Providing demonstrable return-on-investment for organisational learning and training

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to present a holistic approach to training, that clearly demonstrates cost savings with improved effectiveness and efficiencies that are aligned to business objectives. Design/methodology/approach – Extending Kirkpatrick’s evaluation framework with Phillips’s return-on-investment (ROI) concepts, the paper conveys a number of successes; including trainee satisfaction and the capturing of improved knowledge and skills. Findings – The paper includes case studies of how, and to what extent this knowledge has been applied with examples of resulting efficiency savings. The paper shows that there is growing agreement that one of the primary drivers, if not the key driver of long-term organisational effectiveness, is the ability of an organisation to learn effectively. The methodology requires some additional assessment and course preparation to establish a basis from which to demonstrate learning effectiveness. The financial benefits of the applied learning are far greater than the additional preparatory costs. Practical implications – Learning organisations that anticipate, react to change and learn, are likely to maintain a competitive advantage. These organisations are constantly looking for more effective and efficient ways of training. Paradoxically, other organisations will often slash training budgets in times of hardship, as training departments are unable to demonstrate the effectiveness of their programmes. Originality/value – The paper presents a practical example of how training should be applied to truly demonstrate its value in the workplace.