10 Tips to Measure Training ROI

July 23, 2012

If you can’t prove a return on your training program, you run the risk of having it cut back or cancelled. ESI International, a global project-focused training company, offers the following tips to help you prove ROI.

  1. Don’t go overboard. You only need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your program is cost justified.

  2. Shift your thinking. While quality is important, it doesn’t go nearly far enough in proving that training positively impacts the business.

  3. Calculate ROI continuously. There are two ways to waste training dollars – training people who don’t need it and training people who don’t use it.

  4. Build your case. Present ROI like a court case, with arguments supported by facts.

  5. The more data points, the better. Validate your findings with as much data from as many different perspectives as possible.

  6. ROI isn’t just about money. Analyze results that lead to ROI across the following four levels of learning measurement: quality, effectiveness, job impact, and business results.

  7. Be conservative. Self-reported scores should be factored down to compensate for bias.

  8. Know the investment outlay. Since ROI by definition is a return on investment, it stands to reason that it can’t be calculated without knowing the investment itself.

  9. Communicate the story behind the numbers. Clearly state the goals of your program as you first envisioned it and how you overcame challenges.

  10. Don’t be discouraged. Low ROI can be improved by taking a proactive stance and a comprehensive view of job support and other adoption practices.

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