2 min read

How Do You Prove The ROI of Corporate Training?

By Paul J. Zak on Dec 9, 2019 5:30:00 AM

Topics: Training

Great trainers are artists.  You may have seen a few of these: everything they present comes alive and tattoos itself onto your brain.  The experience is extraordinary.

But, artists don't scale. 

Recent analyses show that 45% to 85% of corporate training is "scrap learning."  This term-of-art describes learning that is delivered but not applied to improve job performance. It is actually worse than that: training that is not used wastes precious money and time, core organizational resources.

This is a Chief Learning Officer's worst nightmare: after spending months designing a training program, getting approval to run it from HR, the program launches, employees attend, and... nothing happens.   According to the Association for Talent Development, an average company burns 26 hours and wastes almost $1,000 per year per employee on training that goes into the scrap heap.  Every year for every employee. 

If the average is applied to Home Depot, they are losing $413M every year in wasted training, fully 38% of their annual revenue.  Walmart, the world's largest employer, loses $2.3B a year in scrap training by this accounting. 

The needle the CLO needs to move just doesn't.  And, he or she starts to check the openings on LinkedIn, just in case.

Oftentimes, scrap training occurs because the facilitator is not an artist.

Novice artists are different than virtuosos because of one thing: Feedback. 

Years ago I toured Pablo Picasso's childhood home, now a museum in Barcelona, Spain.  On display were Pablo's childhood paintings.  He learned by copying the greats, El Greco, Raphael, Velazquez, Monet. How did he get feedback to improve?  His father was a professor of art.  They discussed, argued, and debated incessantly until Pablo was 13 when his father said Pablo's skills had surpassed his own.  Then, feedback came from gallery showings and purchases.  Feedback is the key.

How do you get feedback on the quality of training?  Asking people using a survey?  Very 20th century of you.

People cannot accurately report how effectively training gets into their brains.  This is where Immersion comes in.

Immersion predicts what people remember weeks after an experience.  It shows learning architects the effectiveness of a session. It quantifies the impact on the brain of each learning exercise.  It shows trainers in real-time when to pivot, when learners need a break, and who has mastered the material. 

Companies that use the Immersion platform during training increase information retention by 50% or more. Employees cannot use what they do not remember.  When training is immersive, it gets into, and sticks into, the brain. By measuring immersion, you can toss scrap learning onto the scrap heap.

Immersion is easy to use, easy to act on, and proves that the training you deliver is valuable.  It shows learning architects how to improve and customize training for every audience.  This is how you drive up the ROI from training.

We can solve this together.  Schedule a demo and let's get started.

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Paul J. Zak

Written by Paul J. Zak

Paul’s two decades of research have taken him from the Pentagon to Fortune 50 boardrooms to the rain forest of Papua New Guinea. All this in a quest to understand the neuroscience of human connection, human happiness, and effective teamwork.