When work based projects are used in development programmes, the financial impact of these may also be included in the evaluation process and calculation of the ROI
  11. To calculate the ROI, the initial investment costs of the learning and development programmes can be collated, including the cost of the programme, the participants’ time, additional subsistence costs and expenses, with net benefits calculated accordingly
  12. All learning and development interventions should fit with the company’s Talent Management plans; by asking the business to identify its needs and highlight any skills lacking at the outset, training programmes can also assist in identifying new and ongoing learning opportunities and help to develop talent for the future

Development interventions should create excellent ROI and lead to an increase in productivity, sales, and customer satisfaction, with higher quality ratings, fewer complaints, sustained high performance, and also have a positive impact on financial results, organizational culture, employee motivation, and morale, which in turn enable the participants and the business to deliver improved customer value.

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