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An Overview of ROI Methodology

Return on investment - Money

We recently hosted a free webinar, The Bottomline on ROI: How to Measure the Results of Your Training with Dr. Patti Phillips.  A recognized expert in measurement and evaluation, Dr. Phillips is President and CEO of the ROI Institute. She serves as faculty for the UN System Staff College, a professor of practice for the University of Southern Mississippi, PhD in Human Capital Development Program and a Principal Research Fellow at The Conference Board. She is an award winning author and editor of numerous books and articles including The Bottomline on ROI, Measuring ROI, The Bottom Line on ROI Workshop, and Measuring the Success of Coaching.

Over 500 people registered for the webinar. You may view the archived webinar here.

Here is what some of our participants had to say about the webinar:

“I learned a lot of valuable information.  Thank you.”

“Thank you, Patti.  I wish I had more time to pick your brain!”

“Thank you for providing this wonderful learning event.”

The goal of the presentation was to give the audience an overview of the ROI methodology. It’s the most documented approach to measuring to evaluating all types of human resources programs. That includes learning and development, any kind of performance improvement initiative, leadership development and coaching.

According to Patti, “When we’re measuring and evaluating any type of program and project, the key is to be able to answer the questions: What are you doing? How are you doing it? And why are you doing it? So ensuring you have a method, a process and a set of standards allows us to answer those questions in such a way that stakeholders get it. They understand what we’re doing and what the results mean. That means we have to have those conservative standards. We have to have consistency. We want reliability and we need to get credible sources and data and in the end, the output of an evaluation needs to create a call for action. Your ROI or your measurement evaluation project is not in the numbers produced from the process but it’s in the actions taken. So this new definition of value is really driving our approaches these days in the area of measurement, evaluation and analytics.”

When asked if there is anything positive about a negative ROI, the group had to stop and think.  The answer is yes, a negative ROI can be a positive thing because it means you have an opportunity to improve. “So the value of a negative is in that opportunity for improvement. What we don’t want you to do is be afraid of them because if you do have a negative ROI and your senior executive has asked you to demonstrate an ROI for a program, they probably already know it’s negative. There’s something telling them that they need to see what’s happening with that program. So what you want to do is find the negative first. The idea is look for what’s working but look for what’s not working so you can improve it and sometimes that improvement is kill the program.”

There are five different levels of evaluation when it comes to an ROI.

Level 1 is Inputs and Indicators

Level 2 is Reaction and Perceived Value

Level 3 is Learning and Confidence where, “it doesn’t matter what people know. It’s what people do with what they know that matters. There’s that adage out there that knowledge is power. Knowledge isn’t powerful. It’s what people do with knowledge that makes it powerful.”

Level 4 is Impact and Consequences

Level 5 is ROI

“Anytime we have ROI, we report those intangibles and we always tell the story. We communicate results to stakeholders. We will work in organizations who have done a phenomenal job collecting, analyzing data but they’re not telling anyone. Folks, evaluation without communication is a worthless endeavor. Bottom line… you’re wasting time, money and effort. So you’ve got to communicate results and do something with the data. In the end, we have that complete story of program success. Here’s what we invested. Here’s what people thought about it. Here’s what they learned and what they did with what they learned. As a result, we’ve improved output, quality, cost, time, customer satisfaction, job satisfaction, work habits, innovation and we know that improvement is due to our program because we isolate the effects of the program. When we convert benefits to money, compare it to the cost, we calculate this ROI and by the way, we look at all the intangibles. Complete story of success.”

Want to learn more? You can view the archived webinar here and learn even more. You may even want to watch it more than once, there is so much information to learn.

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