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Case Study: Add Staff to Improve Training ROI

For anyone who has ever thought a training department is always a net-drain on financial resources, this case study offers quantitative evidence of how wrong you can be.

On November 5, 2015, I happened to be speaking with a training colleague from another department when she began telling me the story of how she was finally able to add a .5 FTE to her training team. I asked how it was working out for her, and she began rattling off all the benefits she was seeing.

It had helped lighten her workload. She had a new partner in crime with whom she could kick ideas around. This new training person was super-high quality.

“This is exciting,” I said, “but have you seen any impact… as in anything you can quantify?” 

She began to rattle off a half-dozen ways that the impact of this .5 FTE addition had sped the time-to-competence of new employees.

My eyes lit up. I was talking with someone who had mathematical proof that an investment in expanding the learning and development team was not a net drain on our organization’s financial resources… it was quite the opposite, actually.

Within days I had reached out to ATD to pitch an idea for an article in TD magazine. At the beginning of this month, that article was published. You can find it in its entirety here.

Spoiler alert: If you’re an L&D professional who’s wondered if it’s possible to share how training programs can have a net-positive effect on your organization’s bottom line, this article has a happy ending for you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions in the comment section.

What are your strategies to improve training ROI?

If you liked this article, here are two other articles I’ve written for TD magazine:

  1. Playing Around (Play in the workplace has a perception problem. Let’s fix that)
  2. Thinking Inside the Box (co-written with Michelle Baker)

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