Maintaining and Boosting Those Training ROI Numbers

Maximizing your investment in training requires not merely calculating ROI when launching a program but also continuously reviewing its effectiveness.


Continue to Show Training Dollars as an Investment

Last month's article, Training…Is It Worth It?, discussed the importance of solid numbers for return on investment (ROI). Information was provided on how to calculate an ROI percentage according to the training project needing to show value. However, it's important to note that single consideration to ROI at the inception stages of an education or training initiative to justify its value is not enough.

Think about a smart investor. That investor doesn't do all the research, make the investment, and then never check the investment portfolio for success. Neither should those in charge of staff training. It doesn't matter if the training dollars are coming from a large or small budget. Ways to continuously look at maximizing the return on the dollars spent must become a priority also.

Some items to take into consideration when trying to increase the ROI numbers for training:

  • Choose programs that have defined objectives that are in line with the needs and goals of your employees and organization. Once a training program is selected or created, take the time to prep the staff for that training. This is often the most neglected, but probably the most effective means for continuing to increase ROI. Preparing employees ahead of training, with the purpose and objectives, ensures that staff is tuned in and thinking about ways to apply the new skills after the training is completed.

  • Have employees target their training expectations. For example: What do they hope to get out of the training? What skills do they want to specifically learn? What information or answers to questions do they want to find?

  • In the case of off-site training, have employees recycle what they learned. For example: Route printed materials received, make presentations of information learned to fellow employees at a staff meeting or during a brown-bag lunch meeting.

  • After training is completed, follow up with the employee. Ask them to discuss what was learned. Discover how information learned applies to their job or cause them to do a job or procedure differently. Discuss what the plan of action for applying the new skill(s) will be. The most important question asked should be: Do you need any extra help applying the information learned to your daily tasks?

Avoid putting your staff in a situation where their newly acquired skills aren't being reinforced. A staff member's training and practical application is not the sole responsibility of the trainer. It takes the help of managers, supervisors, or other experienced colleagues to make sure this happens. It is not acceptable to hear the following…"We don't have time, so just get the work done." or "That's alright for the classroom, but we do it this way." Make sure that your organization doesn't become part of the statistic that estimates 20-30% of training received isn't being used on the job a month later.

Give training time to materialize its benefits. Often times ROI may not be measurable and evident in a month or two. Know what you are looking for and be patient with your expectations. Once you understand the factors that influence training cost and its effectiveness, then you can raise your ROI.

MyDAS, Inc., a Liberty company, is a full service consultation firm providing solutions for staff and member education, MySTERY Shopping and other research and survey solutions, as well as full marketing agency services. Serving the industry for over 20 years, find out why the best and the brightest select MyDAS for results. For more information, visit, or call us at 800-291-6117.



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March 7, 2005


  • Give us an example of how to detrmine an ROI on a specific training program.