Sell benefits of training, not features (On Training)

Management wants to see clear ties to strategic objectives
By Ajay Pangarkar and Teresa Kirkwood
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/03/2008

When training and development managers propose training solutions, they can encounter significant resistance, which usually stems from a fear of change or failure. Senior managers are concerned with accountability and results. As training budgets increase, they expect to see a tangible return on their investment, just as they do from any other operational activity.

T&D managers are often in a defensive position trying to justify their existence by positioning training as an essential need. However, most senior managers are already sold on the need for training. The issue is not if they want training, it’s about which training initiative presents the most benefits for the organization.

Both management and T&D have latched on to return on investment (ROI). Unfortunately ROI, with respect to the training function, is often misunderstood, incorrectly applied and overused. When management uses the term ROI, they are essentially saying to T&D: “We want to see results,” either quantitative or qualitative. Providing these will facilitate the buy-in of training throughout the organization.