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Answers For The Workplace E-Memo

Return on Training Investment

In March of 2003, I attended a workshop featuring Dr. Jack Phillips, an expert on measuring Return on Investment in training. I must say, it was one of the most informative workshops I’ve attended in quite a while. (Check out one of Dr. Phillips' books)

Dr. Phillips uses “evaluation levels” to provide a company with solid feedback on the value and effectiveness of any training. The five levels are:
- Reaction, satisfaction, and planned actions
- Learning
- Job Application
- Business Results
- Return on Investment
The key points made by Dr. Phillips are to know what your training objectives are, and then decide up front how you’re going to measure the success or failure of your efforts -- it may require some up front measurements before starting your training!

“Success” is always tied to the kind of results you were looking for in the first place. If you’re looking to have employees know company policy, there’s no reason to evaluate on the business results of the training – you simply want to measure whether or not someone learned the policy. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a 10% increase in customer satisfaction, then you must work up front to determine how those business results are going to be measured after the training. Phillips provides some excellent insights on how to do that.

(Note: Of course, we always encourage you to check out Leadership Development as a source for training, learning, and other human resource development services!)

EXTRA NOTE: Jack Phillips will be in Boise, Idaho on Thursday, September 4, 2003. Contact the Treasure Valley Chapter of ASTD for more information.

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