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“Is your company achieving a positive return on investment on training and learning programmes it offers? Do these programmes align with the strategic goals of the company? Are they positively contributing to those strategic goals through practical application of your intended training outcomes? Do you have documented performance measurement indicators to support these initiatives?”.

These were the questions posed by Jonathan Burch, in his article on how he successfully evaluate and ensure positive returns in his learning and development programmes when he was director of business process improvement with Fiserv Lending Solutions.  

Like many L&D professionals, Jonathan believes that, “Workplace learning is more than just creating training programmes that teach employees how to use company tools. It is about maximizing opportunity. Establishing return on participants’ investment is a critical factor in developing concrete, strategy-oriented learning programmes.”

“Benchmarking the effects of the programme before rolling it out to your entire distribution channel is as equally important. You would not want to train and implement the entire sales staff on a programme that had minimal or worse, negative impact to designated KPI”, added Jonathan.

Jonathan came across the Phillips ROI Methodology which effectively answered all his questions.

Here, Jonathan illustrate how he used the ROI Methodology, five-level framework to quantify the true outcome of his learning and development initiatives.

Level 1: Reaction, Satisfaction, and Planned Action  The most often used evaluation level, Reaction, Satisfaction and Planned Action, is based on course/event data collected at the conclusion of a learning programme. At this level, you are answering questions about the programme as it applies to relevance and importance to the job, how much new information the participant gathered by attending the programme and whether the participants intend to use it at their job and of course, whether they would be willing to recommend the course.

Level 2: Learning  This evaluation is based upon data collected from written tests, exercises, demonstrations, case studies, self and peer assessments and possibly simulations. At this level, you are answering questions about the new knowledge and skills that were learnt, and the improvements in confidence or ability as they relate to applying information from the programme in a business setting. This evaluation level is capturing whether learning has occurred.

Level 3: Application/Implementation  This evaluation measures the extent that new knowledge and skills are actually applied. A post programme questionnaire can be used to collect information about how effective the participant has become in applying the knowledge or skill, the frequency with which they are applied/used, and notation about any barriers or enablers to adequate application of knowledge or practice. This evaluation level captures the actual use of the programme content.

Level 4: Business Impact  This evaluation shows how the application of knowledge and skills has impacted the business performance of the participant. These consequences of training can be measured and represent items like work output, work quality, cost measurement of activity, time to completion of activity, employee job satisfaction and customer satisfaction.

Level 5: Return on Investment  This evaluation is based upon data collected at the previous levels, but converted into money. Costs are also included in this level and a return on investment and benefit cost ratio is calculated for the programme. This evaluation level answers, in financial terms, the effectiveness of the programme.

Does this means that you should evaluate all your training programmes at Level 5 to see their true value?  According to Dr Phillips, “The frequency with which evaluation level is used should commensurate with the characteristics (cost, type, purpose) of the programme. There is a cost for completing ROI in and among itself, so be wise to that when evaluating programmes”.

In line with our objective to offer best-in-class learning solutions for executives, London School of Business & Finance is proud to partner with The Business Evaluation Centre to offer “The Bottom Line on ROI”, based on the Phillips ROI Methodology developed by Dr Jack Phillips of the ROI Institute, for the first time in Singapore.

Discover the business impact and true dollar value of your projects, programmes and business initiatives now – speak to LSBF’s Education Consultants for more information and discounts. Call us at (+65) 6580 7000 | Email us at:executive@LSBF.edu.sg | Visit our website: http://tinyurl.com/BottomLineROI

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