Making Sense of the Return on Investment (ROI) from Developing People

Posted: 07/23/2009
Editor's Note: This whitepaper, from a global perspective, is a great piece on how some companies determine the value of developing their people.

This report from the UK development company Maynard Leigh Associates is a work in progress and regularly updated as the topic of evaluation evolves. It is aimed at Human Resources professionals and attempts to shed some light on this complex issue and help practitioners navigate the territory.

The paper argues that developers who claim that a particular development intervention will benefit a business will increasingly be expected to "prove it!" to the satisfaction of key decision makers. It explains the background to a Return on Investment (ROI) calculation and offers various examples, plus some useful sources that explore the ROI issue in more depth.

The paper distinguishes between strategic evaluation that attempts to assess the overall benefit of learning to a company and evaluation which is more focused on specific developments.

Prove it! questions whether a simple ROI approach for specific developments is always as useful as some experts claim and offers alternative ways developers may try to "prove it!" It proposes two mainstream approaches: the short term behavioral goal method that may occur over a few months, and the longer term one that focuses specifically on business results that may need to cover a longer period of months or even years.
Being a work in progress, the authors invite readers to engage with them in discussing the issue of ROI development and how you might "prove it."
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Posted: 07/23/2009