The ROI of Learning Part 5: The True Costs of Learning

In my last article I went over some actual examples of how to calculate both a benefit/cost ratio and an ROI for a learning initiative that was focused on boosting retention (reducing turnover). I mentioned in that article that it’s important to make sure you cover your bases when determining the cost of learning. In this article, I want to spell that out a little more clearly because there’s a lot to account for. Continue reading

The ROI of Training Contingent Workers

Is it worth while investing money in contingent workers? If so, how much? If a contingent worker will only be on staff for two weeks and their level of responsibility is low, it follows that one’s training cost should remain as low as possible. By contrast, a worker brought on board for a short period of time who will have a high level of responsibility may be worth investing in. Deciding how much time and money to invest in training contingent workers, however, remains a challenge. Continue reading

The ROI of Learning Part 4: Methods

I used three different articles to tell you why calculating ROI for your learning efforts is important to do, what gets in the way of making it happen, and things to keep in mind as you approach this critical process. Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty details of how to do it. Continue reading

Measuring the Impact of a Contingent Workforce

Today, more and more organizations are relying on contingent workers. By definition, a contingent worker is anyone who works for an organization on a non-permanent basis, but this only tells part of the story. Indeed, understanding the impact of contingent workers can be a challenge, since there are many different types of contingent workers and in different sectors, contingent workers play very different roles. Continue reading

The ROI of Learning Part 3: Additional Considerations

In the first two articles of this series on the ROI of learning, I covered many of the barriers that prevent learning professionals from fully engaging with measuring learning’s impact. I also covered a number things to keep in mind when figuring out where to start. In this article, I’ll cover a number of additional considerations before the series takes a more practical turn on the how-to of measuring learning’s ROI. Continue reading

The ROI of Learning Part 2: Where to Begin

Corporate life is often frustrating. When you take two steps forward and one step back, the way forward feels arduous. When things get really bad, it can feel like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back. When executives suddenly call for proof of your learning programs’ effectiveness, the result is often a deer-in-the-headlights effect – sheer panic. This is the exact time when you need to start by taking a step back in order to take several steps, if not a leap, forward. Continue reading

The ROI of Learning Part 1: Barriers

Whether the delivery channel is traditional instructor-led classroom, eLearning or mLearning, every learning professional feels a certain amount of pressure in proving that their programming has real bottom-line impact to the company. Sometimes that pressure is self-imposed, while other times it comes from higher up in the organization. The Holy Grail of learning would be easy-to-implement metrics that clearly show the financial value of any specific learning program. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that gets in the way. Below you’ll find an array of barriers that keep learning professionals from proving the value of their programs: Continue reading

Are We Still “Re-engineering” Work?

In 1990, Michael Hammer published an article in the Harvard Business Review calling upon US businesses to “re-engineer” the workplace. His argument was straightforward. In a nutshell, he argued that US business processes had become “outmoded and obsolete.” More specifically, he argued “Many of our job designs, work flows, control mechanisms, and organizational structures came of age in a different competitive environment and before the advent of the computer. They are geared towards efficiency and control. Yet the watchwords of the new decade are innovation and speed, service and quality.” Hammer further argued that in order to truly modernize, organizations would need to do more than install computers on workers’ desks—they would need to reengineer their managerial structures from top to bottom. Continue reading

Skype Translate: Policy and Training Considerations

At Microsoft’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) laboratory, researchers are test-driving a new generation of natural language processing tools that promise to transform work in the coming decades. Among the most widely publicized and exciting breakthroughs is the lab’s much-hyped Skype Translator, which promises to provide real-time translation to collaborators working across languages, such as English, Mandarin, Spanish and Italian. But will the hype translate into workable cross-linguistic tools in the near future, and if so, what are the implications for the future of work? Continue reading