Training Industry Magazine - Fall 2014 - (Page 40)

WHAT'S YOUR . < ROI FOR CONTENT DEVELOPMENT? By Paul Leone, Ph.D. FOR DECADES... THE TRAINING INDUSTRY HAS OFTEN STRUGGLED TO BUILD THE PROVERBIAL BRIDGE BETWEEN TRAINING EVENTS AND DEMONSTRABLE BUSINESS RESULTS. AFTER ALL, WITHOUT SHOWING A CLEAR AND TANGIBLE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TRAINING CONTENT (THE BRIDGE'S STARTING POINT) AND SOME CLEAR MONETARY BENEFIT TO THE BUSINESS'S BOTTOM LINE (THE DESTINATION), ANY TRAINING ENDEAVOR RUNS THE RISK OF BEING PERCEIVED AS A COSTLY DIVERSION INSTEAD OF A PROFITABLE BUSINESS IMPERATIVE. In order to show the true benefits of training and ultimately prove that it works, we need to build a clear and coherent path from content to results. A strong solid bridge need to be built telling a story of impact and carrying trainees from their original investment to an even higher return on that same investment. Ideally, we must begin building this bridge before the training (our blueprint or business case that aligns content to business objectives) and then finish building the bridge after training to measure its effectiveness. Without this bridge to define all the glorious benefits of training, you'll forever be presenting the only tangible numbers you're sure to have- the costs. WHAT DOES THIS BRIDGE LOOK LIKE? The bridge is simply a series of causeand-effect linkages that string together to 40 define your story of impact. Like any bridge, the contiguous steps and connections in this story must be tightly linked and able to support anyone who dares to set out on this potentially treacherous training journey. The path begins where the participant's journey begins - the training event. If the training engages the employee, he can take the first step. If the employee learns something new, he can take another step. If the footing is sure enough, and he ends up doing something differently or better on the job, he can take one more step. If this behavior change leads to improved productivity, yet another step can be taken. And finally, if this improved productivity impacts the bottom-line and overshadows the cost of the training, the participant has stayed the course, traversed the bridge, and reached his destination. WHO BUILDS THIS BRIDGE? The bridge's construction should begin with training architects better known as, content developers. Because they are initially tasked with building the content that closes a critical business gap or meets a future business need, they are the ones who should begin creating this story of impact and mapping out these critical linkages. For instance, they need to understand what type of content engages their learners the most, how their new learning content affects employee behaviors, how those specific behaviors lead to productivity improvements, and how those productivity improvements ultimately lead to the desired business outcomes. Once the bridge is blueprinted, and the training is launched, it is then up to the

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Fall 2014

From Where I Sit
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Improving Sales Onboarding Effectiveness
An Emerging View of Learning Content
Manager Compassion: The Antidote of the Revolving Door
Balance and Praxis
Giving Old Content New Life
Leveraging Custom Learning Initiatives
Contextual Anchoring in Learning Design
Training for Performance Improvement: A Carrot or A Stick?
Rewiring Your Learning
Working with Subject Matter Experts
What's Your ROI for Content Development?
Casebook: Manitoba Hydro: Powering Up with e-Learning
Design Considerations for Content Delivery
Improving Online Learning Performance
A Brain-based Approach to Developing Training Content
What's Online
Company News

Training Industry Magazine - Fall 2014