As we enter into the 2nd quarter of the year, I wonder how many Training Managers are being required to report 1st quarter training results. Accountability for the return on the investment for every training function should rest with the training leader, but sometimes they need a little incentive to prove their worth.
When I was last a Chief Learning Officer, I had a very supportive manager that wanted the rest of the executive leadership team as aware as he was to all of the work the training function was doing for the bank. And we both agreed that listing accomplishments was the way to demonstrate our worth.
It was my custom to begin a quarterly accountability report with the number of hours we had allotted to our training team. I would look at the previous calendar and count the number of work days, minus holidays and vacations. If I was doing this today, I would have said that last quarter gave us each 61 days after holidays, and if we all took a week’s vacation we each worked 56 days last quarter, or 448 hours.
For most people, 3 months (a calendar quarter) flies by, but even with a shorter month like February, 56 days / 448 hours is a lot of time devoted to work. So wouldn’t you expect some serious results? For too many training leaders, their list of accomplishments don’t look good against 448 hours per person.
“But we were always busy” is the normal reaction, but what employer is paying employees to be busy? They are paying for productivity. Which means that they need to produce tangible results, completed tasks/projects, and then I can see what I’m paying for.
Believe me, someone on the executive team, and it doesn’t have to be the CFO, was always doing a quick numbers game when I introduced 448 hours per person. Let’s take an example of $75K a year, that is an hourly rate of $36 an hour, times 448 is $16,151. They are looking at just salary, and not all of the other costs to employ you, but still, did you get $16K in work done? What if you have 10 employees? Did you get $160K in work done?
Training departments get closed down when they can’t demonstrate worth. Some are kept open for window dressing/public relations, but most need to contribute to the bottom line. It was always my goal that everyone knew we exceeded a break even for the costs. I never wanted anyone to believe we cost more that we provided back.
Are you accountable? If I asked one of your senior leaders if training returns on the investment would they say yes, no or would they know? Before I ask them, give them an accurate answer to give me.