1 in 5 HR Directors Measure Training ROI, Study Shows

About 60% of human resources development departments within global companies believe it is possible to measure the return on investment of their employee development initiatives.

However, only 18% measure whether their employee training and development delivers an effective ROI, according to U.K.-based Lane4.

The global consulting company says this is a sign of HR’s continued lack of clout at many businesses.

“ROI is something that businesses want and expect from their training programs. Measurement of ROI has invaluable benefits beyond the bottom line, including [modified] people development for your organization, goal-focused interventions, as well as the ability to predict effective investment,” said Tom Smith, head of organizational development at Lane4, in a statement.

The global performance measurement study, which spanned seven geographical regions and 15 business sectors, suggests the biggest problem is a sense that there are too many barriers to actually achieve this.

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Data shows that 68% said it was difficult to calculate true financial ROI. Another 67% cited insufficient resources to fully evaluate these training programs.

The study points out that HR needs to be able to demonstrate a clearer ROI “that is widely understood rather than spurious measures that sound good but mean very little.”

Suggestions include aligning employee development programs with business strategy by involving relevant stakeholders, identifying the desired ROI (i.e., saving on recruitment cost by increased retention), and using goal-setting techniques.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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