Is Training Returning on the Investment?


I regularly ask CEOs if their training department is returning on the investment being made annually.  Typically I get the ever cautious “I’m sure it is” as a response, to which I generally follow up with a question that moves them from a gut feeling to wondering themselves what is really going on.

I’ve long said that training is an illusive function within a company.  The large corporations hire top notch training talent and so long before their CEO would have to guess the health of their training function, their Chief Learning Officer has already demonstrated and proven the success of the investment in training.  Even some mid-size companies have training leaders with the right processes to prove the function’s worth.

Yet smaller organizations often don’t hire the best talent to lead training, and promote a trainer without giving them the right skills to lead training.  They wrongfully believe this is a low risk department because it is so small that even if their training manager is a complete incompetent, the potential risk is low.  Oh how wrong this line of thinking is!

If you are reading this blog posting you are either in training, or you are the client of your training function.  You either should be asking “Is Training Returning on the Investment?” or you should be prepared to prove that what you are delivering does return on the investment.

I would like to encourage all of you to find out the health of your training departments in the next couple of weeks.  If you are in senior leadership in your organization, go ask training how well they are returning on the investment.  If you are in training I want you to spend time gathering the information, stats and proof sources to demonstrate your impact.

If your company cannot discover if training is returning on the investment, or you are unable to prove it is, then make an appointment with me for a Training Physical.  While you can read the book and purchase a self-audit kit, I would suggest that route is only good for folks that have already have a grasp of their training department’s health.

Call me (562) 943-5776 or email me Jim@JKHopkinsConsulting.com today!

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