Ensuring ROI on your training programs
People are the most valuable assets of an organization, regardless of industry or sector. Highly qualified and competent individuals can significantly increase productivity and efficiency in an organization, yet not everyone will always be at that level. Businesses continually need to invest in developing their people so that they can be better equipped to perform their work, to reach their potential and to succeed in their careers.
Here are some tips from Allan Gamboa, an organizational development practitioner from various industries, on how to plan out your people development programs and ensure adequate returns on your training investment.
- Clarify the needs of your organization.
People development programs involve significant investment in terms of time, effort and money. Clarify what your company needs to achieve—its vision, mission and strategies—and focus on those. Don’t offer programs just because your competitor, or other known organizations, or simply your friend’s business, is running the same program. Remember that organizations, just like people, are unique and have different needs.
- Focus on specific, realistic outcomes and abilities expected from people.
Because people development entails costs, some companies set outrageous expectations from their programs. This can overwhelm your trainer, and your participants, and eventually affect the effectiveness of your program. It’s important to set realistic expectations from people who will attend your training and development programs.
As you plot the specific expectations from your target participants, ensure that they are behavior-focused, so that they can be evaluated later through observation. In case your organization doesn’t have one yet—consider developing a Competency Matrix that includes behavioral indicators per proficiency level.
- Be deliberate in selecting who will design and facilitate the programs for your organization.
External consultants and subject matter experts (SMEs) can infuse a wealth of new ideas and perspectives into your organization coming from their experience and practice. Internal subject matter experts, on the other hand, are usually more able to translate ideas and learning to real-world scenarios for the company based on their first-hand experience. Decide which will be of greater value to the organization, but also consider the availability of resources for the business. While working with external consultants will require more financial resources (vs. internal SMEs), internal SMEs will also require considerable resources in terms of time and effort (away from their work).
- Allow for application of learning and measure progress.
Embed opportunities for application of learning during the course of the program. Note that people learn best through experience. If you can realistically allow for actual experience on the topic, even if simulated, that will significantly increase the effectiveness of your people development program.
Follow through on the learning. When people attend a training program, they can only realistically retain so much. If that retained learning is left unapplied, untapped, unsupported or even unintentionally ignored—it fades away into oblivion. Moreover, it may adversely affect the impression and interpretation that people have on how training programs are evaluated by the organization.
Gamboa will conduct a course titled “Managing People Development Programs: A toolbox session on initiating and managing programs for employees satisfaction and productivity” on June 28, 2018. The course will help participants identify HR and organization systems that impact people development, identify opportunities for improving people developing in their organizations and prepare their plan for improving people development in their respective organizations. The course can also be customized and conducted on another date for specific companies.
The Inquirer Academy is at 4168 Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Ponte St., Makati City. For more information about the workshops or if you would like to add your input on the article, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (632) 834-1557 or 771-2715 and look for Jerald Miguel or Judy Bondoc, or visit the website at www.inquireracademy.com.
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