Is Training Returning on the Investment?

I asked this question of a CEO this week, and he said what I expected, “I don’t know.”  Actually I was quite pleased to hear an honest answer, so I asked him if it mattered.

You see if you are not concerned that the cost of staff, facilities, materials and systems is never recovered from the training department, it does not make sense auditing it to increase efficiency.  However, 99.9% of the time management today is very cost conscience and doing better than returning on the investment is what they are after.

I found another company this week that is about to hire a “newly created” senior role to run training for this growing company.  The job description was boiler plate asking for the moon, stars and the ability to leap tall buildings etc.  A perfect match for my skills!  But I digress…..

Anyhow, I am trying to reach the CEO to offer some guidance on whether the company is really ready to engage this hire.  The opening will no doubt attract some heavy hitters, until the interview and realize the company has little idea on how this role fits into the operation.  How the word strategic is used in regards to training.

Both of these examples point to companies where training will not return on the investment.  They each will be paying money without the ability to get a return.  They are missing components that a lot of companies are today, and while I am pleased to see training manager openings again, I am not pleased to see another failed operation in the works.

Tell me, is training returning on the investment being made at your company, or is it exceeding the investment?


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