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Some Tips To Gain a Sound Return on Your Investment in Learning

28 November 2017

Quarter of workers receive no training

This is a bold statement we hear you cry, and one with far reaching consequences in terms of growing and developing UK businesses and their employees.

“One in four employees does not receive any training opportunities at work beyond their onboarding process” – the CIPD has highlighted a poll recently conducted on behalf of the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The poll of more than 3,000 working adults also went on to reveal that just 33% of respondents said training was made available to them on a regular basis. This makes for grave reading when asking ourselves if businesses are investing enough in their staff.

The CIPD released a report earlier this year suggesting that in terms of the proportion of the workforce receiving training, the UK was ranked at the bottom of European countries. David Willett, corporate director at The Open University, added: “Providing training opportunities ought to be second nature to organisations, with the benefits far outweighing the costs”.

So, it would be fair to say many of us have concerns regarding the lack of investment in training, and the knock-on consequences to our employees and our businesses.

Let’s just take a step back for a moment though. It’s always worth remembering WHY we are investing in training and to make sure it doesn’t just become a tick box exercise. This is arguably worse than no training at all, and training for trainings sake will only serve to demotivate participants, and add to the mantle that sadly some still regard training as a remedial action or the ‘naughty step’ approach.

So, if you are looking to make a sound return on your investment, here are some pointers to consider when you are looking to invest in learning;

1. Start with the end in mind

Set out to consider what the impact will be in 3 to 6 months after the learning has taken place. What is it that you will tangibly see and hear? Then design a learning solution around those desired outcomes.

2. Line Manager engagement

The transfer of learning to the work place is crucial and line managers can often make or break this. How engaged are your line managers when their reports are attending training?

They may wish to;

  • Contact the trainer to ask for a high-level breakdown of what will be covered
  • Sit down for 10 minutes pre-learning to set some relevant learning objectives
  • Then have a 10-minute post learning conversation to discuss how the learning will be implemented into their world

This simple but often rarely used process can significantly increase the engagement of the learner AND maximise the return on investment.

3. Consider the methodology

Your internal or external learning provider should, as a minimum, design and deliver a bespoke programme that matches your key learning outcomes. In addition, it is worth considering the following support mechanisms:

  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Ted talks
  • Job shadowing
  • Action learning sets

If you are interested in finding out more about our coaching and training services, please call us on 01295 675506 for a friendly no obligation chat.

For the full CIPD report please visit

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