Training is as much about mitigating loss as it is about providing organisations with a return on investment (ROI). While talking about the benefits of investing in employee training and development is always positive, it can limit learning to a mental process of acquiring and storing new concepts and skills/behaviours.
However, from an organisational perspective, the function of much training activity is to mitigate the operational losses that arise from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or external events. Training achieves this by:
- building awareness of people’s roles and responsibilities;
- developing their knowledge, skills and behaviours to successfully complete activities and;
- providing a range of tools and techniques to identify and fix problems, or cope with their consequences if they can’t be resolved.
Academic studies have shown that people are averse to experiencing loss in any shape of form. While the US Presidential elections and the Brexit referendum highlighted the emotional resonance of loss amongst people from all walks of life.
If talking about the ROI of your training activity doesn’t strike a chord with senior management, consider using a risk-based approach and highlight the role training plays in mitigating a range of threats faced by your organisation.