Measuring Soft Skills to Show Your Return on Learning

Measuring Soft Skills to Show Your Return on Learning

This On-Demand event was originally presented on April 2, 2024 (60 min)


Learning is a strategic business tool, and measuring the Return on Learning (ROL) demonstrates the impact L&D has on the organization. While tracking technical skills by testing and demonstration is tangible, it’s the high-level soft, or life, skills such as critical thinking, empathy, communication, and an ability to deal with ambiguity that are harder to evaluate and determine the fiscal impact. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where a learning solution was implemented and resulted in a positive outcome but you were told you were unable to measure the impact? You can and should be able to since the solution affects performance and does have a measurable impact. This session will highlight metrics and techniques you can use to evaluate and put a cost on the impact learning solutions have regarding the performance environment within an organization.

More than traditional ROI, where the expenditure cost in terms of software, trainers, and tools to create learning is measured against the return (profit and revenue), ROL measures the cost of the problem and its impact on the organization against the cost of creating and delivering the learning solution. From attrition to leadership communication, you can measure solutions that provide a clear and effective impact on business processes and people. This session will discuss two to three case studies that address learning solutions used to generate discussions beyond ROI and conclude with a free measurement tool provided to you to populate fiscal results.

Attendees will learn

  • How to describe 3 or more of the life skills detailed in the presentation.
  • 3 or more of the metrics used to measure life skills.
  • How to populate a possible ROL value based on case study data using the calculator provided.
  • How to describe the value ROL brings to a Learning & Development team.
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HRDQ-U is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDC) for SHRM-CP®️ or SHRM-SCP®️ recertification activities.
Measuring Soft Skills to Show Your Return on Learning


William J. Ryan, Ph.D., is the Principal Consultant with Ryan Consulting, LLC using learning as a strategic business tool to develop and impact people to improve retention, engagement, and performance. Bill has a demonstrated record of corporate and industrial management experience leading performance support and instructional design teams globally including government (Dept. of Energy), high technology (IBM & Westinghouse), and health-related industries including home health care and insurance (Humana). Recent clients include Delta Faucet with a comprehensive talent staffing and development plan, Blue Circle Leadership developing a blended online program in leadership development, developing an implementation strategy for a Hiring for Competency model used by the National Retail Services, a state initiative focused on workforce development helping businesses retain and develop employees. He is actively working with a clinical start-up focused on improved neonatal techniques for clinicians across the country and on a blended leadership and coaching program for a multi-state manufacturing concern. Bill holds an MS from Ithaca College focused on Instructional Design and a Ph.D. in Computing Technology in Education from Nova Southeastern University.

For more information, please visit his website at, contact him via email at, or at (502) 797-2479, and connect on Twitter.



Training Tools for Developing Great People Skills

This event is sponsored by HRDQ. For 45 years HRDQ has provided research-based, off-the-shelf soft-skills training resources for classroom, virtual, and online training. From assessments and workshops to experiential hands-on games, HRDQ helps organizations improve performance, increase job satisfaction, and more.

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