Research & Insights – The ROI of Training and Development


ROI has been a big catch-cry for businesses large and small during the noughties and particularly post the GFC. What happens when you try to wrap the concept of ROI around Training and Development programs? At Courageous Leaders we’ve noticed a few articles and formulas emerging on this topic and in response we’re adding the thoughts, opinions and research of our Courageous Leaders facilitators to the debate.

The Human Element of ROI

I recall listening to a senior executive declare he had ‘seen’ their leadership development investment working – with huge changes in his team’s capabilities as they were prepared to confront issues and people, challenge his and other executive’s thinking and improve relationships with critical stakeholders. So does ROI always have to be measured in numbers? What about the need to bring the human element into organisational measurement?

Measuring the Effectiveness of Training and Development

Some recent business articles have tackled the subject of the financial ROI of training and development programs. At Courageous Leaders we question the focus on solely financial ROI and know it is important to give equal weight to non-financial metrics such as human ROI, staff retention and potential brand value.

The Cost Savings of Training Investment

When calculating the ROI of money invested in training, Leah Thode advises looking at the cost savings that have been made as a result, not simply crunching revenue and profit numbers.

Brand Value and Investment in Learning and Development

Brand value is about future income streams and is directly related to an organisation’s greatest asset: it’s people. Fiona Pearman discusses the contribution training and development plays in building brand value.

Thought of the Quarter

Striving towards self mastery is a brave and challenging lifelong adventure. While there are many benefits to be gained, there are also mistakes that are all too often made. Here are the top 5 and how to avoid them.

The Top 5 Reasons why Developing Self Mastery is Difficult

For me, ROI is always going to be context driven. What I mean by that is that it very much depends on which view you come from. The owner/CEO of the business, the senior management team, the people at the coal face. Are you measuring financial return, skills return, inter-personal relationships, or happiness and satisfaction?

I understand very well that in the world of business there is a great deal of pressure in looking for profit at any cost but I am witnessing a growing number of leaders (courageous ones!) in business moving away from relying only on fact and figures as a measure and instead are looking for how an outcome makes them and their team feel. I’m not talking about the light and fluffy feel good factor here but rather a deeper sense where you ‘just know’ that your time and money and focus has been well spent. Notice that I said not ‘relying only’ on facts and figures, which doesn’t mean ignoring them.
A conscious and courageous leader learns how to walk the very thin line between both the rational AND intuitive so they don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. – David Walker

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