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:
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Recognise old habits die hard, so give people encouragement to persevere if at first things take time.
- 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.
- 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.