Financial ROI? People being nicer to each other? Blind faith?
Which of these is your preferred way to ensure that investment in soft skills development – such as leadership communication – pays off?
It's such a tricky area to measure that, too often, rolling out the development programme and just hoping it delivers can seem an attractive option.
But that isn't satisfactory for anyone involved – the learners who put time and energy into learning; the provider who puts time and energy into supporting the learning; or the purchasing company that contributed time, energy and money – often significant sums.
This is where ROAR – Return On Actual Requirement – comes in. Taking time to explore ROAR creates a robust and necessary conversation at the beginning of a programme. It ensures that everyone involved:
- is clear about what change is expected as a result of the intervention
- agrees meaningful measures
- shares responsibility for achieving the change
Useful questions to establish ROAR are:
- What actual impact will this intervention have on the business?
- What will people actually do differently after the intervention?
- What actual new knowledge, skills and self-awareness do people need to acquire to be able to do this differently?
- How do you actually want people to respond to the intervention?
And the crucial questions that are all-too-often overlooked:
- What will happen in the workplace to actively encourage and sustain new skills and behaviours after the intervention?
- Who, from the top down, is responsible for creating the environment that will enable these changes to happen?
- How committed are they to playing their part?
Establishing the expected Return On Actual Requirement can be a very helpful alternative to the more traditional Return On Investment measure.
It goes far beyond the monetary values that are often the focus of ROI and which are, in many cases, extremely difficult to attribute to the development intervention alone.
Please tell us what you think of this model – could it be a ROAR-ing success in your business? Leave us a comment below or Tweet us @CommsMasters.
Image courtesy of tratong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net