Training that Sticks: 4 Simple Steps to Achieving Great ROI

Training that Sticks: 4 Simple Steps to Achieving Great ROI


Leaders often tell me that their customer service training didn’t work. What they mean is that it didn’t result in improving patient satisfaction scores. This is the typical indicator used for ROI. Rather than focusing on the scores, the key indicator should be whether training resulted in behavior changes. There is a good reason for this.

When we drill down to learn more about their past trainings, we find that their trainings weren’t designed to stick. They were presented more as special events rather than behavior-based skill development that helped the organization live the brand, mission, vision and values.

The lack of training results is disheartening especially given that nearly $90 billion is spent on corporate training each year in the United States.

$90 billion spent on corporate training each year doesn’t stick

There are four essential elements needed to not only make training stick, but to generate a good ROI. At Baird Group, our approach is designed as more than the typical one-and-done approach focused on the front line. It is designed to transform behaviors with measurable results while connecting employees to their purpose.


Set the stage with culture pre-work


Training cannot, and should not, be a one size fits all approach. Before designing training, get a firm grasp of what people know now, their existing beliefs, and their attitudes on the subject. This step is often skipped because leaders feel they already know the problem and want to fix it fast.


Make training relatable to real life


Adult learners don’t have the patience for fluff. Show them how the training fits with the organization’s goals, mission, vision, and values. But don’t stop there. Make sure you have examples, scenarios, and tools embedded into the training that address real-life problems that they face each day.


Coach to reinforce, using the language of the training


This is where most organizations drop the ball. They fail to build in a plan to continue coaching on the key points from the training. But it’s not the leaders’ fault. They probably weren’t given the tools or the skills to continue coaching after the initial training. Leaders need tools to coach and give feedback on specific training topics. Do they know what to look for and how to give meaningful feedback? Do they know what key words to use that will reinforce the training?


Give recognition


Most employees report that they are starved for recognition and feedback. According to a Gallup study, “Only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days.” When leaders observe and give recognition to employees who demonstrate the desired behaviors, they help the individual feel valued and reinforce the positive which results in better ROI.


Contact us to find out how Baird Group can help you strengthen your training to achieve a return on investment (ROI).


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