With businesses becoming increasingly data-driven, corporates are looking for avenues to measure ROI of training to make smarter investments in talent development. According to Bersin’s Corporate Learning Factbook, More than 7 in 10 organizations say “capability gaps” is one of their top five challenges, and many report that it takes between 3 and 5 years for employees to become “fully productive.” It is therefore not surprising to see an average investment of close to $1200 per employee in the United States. Yet, interestingly, a survey by a SHL in 2013 revealed that more than three-quarters (77%) of HR professionals are unable to determine how their enterprises’ workforce potential is affecting the bottom line, while less than half (44%) use objective data regarding talent performance to guide business decisions.

Every organisation is interested in improving ROI on training investments and getting more for their money’s worth, but improvement can only be justified using some metrics and means of measurement. Here are some of the things you can do to get started with measuring your training ROI. Measuring ROI begins with understanding what you gained from your investment and quantifying it as a percentage of your investment.

Here are some of the techniques that can be used to measure training effectiveness:

1. Get direct and indirect feedback from trainees

feedbackThe first step of evaluating the benefit of training is to assess if the employees were engaged in the training process. Ask the following questions to evaluate employee interest, engagement and participation :

  1. Did employees enjoy the training experience?
  2. Did the training involve activities that engaged the employees ?
  3. Were the employees participative during the training period ?
  4. Did the employees leave a positive feedback for the training ?

It is scientifically proven that trainings are most effective when enjoyed by employees. Training participation and involvement not only makes the training enjoyable, the learning outcomes are better achieved and with greater retention if the employees were pleasantly delighted and engaged during the training experience.

2. Evaluate improvement using Skill Assessments

SkillsEvaluate what the learner knew before the training and where they stand after the learning. As an example, if you recently conducted a training on Sales which was in relation to the sales process followed in your organisation, ask the following questions :

  1. How much of the training has been assimilated by the learner ?
  2. Is the learner able to put these skills into practice ?
  3. How much of the training is still retained after a week ?

Not only will these skill assessments help in a first hand evaluation of the gain in skills, it will even help in identifying areas of improvement for the training program itself. Besides, tools for evaluation and reinforcement learning are known to help in better retention of training.

3. Connect Performance Metrics with Training

Performance ReportIn the long term, the skills acquired through training should result in performance improvement which could be in the form of improved revenues, greater productivity or better efficiency. Returning to the example of the sales training, keeping track of the following metrics can help:

  1. Are the employees managing their sales tasks ( CRM updation, Sales reporting, etc.) better than before?
  2. Is the sales representative able to generate more qualified leads? Has the rate of sales conversion improved?
  3. Are the representatives making appropriate use of the sales collaterals?
  4. Has the training led to an increase in sales per month being generated by the employee?

These metrics will allow true quantification of your sales training and help you determine the benefit you’re able to extract per dollar of your investment in training.


With a plethora of training options, the Learning and Development function will be confronting the dilemma of making the right selection of trainings. Quantification of benefits and weighing each of the options based on ROI of training will help in making the right investments in training and ensuring that your organisation makes the best use of training resources.


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