The Return on Investment

Posted by agratas on October 1, 2009

For many years now, the learning/training industry has been struggling with trying to provide bottomline benefits, hard cash, and a tangible return on investment.

  • Clive Shepherd has consolidated very, many interesting points here.
  •  The Kirkpatrick’s model of evaluation of course is considered as the seminal work in the industry
  •  To which was added a fifth level of ROI by Dr. Jack Phillip

However, what really provides the biggest bang for the buck? Is it:

  •  Informed employees (Cognitive Understanding)
  •  Transformed Employees (Affective Change)

Merely cognitive understanding in an organizational setting will not lead to any ROI. It has to be Application and indeed Successful Application of learning that will lead to meaningful ROI. However, do learning programs emphasize on Application? Most organizations only look at training programs as a means to produce Informed Employees.

This in turn leads to another question – how many organizations today actually understand what transformations they are looking at in their employees? Is research conducted to figure this out and document them so that these in turn become the criteria for transformation?

For any measurement of training effectiveness, it is important to have first outlined what are the transformations you are looking at in your employees and organization.

Would love to hear about any work done in this area!


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