ROI in Training and Staff Development


Measuring the ROI in training is a challenge. Individualized staff training isn’t really noticed until it’s not done. It’s difficult to measure a tangible bottom line as influenced by intangible human qualities. How do you measure ROI in staff development? Why invest in staff development? Improvement on employee performance is the obvious answer, but in today’s economy, many managers are cutting spending on training programs just to stay afloat. I am going to take a look at five ways training affects the bottom line. 1. Raises company profits. Research by the American Society for Training and Development shows measurable improvement in shareholder return by companies that increase training expenditures. 2. Gives an advantage over competitors. Human skills are an important asset for any company, and they depreciate over time. Investment into keeping your employees up to date and plugged into the company will result in higher satisfaction from both employees and customers. 3. Training lowers employee turnover. Little needs to be said about the costs resulting from a high employee turnover. Increased training has been shown to improve employee self-esteem, morale, and loyalty to the employer. Employees are much more likely to continue in their current job if they know they are valued and given the opportunity to improve themselves and move up in the company. 4. Saves supervisory time. Simply put, the more your employees know about what is expected of them, the less time managers spend micro-managing the smaller tasks. 5. Strengthens brand and mission. Training can bring your brand and mission statement to a new level when your employees are engaged and feel they have a common goal with managers and owners. Investment in training is an investment directly into your brand. How to measure ROI. The industry standard was formulated by Donald Kirkpatrick in 1959, and can be found in his book “Evaluating Training Programs.” I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn more about measuring ROI in staff training. Jack Phillips has built on Kirkpatrick’s ideas, and has authored many books on the subject that can be found on his website.