How to Measure ROI on Training and Coaching: Part 4

Part 4: Business Contribution


This third approach to measuring ROI involves talking to stakeholders and leading them along a ‘reverse’ path to showing where and how your intervention can add value to the organisation. We start with the big picture and drill down into further and further specifics until we reach something we can measure.


Business contribution is about demonstrating that your intervention will support the business in achieving its goals, vision and/or mission. Indeed, we may be able to propose that our intervention will enhance the business in some very specific ways. The trick is to drill down to the specifics with the stakeholders.


Imagine that customer satisfaction levels are dropping in part of our organisation to the point where we are losing customers and hence losing business. We start with big picture by asking stakeholders:

  • What does the business need to stay in business?” Typical responses might include: Loyal customers/end users, good communications, a quality product/service, motivated staff, effective procedures and systems. Depending on the intervention we are aiming at, we would then zone in on one area. For example, we might focus in on ‘loyal customers’ by asking:
  • What does the business need to attract and keep loyal customers?” Answers might include: good customer service and after sales care, effective marketing and authentic sales. We drill down again:
  • What does the business need to have good customer service and after sales care?” Sample responses might be: polite staff, staff able to resolve conflicts, effective complaint handling, good listeners and effective problem solving.


At this point, we are heading towards competencies. If we can demonstrate that our ‘customer service workshop’ is designed to improve staff competencies as outlined above and that those competencies might be scored (e.g. self-scored by workshop delegates) before and after the course, we could then claim ‘Business Contribution’.


In general terms, if you cannot measure the ‘ends’ of an intervention (i.e. the outcome/output), then you may need to measure the ‘means’. This might be done by creating a competency framework or benchmarking framework as a way of demonstrating measurability of performance and behaviour. In this way we might show that as a result of the intervention, the organisation (or staff, system, product, service etc.) can now do x,y,z.



By Joe Cheal