Getting MAXIMUM ROI on your training investment

In my previous two blogs I wrote about what is meant by the term Training Transfer – when training their staff, organisations must consider the return they will get from the training investment they are making financially and from an allocation of resources point of view. I explored the difference between a positive, negative and a nil result from sending people to training, and how to ensure your organisation’s ROI is always positive.


In this blog, I discuss how organisations can achieve a better than positive return on training investment (ROI) – a maximum ROI.  To achieve this, we need to explore the question – who really is responsible for putting the newly acquired skills and knowledge into practice once trainees return to the workplace?  Consider the answer to this question before you read on.


Now what?

So, you’ve sent your people off to training, and here they are, with their workbooks and newly acquired knowledge, their heads full of great ideas ready to go…….. now what?


Most Team Leaders and Managers will say, ‘Get to it!!’  Infused with the belief it is now up to the person trained to be able to apply all they have learned to improve their performance in one or several areas.  After all, the business paid for or supplied their training, and now it is their job to put it into practice.  Right?


Not so fast…… let’s say that you have done what was recommended in the previous blog, and you ensured that a training needs analysis was done and there were clearly defined gaps in trainees’ skills &/or knowledge.  AND the training was so terrific it closed those gaps.  Let’s also say that you also ensured that the training provider aligned the training material to your work environment, incorporating your policies & procedures, as well as your workplace practices.


Great job!  You have successfully applied the principles of how to achieve a positive return on training investment (ROI) from the training your staff attends.


But, wait! There’s MORE!!


Ask yourself these questions:

·       ‘How do your people know they are applying their newly acquired skills and knowledge the way they are supposed to? The way you want them to?’ 

·       ‘Each and every one of them – will they all do it the same way?’


The answer will be ‘YES!’ only if there is an established coaching method in place in your organisation or business.


If not, then you cannot be guaranteed they will know how to ‘unpack’ their skills & knowledge as expected, and YOU can expect a mixed bag of results:  some will ‘get it’ and some will be so far off the mark you will be left wondering what is wrong with them.


Identify who is responsible for implementing the S-K-A


Consider who is truly responsible for implementing the skills, knowledge and desired attitude acquired in training in the correct way.  Who is responsible for making sure the skills and knowledge are applied the way the business or organisation expects? Is it the responsibility of the people who have been trained……?  The answer may surprise you:


The answer is you, and anyone else who holds a management-level position.


Without clear guidance, your people will apply what they know in the way they think is suitable.  They will do the best they can with the skills they have – skills that pertain to the training they have just completed, plus skills that relate to applying those skills effectively, including effective communication skills, analysing and thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and a whole range of other skills.


Their idea of what is best may or may NOT align with your organisation’s vision, your business unit’s goals, or the current initiatives in place in the workplace.  Please don’t get me wrong here – your people will do the best they can with what they have.  They come to work with the best intentions of doing the best they can.  The trouble with this is we are all individuals. 


We all come to the workplace with our own values and beliefs.


Not everyone will do it the way they are “supposed to” or the way you “expect” them to, not without a process that gives them the feedback they need to get it right, consistently and competently.


What is in place in YOUR workplace to ensure this occurs?


If you’re left scratching your head here, I’ll let you in on a well-kept secret.  The way to get maximum return on your training dollars is Workplace Coaching…..  This requires a whole distinct set of skills that compliment a team leader’s or manager’s role.  And it is completely different from training.  But that is the topic of another blog…..

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