The Holy Grail for many organisations learning and development functions is being able to measure how much value leadership and management development adds to the business, and whether the performance of the business really has improved as a result of what has been invested and learned.

Can a return on such an investment be measured?  Well we believe it can be and recommend using the following methods for measuring the results from leadership and management development programmes.

  1. The first step is for the business to be clear about what its strategic objectives are.
  2. Skills and behaviours will be needed to deliver the strategic plan and improved performance.These skills and behaviours should be identified as a team as well at an individual level.Once these have been identified development interventions can be designed to deliver these changes.
  3. Benchmark business, team and individual performance.Overall business and team performance can be measured using the businesses performance metrics.360 degree feedback tools can be used to measure both individual and team skills, capability, and behaviour.
  4. Set up ‘control’ groups.As with any good scientific experiment it is important to monitor what happens to the performance of individuals and teams who have not had the development support.This will help to reduce the effect of any variables which may impact the results but are not addressed by the development programme.
  5. Regularly monitor performance.It is important that progress is tracked on a regular monthly and quarterly basis.Short surveys are useful for monitoring changes in individual and team behaviour, and collection of line manager feedback is critical too.
  6. Measure and review impact.Finally it is important to measure the impact of the programme has had after 12-18 months to determine its effectiveness and measure the return on investment.The results should be compared to the control groups to see how performance has changed compared with those that didn’t receive development support.

Measuring the return on your investment in development is never straightforward, but with careful planning, monitoring and review it can be achieved.