Measuring the ROI of your training programs can help keep ramp-up times low and allow organizations to react to any trends indicating that trainees either are leaving their role quickly or not ever actually starting full-time employment.
Businesses need skilled employees to function, and this inevitably means investment in training, regardless of whether the bulk of that training is carried out in-house, or handled externally. However, according to Rachel Emma Silverman from the Wall Street Journal, corporate training programs are “often a waste of time and money.”
This is just one reason it is so important that organizations measure the return on investment of their training programs or sales training courses, so that their effectiveness can be ascertained and, if necessary, changes can be made. Let’s look at how failing to do this also can lead to an increase in staff turnover rates.
Measuring Ramp-Up Times
When it comes to measuring ROI on a training program, one of the most useful metrics is the average ramp-up time, which is the average amount of time taken to get a new trainee up to full competency. By measuring this, organizations can gain an understanding of how long it is taking for their investment to pay dividends.
In the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, it was found that 60.7 percent of businesses report average ramp-up times of seven months or more and 18.1 percent take an average of more than one year to get new recruits’ sales skills to the point where they generate the same revenue as experienced salespeople.
Crucially, this represents a significant increase in average ramp-up times since CSO Insights began its research in 2003. Long ramp-up times means it takes longer to develop sales skills properly. This then can increase staff turnover, because staff spend a greater amount of time feeling unsettled, unproductive, or incompetent.
Tracking Training Outcomes
Measuring the success of a training program in getting people up to a level of competency is one thing, but it is equally important to measure longer-term outcomes. Specifically, it is important to know how successful the program is in helping people to stay employed.
While many organizations track the cost of their sales training courses per person, or the percentage of trainees who go into full-time positions, few monitor the actual long-term outcomes.
Mona Mourshed, president of a nonprofit organization called Generation, which recruits, trains, and gets unemployed young people into work, recommends a metric known as “cost per employed day,” which combines those previous two metrics with the length of employment. This, in turn, tells an organization how successful its training program is in getting trainees into a stable, steady job, and the cost of doing so.
Using Metrics as a Guide
Once you have measured things such as ramp-up times, cost per trainee, the percentage of trainees who go into full employment, and the cost per employed day, you can start to use these metrics to build a picture of how successful your program is. In addition, you can use the metrics to inform changes, with a view to keeping turnover low.
For example, a high cost per employed day would indicate that your training program is either too expensive or, more likely, that it is not resulting in long-term retention of staff. If this is coupled with a ramp-up time of more than seven months, this is likely to be a contributing factor to that turnover.
Ultimately, by measuring the ROI of your training programs, you can start to ensure turnover is less of a problem. This can be achieved by trying to keep ramp-up times low and reacting to any trends indicating that trainees either are leaving their role quickly or not ever actually starting full-time employment.
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