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How to measure training impact on business

Updated: May 16

Over the years I have come to believe that helping my clients measure training ROI, specially impact on business, is the most critical part.  Most organisations face a paradox, as they believe in people development but at the same time people churn is an unpredictable reality.  They know behavioural change takes sustained efforts over time, yet they deliver training programs in the classroom with little thought to how it will be reinforced on the job.  Eventually training becomes a sunk cost without any visible returns, and training budgets get smaller. Being able to demonstrate the return on training investment is key to elevating the status of training in organisations.


Here are some ways you can measure training ROI in your organisation:


1.Define metrics to measure the training objectives:  We need to ask ourselves, how will to measure the impact of training? For example, in retail, if salespeople learn cross selling and link selling, average basket size and items sold per transaction can be measured. If you train sales staff to nurture long term relationships with customers, you can measure repeat sales and customer satisfaction. Mystery shopping evaluations are also helpful tools to measure if the desired behaviours are being executed by customer facing teams. That way you can correlate behaviour of an individual with sales performance.

2. Shift from workshops to planning projects: Classroom training is a great starting point but training reinforcement happens on the job. Think training - individual coaching on the job - periodic measurement - reward & motivation - retraining. In addition to a strong reinforcement plan on the job, consider doing follow up trainings that help refresh what they learnt in the classroom and layer it with some advanced skills. Every training doesn’t have to be in person. Typically, refreshers can also be done virtually, via e-learning or on the job. This kind of planning requires more than just a trainer, it needs rigorous project management skills.

3.Include more stakeholders in the process: To ensure training drives results all stakeholders need to be involved.  Whether its training need analysis or measuring post training impact, gather insights from the training participants themselves, their managers and customers. Even gathering feedback from a representative sample can provide valuable insights. This way you get qualitative insights to support your quantitative measures.


Measure training ROI is not just for the boardroom, it's for everyone involved in the process. The most satisfying part of measure training impact is seeing the sense of achievement in the individual who has made the effort to learn and apply new skills.  Measurement motivates everyone to put in the work behavioural change requires!



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