The Holy Grail for many L&D professionals is being able to measure how much value a leadership development programme has added to the business, and whether the performance of the business really has improved as a result of what has been learned.

So how can ROI be measured?  The following are some techniques for measuring the results of a leadership development programme (or indeed any training and develop interventions).

  1. The first step is for the organisation to be clear about what its strategic direction is, and what new levels of performance are needed for it to be successful.
  2. The second step is to identify what key new skills and behaviours will be needed to deliver the strategic plan and improved performance.These skills and behaviours will be at a team as well as 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 conventional KPI’s.360 degree feedback tools can be used to measure both an 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 after 12-18 months to determine its effectiveness and ROI.The results should be compared to the control groups to see how performance has changed compared with those that didn’t receive development support.

Ultimately, the key too measuring ROI, is to first be clear and then continually review the links between performance, changes in skills and behaviours and the development interventions needed to deliver them.