Training Magazine Middle East January 2015 - Page 30


the concept of roi

COLUMN - Spotlight On Change

The concept of return on investment (ROI) is often presented at the board table with high expectations, scientific definitions and extensive formulae, yet rarely with agreed measures which are simple and tangible for trainers.

Basically, any ROI measure should be able to indicate expected levels of performance that yield, or move the organization towards a pre-defined outcome. Evidence of change, progress or other intended return should show gains from the dedication of all resources. If no or limited returns yield, either the resources and input themselves may have been ineffective, or otherwise the outcomes had been inaccurately defined.

So what are some root causes that will negatively impact ROI results that trainers should be mindful of when building cultures and changing workplace practices?

Perception of ROI

Perceptions are interpretable, personal and subjective. A trainer should not accept a perception of ROI but rather a measurable, clearly-defined outcome that is realistic.

If you are given outcomes that are simply not realistic, be prepared to speak about it publicly, and earlier rather than later. After all, this is what a trainer’s efforts will be measured on.

Limited or no senior stakeholder commitment

A trainer needs to be ‘in the loop’ and preferably a strategic partner. Only then will they be able to gauge the reality of the senior stakeholders, which the training role serves by increasing efficiency and effectiveness of an organization. Signs that the senior stakeholder may not be engaged or an active supporter may include:

Lip service

This can be identified when inconsistency surrounds communication. Lip service is when someone says what others want to hear, without really being genuine. It is generally reactive and changeable, and represents a conniving attempt to warp reality. This will negatively impact change and should be addressed factually and often.

Flavour of the month

Flavour of the month is a differing type of reaction for trainers to watch out for. An initiative suddenly is requested for disconnected reasons, for example the owner deems that a competitor has it so we will too, or it’s important for us to share with media.

When training needs are driven by factors other than the strategy, any reactive request is likely to be a ‘flavour of the month’ and not take us closer to the desired outcomes.


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