Tag Archives: management development

ROI on your training and development

ROI on your training and development

Last week I met with a client as a follow up to a development programme I ran for his management team last year, to ensure they were going to get an ROI on their training and development.

The review was due to happen in December, just 2 weeks’ after the last module. Operational issues got in the way, and with Christmas looming the review was put back to early January. That date came and went with no review.

So, when it came to taking stock of the learning and how it would be implemented it all seemed too far back to remember.

Sadly this happens all too often. Time and money invested in learning isn’t taken full advantage of as there is little or no follow up. Resulting in minimal ROI on your training and development.

Such a waste. Not just of time and effort, but of people’s potential.

In this instance all was not lost. At the end of each session everyone had committed to one action and at the start of the next had shared their actions and learnings. But I know there will have been many ideas that got lost as a result of no review.

How does a business stop this happening?

There will always be other pressing things that get in the way.

But here are 7 things any business can do to get the best ROI on their training and development, and make their training budgets go further:

  1. Get people to make at least a verbal – and even better a written – commitment to at least one action they can take (preferably within the next day or two) as a result of any learning or training, with desired result and timescales. Make a note of these, so you can follow up!
  2. Flush out any potential barriers or obstacles to overcome in order to make these happen. Common obstacles include lack of confidence, too much red tape, time pressures, or conflicting priorities. Better to know about these now rather than later when nothing’s been implemented!
  3. Check what additional resources or support people need. Follow up on these promptly, before momentum is lost, and to avoid sending the message that this isn’t important.
  4. Review their actions and progress made (or arrange interim review if a longer term action). Include a review of learning and actions from training in your regular one to one meetings.
  5. Recognise old habits die hard, so give people encouragement to persevere if at first things take time.
  6. Get people to open up about existing challenges and relate back to any relevant previous training which might help them to find a solution. Coach if necessary.
  7. Make continuous learning part of your culture, so you seize every opportunity to learn from day to day situations – good and bad.

If you only do one thing to getting an ROI on your training and development: Check line managers recognise and take responsibility for their role in their team’s development and helping team members implement training. Ensure they have the skills to do this effectively.

And remember, training and development is an investment, but won’t give you the full return unless it’s followed through.

How to prepare for training

Video: Why team development is important



Personal Development ~ the perfect opportunity

personal development

Personal development planning

Personal development is one of those activities that frequently get put on the ‘do later’ pile.

But, there are only so many hours you can spend binge watching on Netflix or catching up on your favourite soap.

With many now having time on their hands it’s a fantastic opportunity for personal development; something which often takes a back seat in the day to day hubbub of the business.

With team members on furlough, it’s a good opportunity to keep their minds active as well as the chance to up-skill to make them better in their existing role, or develop new skills or expertise to fulfil their longer-term aspirations.

Don’t rule out team members who have be laid off; supporting them in their personal development can help in the quest for a new job. By showing your interest in them is a good boost for their morale, as well as how they perceive you as an employer.

Here are 4 considerations for drawing up personal development plans for existing or future roles.

1. Know what you want to achieve

When identifying personal development needs, ascertain yours and their expectations, what you each want to improve, and how will you know when it’s been achieved.

What’s missing

If there was one skill or one piece of knowledge that they feel would help them in their role (or roles they may be applying for) what would that be? How would that help?

Identify and build on strengths

Utilise individuals’ known strengths to capitalise on them, and stretch them.  It’s all too easy to focus solely on the gaps, but we need to tap into people’s talents too, and build on these so they can excel in some areas rather than being mediocre in everything!

Looking to the future

If discussing development for future roles, find out what’s important to them. Don’t try and second guess this, or make an assumption of their aspirations – ask them!

  • What motivates them in work? What’s important to them outside work?
  • What career path do they have in mind? What are the things that they value and are not prepared to give up?
  • What do they enjoy?  The chances are things they enjoy they’ll put more effort into.

Do a sense check that what you or they have in mind is a good fit.

The skill will matrix is a useful tool which you may want to complete first before undertaking the other activities. Or watch the video here

Their expectations and perception

If you are discussing the possibility of development into other roles ask them for their perception of the role by asking these or similar questions.

  • What do they consider to be the key areas of performance against which they’d be measuring their success?
  • What will they hear, see and feel when they are performing this role?
  • How soon do they expect to be able to get to this level?
  • What do they need to happen between now and then? (This is a good question to open up the discussion on development and support needed).

2. Plan personal development activities

Formal training is obviously not an option right now, and even when it is, it can be expensive, time consuming and present logistical challenges, particularly with complicated shift patterns.

Normally I’d recommend using everyday activities as opportunities for learning and development, and suggest a combination of different activities, which will be more effective than a one off ‘training session’ as it gives an opportunity to reinforce learning and maybe take in different perspectives.

However, if people are working from home, furloughed or laid off, what are the options?

There is so much information available online it would be easy to spend every minute of every day searching, reading and viewing this.

Go back to your objectives. What do you/your team member want to achieve and learn?

Review the objectives and content of online programmes and sessions and only sign up for those that are relevant.

3. Scheduling personal development activities

Don’t feel compelled to attend every session; if following a whole programme, there’s no shame in missing an individual session if it’s not of interest or relevant to your/their development.

Conversely, maintain momentum.

Stick with one or two options on each topic. Too many can lead to conflicting messages which can lead to confusion as well as overload.

4. Monitor progress

At the end of each session encourage participants to review their learning. Ask, “what’s the most useful thing they learnt”, or “what one thing will you put into action?”

This serves three purposes:

  • it encourages the participant to review and they are far more likely to remember and implement an idea they have repeated back
  • it gives you some feedback on their learning
  • it provides an opportunity to discuss how they will apply or implement this at a future date

If you only do one thing towards personal development

Talk to your team about the opportunities for personal development and suggest they each find one thing they’d like to learn or focus on whilst they have the time now, but that would help them in their role when we are back to normal.

Today’s top tip

Even if your business is temporarily closed, keep up your scheduled 1:1 time with each of your team, so they stay connected and have the opportunity to ask for help or support when needed without feeling awkward. Even if it is beyond the scope as your role as their employer, it’s good to know they have your moral support.