Maximise your training and development budget
With an increasingly competitive and complex market, there is perhaps greater scrutiny on training and development budgets than ever before – so tangible results must be a key deliverable of any learning or training programme. It is therefore deeply concerning that only 24% of organisations are measuring return on investment (ROI) in relation to skills development programmes.
ROI remains the age-old debate when it comes to training and yet it is measured by less than a quarter of respondents, markedly fewer than those who are assessing delegate satisfaction, change in skillset or how new skills are applied in the organisation. Could this focus on satisfaction, rather than quantifiable ROI, explain why 48% of organisations will see their available development budget remain the same or even fall in the future?
Understandably, without a clear justification for the investment, unlocking future funds becomes more challenging, and is one of the reasons why training is often seen as a ‘nice to have’ as opposed to a business critical investment. As such, those in charge of training and development budgets must get better at setting clear key performance indicators that measure the financial benefits of training to validate their investment.
It is also surprising to see what would generally be considered future focused skills so low on the agenda for organisations. The importance of specific technical skills is recognised, but certain ones such as digital skills – surely fundamental to organisations going forward – are alarmingly undervalued.
Nick Washington-Jones adds: “Participant satisfaction is important. But the only way to unlock more budget is to demonstrate tangible gains for the business from funds already invested in this area. That extends to training providers too. They should also be held accountable for helping to measure return on investment as part of their service. There are countless examples of established businesses failing despite making significant investments in people. The key is sound strategic investment. Investment aligned to the future objectives of the business and the future challenges and threats it will face. It is imperative we re-skill to survive and thrive in an increasingly digital world.”