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Return on Investment


Can anyone give me any guidence on ROI and implementing this into the organisation?
Donna Johnston

6 Responses

  1. Consider some of the following…
    Hi Donna

    You can find stuff by a number of people here on Trainingzone – just search on ‘evaluation’. To get you started try the following:

    By Leslie Rae:
    By Paul Kearns:
    By Me!

    And of course there’s this week’s Parkin Space on the strategic issues.

    I also have a growing bundle of resources at

    Implementing it is a little more involved. You can either do it covertly, by stealth, or openly, as a separate project.

    I’d go the stealthy route, and bring it in on a programme by programme basis – as each of your clients requests some training, work with them to develop an ROI measure as you go, right from day 1. The approach you use will help you build a lot of credibility and a great working relationship.

    Wonder over to CiteHR and for a bit more insight in to what I mean. Oh and while your there, perhaps you could participate in my anonymous poll?



  2. Paul Kearns
    There’s an excellent book by Paul Kearns now available from CIPD called:

    Evaluating the ROI from learning, I would strongly recommend it.

  3. ROI
    Hi Donna, I’ve got an article on how to design an evaluation strategy which is perfect for your organisation. I’m happy to send it to you if it is useful.



  4. Show me the numbers
    Dear Donna,

    I like to go straight to the point and see the numbers with the caveats. We have a Training ROI calculator spreadsheet on our website that, while rather simplistic, is simple and relatively straightforward.

    The data collection requirements are the productivity enhancements due to the training and perceived retention benefits. There’s a sample hypothesis in the spreadsheet that can be refined for a more accurate result and also broadened to cover the training function in general – it was designed to be used on a course by course basis, and doesn’t take into account quality improvements.

    You can download the Training ROI calculator at

    I hope it helps, and if anyone has any ideas or suggestions about how to improve it, please feel free to contact me.

    Take care,
    TJ Taylor Formazione Linguistica Aziendale

  5. Be wary what you claim
    I’ve noticed frequently that when determining ROI often practitioners will claim something like “our delegates saved approx. 1 hour per week each as a result of this course”

    Irrespective of whether the claim is true (i.e. how do they KNOW this to be the case in terms of causal links, as opposed to a simple correlation!), if this time that is saved can be put to use in delivering measurably more performance/productivity or whatever is important to the organisation, then the ROI calculation may be valid.

    If all they did was save some time here and there, but not make further use of it, the benefit may simply be an intangible one of “we don’t feel quite so pressured by the workload” and this itself, while very subjective, may also be valid.

    Please be wary of claiming savings here and there that can’t actually be converted in to tangible bottom-line improvements, and pass them off as savings in useful terms – CFOs in organisations going through tough times will tear such arguments apart!

    There’s always more than 1 perspective in training: there’s the benefits perceived by the trainee, the line manager, the colleagues, the customer, the shareholder, the local community – the list goes on! Consider the ROI from more than 1 perspective, be clear about whether the benefits are tangible or not, and don’t just look for financial ones – sure, they’re important, but only tell part of the story.


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