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7 Reasons to measure the financial ROI on your training

Back by popular demand! Following the brilliant feedback from my recent workshop on how to measure the full financial ROI of environmental training, I’m running a 1-day workshop in Auckland on 17 October! Numbers permitting, there may be another in Wellington after that.

In case you are debating the value, here are seven reasons to attend, in the form of  seven “Aha!” moments from trainees the last time I ran this workshop.

  1. The actual costs of not doing training

The bottom line costs of poor environment and sustainability training show up in many ways. Two of the more obvious are:

  • specific expenses incurred in addressing incidents and near misses that could be prevented or reduced by good training
  • general loss of productivity as budgeted margins are reduced by hidden costs and time delays.

For example, one civil construction company about to roll out some environmental training tracked the real cost of a spill. It was a reasonably significant spill but the effective clean-up meant no enforcement action was taken. Even so, the clean up and management costs added up to over $150,000.

Using my unique spreadsheets to measure the real costs of only 5% of your typical and worst-case incidents gives a very good picture of real costs to your company – and will open your eyes to a suite of wider potential financial costs that are equally real and sometimes larger.

  1. The real financial benefits accrued from training

ROI is one the few areas where you have to talk down the potential benefits of your work. I have actually had the experience of someone flatly disbelieving the numbers I’d estimated for savings from good environmental induction training to reduce high staff turnover in a very large organisation – numbers that I’d cut at every stage through my calculations!

The numbers were based on a real case study and I have absolutely no reason to believe they were inflated: a firm with 1000 staff saved $4 million in one year from better induction training that reduced staff turnover with an investment of something over $30,000. You can see why you might want to talk this down a bit!

Because the financial benefits of good environment and sustainability training can be so startlingly good, it’s best to be very conservative in your predictions and very conscientious when measuring the actual benefits, because it’s great to exceed your targets!

  1. Hearing real stories from other people like you

As environment and sustainability managers, we often work alone or as part of a very small team and it’s difficult to share our experiences with others. In my workshop, we commit to complete commercial confidentiality – and this means that much learning takes place in group work and open discussions.

People love the opportunity to meet others in the same line of work and share a range of perspectives, issues and solutions with each other – all in an interactive, humorous and supportive learning context.

  1. Strategic environment and sustainability planning and training as part of wider business strategies

If environment and sustainability management and training are not adding measurable benefit to the organisation’s bottom line, operational and strategic outcomes, then what are we doing it for?

Training can sometimes be seen as an add-on to an organisation’s core business – an extra expense to tick off a staff development box somewhere else in the organisational structure that adds no value to your day to day work and annual KPIs.

Taking a more rigorous approach to evaluating the effectiveness of your training means you need to systematically align your operational outcomes with the organisation’s strategic outcomes. It sounds difficult and scary, but once you start, it isn’t. And if you are not already doing this, you will see measurable benefits as soon as you start.

  1. Sharpen up

Every time I talk about measuring the financial ROI of environment and sustainability training, someone will say, “Oh! I’m just planning or rolling out a training program on [insert environmental topic here] – I’d better take another look at it!“

Because ROI evaluation is so rigorous, it helps us sharpen up even the most successful training programs, as well as showing the real dollar value they can deliver. This means you’ll feel much more confident about putting a strong business case for your training to your bosses and clients.

  1. Continuous improvement

Once you get your training under way with full financial ROI on just a few key programs, you will find you get a better grip on defining training needs and evaluating the effectiveness of your training in ways that allow you to better measure the outcomes.

What you learn in my very hands on, practical workshop is easy to adapt into your existing training activities and forms a strong basis for identifying, delivering, delivering and evaluating new training programs over time.

  1. Become a learning organisation

The pinnacle of business excellence, the learning organisation is defined by its creator Peter Senge as “a group of people working together collectively to enhance their capabilities to create results they really care about.”

You’ll know when this happens to you when the people on the ground get excited about reporting incidents and near misses as well as their wins and successes so they can keep on learning how to do better. It’s true! They will! This is culture change in action…. all from your ROI approach!

Looking at training activities from an ROI perspective has a major contribution to make in achieving meaningful awareness and change in your organisation, and will give your company the very best kind of competitive advantage.

What’s not to like? Click here to find out more about my upcoming ROI workshop in Auckland.

Be in quick to grab the Early Bird Price! Numbers are limited to maximise your learning.

Want me to run a workshop in Wellington? I’d love to! Click here to express your interest.

Peter Senge’s two core books on the learning organisation are gaining new traction and I believe they are core manuals for environment and sustainability practitioners. They are The Fifth Discipline: the art and practice of the learning organisation (1990) and The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (1994). Find out more about Peter, one of the world’s most acclaimed business thinkers, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Senge