Reviving Training's DOA ROI

By Kevin Oakes

ROI is a funny thing. Why is it that no one directs the IT department to "get us the return-on-investment on our e-mail system," yet corporations think nothing of forcing the training department to project ROI on every learning program and technology deployed? And a down economy only intensifies the scrutiny.

It's to be expected that the CEO of a large company that's spending millions on training and developing employees might wonder what he or she is getting in return, especially when the pressure is on to cut expenses in order to meet analyst's quarterly estimates. However, as with most "soft" issues, it can be difficult to show tangible results from such intangible processes. Although employee training has been an integral part of the corporate environment a heck of a lot longer than e-mail, it hasn't reached the "we don't need to measure it - we know it's invaluable" status in most organizations.

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