Training Effectiveness & ROI

Effectiveness Evaluation

A few days ago, I had conducted a Q&A session at an L&D Community to answer questions on – How to Define, Measure and Deliver ROI (Return on Investment) for Training.

This Q&A was conducted on an online forum and I faced questions from across Indian L&D community!

It was great to see so many questions flooding in which clearly represented the need to practice stronger and more robust training plans.

Thanks to  Mr. Surya P Mohapatra, India Leader – Head Knowledge and Capability at Hewlett Packard Global Business Services, for enabling this forum for me.

Here’s an excerpt from the Q&A round:

Sumaa: In what kind of interventions we should not consider ROI?

Me:  If you don’t gauge ROI, most likely you wasted money on the intervention! Unless you wanted it only to be an FYI or a constructivist approach.

ROI or more famously now, ROE (Return on Expectations) has got bright spot-light in today’s transactional world. And why not, the Business Leaders want to know where their investment (emotional & financial) is leading to.

ROI is simply to do with what one learns and so what one adopts; and a step further, what is ultimately delivered. If you want your training intervention to be structured AND progressive, focus on designing and implementing ROI plans. Anything else is just plain awareness or entertainment!

Bhavesh: What steps/corrective measures need to be taken into consideration while measuring or Defining ROI of a Training Initiative.

Me: One needs to identify and/or follow – 1) Readiness of learner(s); 2) Management Support; 3) The expectations and whether they are achievable; 4) Appropriateness of Methodology and Duration of the intervention; 5) Eventual gap to adopt and demonstrate the lessons.

The prime goal of learning is application. Now, learning may happen in a personal space but the application needs much support and recognition of several factors. The factors mentioned above are some of the very crucial ones.

Arun: What are the methods to measure ROI?

Me: – Interviews, project based assignments, pre and post questionnaires, management ratings etc These methods differ from intervention to intervention and it is upon the designer to pick what’s best. (Instructional) Designer must be aware and extremely in sync with what’s required and what can be supported by the management.       

One cannot apply one-size-fits-all theory when looking for methods to measure ROI. Stay innovative and experimental! However, it’s important here to understand business leader’s expectations and the support management can extend to measure ROI.

Malini: Is it possible to calculate ROI for Behavioral Skills training programs & what would be the parameters in which it’s calculated?

Me: It is absolutely possible to calculate ROI for a behavioral skills program. The parameters and indicators have to be discussed and listed by the designer of the program and they vary all the time. Tips – focus on what are the top two objectives, list the deliverables and key indicators around them; now create parameters and add weightage to them; here, consider how you want to create the ROI Gauging forum; and last but not the least, always consider the time, space and support factor.

I personally believe, everything is math and science, even the behavior we display!

To gauge ROI for Behavioral Skills, just focus on the entire life-cycle of a learning intervention: analysis->design->development->implementation->evaluation (ADDIE).

Rina: I have two questions.  1. We talk a lot about L&D professionals and what they should know about training ROI. What about business leaders?  What they should learn about training ROI? 2. What should Training ROI score card or dashboard in a company look like?

Me: The business leaders must know what is learning and what all goes into designing an effective learning and the importance of their role in it.; About the dashboard, it must enlist expectations, indicators, parameters, costs involved, pre and post change(s) observed.

Well, am not saying Business Leaders should study Instructional Designing, am just saying, they must understand the principles behind Instructional Designing – the science that helps lay-out a complete Learning & Development plan! In that they must support in outlining not only the competencies but also the indicators against the competencies; and accordingly commit and support.

Hope you enjoyed reading the excerpt above and found it useful.

Do share your thoughts!


Shweta Sharma

Instructional Designer and Learning Facilitator

Founder & Partner-Collaborative Climate

Collaborative Spirit of Holi


Holi Festival signifies so many things but amongst all of them, definitely the Spirit of Collaboration – to let go and to get together!

This time of the year means arrival of spring and thanks-giving to a good harvest along with the dawn of a new year.

In most organizations, it’s the end of one financial year and beginning of another. This is when we have not only learned from the past year – about the strengths and the weaknesses – but also create strategies for a more prosperous new year.

So what better time than this to reflect on the meaning of Collaborative Spirit and bring it to our work – The Holi Way! And why not, strategies are executed by people and better the collaboration, better the execution, isn’t it?

The spirit of collaboration in an organization can be affected by various aspects. Our DAIC Model holi-stically (!!) covers the aspects that promote and affect the Collaborative Spirit and Climate in an organization. DAIC is an acronym that stands for:

  • Direction – provided by leaders of the organization to facilitate collaboration
  • Affinity – sense of belongingness felt by the team-members
  • Interest – personal inclination to collaborate and cooperate
  • Channel – the means and methods that are adopted to facilitate collaboration

We realize that each of the above aspect can really make or break the Collaborative Spirit of a team.

We have conducted online DAIC Surveys across different organizations as per the DAIC Model, apart from the great feedback we received, we definitely learned:

  • Each team and each organization has its own challenges when it comes to interpersonal relations.
  • Indian culture and Indian spirit has a unique way to handle conflicts, arguments, opinions, disagreements, grievances and even gossips!
  • There should be customized solutions to help each team and each organization develop a more Collaborative Spirit.

But most importantly we have learned that Direction provided by a leader continues to be the most important aspect of all. Here are a few ‘To-Dos for a Leader’ that we learnt as we compiled our survey reports:

  • Play fair.
  • Strive hard(er) to boost a healthy spirit of competition amongst the team-members.
  • Appreciate good work and most importantly, good team-work.
  • Help team-members minimize their conflicts.
  • Establish a shared sense of goal-achievement.

This is of course not the most comprehensive list but surely something that a leader must consider seriously for the new financial year.

However, this doesn’t undermine the importance of the other aspects of the DAIC Model. Each is important in its own way.

More to come soon.

Wish you a very Happy and Collaborative Holi throughout the year!




Unconference #5 had two sessions

‘Becoming Credible HR’ was the common theme for both the sessions, in fact, it was carried on from Unconference #4. Why? Just a few hours are not enough to cover such an intense topic!

So far in previous sessions, we had defined what is HR, challenges HR faces, responsibilities of HR, role of Big Data, Rewards & Recognition Systems, Talent Development, Focus on High Potentials etc.

This time we talked much about Employee Engagement and role of Training and Development, here’s an excerpt:

Ms. Natasha Gulati, Learning & Development Manager at Stryker India, was the pace-setter and she shared the Training & Development practices at Stryker. She talked about how they define objectives to how they create focused interventions to suit the needs of the business.

Natasha G

Ms. Anju Sabharwal, HR Head North at Vodafone, reflected on the need for M Learning and E Learning and the ways to make it successful. She also spoke about gamifying the learning experience.

Mr. Jalaj Vermani, Sr Manager HR at AU Financiers, addressed the need to create awareness for Training & Development using technology and even shared the methods for creating training follow-up plans.

Ms. Shweta SA, Partner at Collaborative Climate, shared the principles of Adult Learning and how they can be applied using different types of methods and tools.

Anju S

Mr. Ashish Mehrotra, AVP HR at Max Life, talked extensively about Employee Engagement practices at his current and previous organizations and the kind of communities they are building right now at Max Life to engage employees and bring out the best in them!

Mr. Jeevan Sehgal, Sr HR Consultant at People Strong, reflected upon the kind of revolution HR is going through and how it has graduated from just handling IR.

Jeevan S

Mr. Ajay Singh, Head HR and Business at Delhi Eye, talked about the challenges HR faces in India and Middle East and the methods to overcome the differences between Business and HR Leaders!

Another superb session and here are some quick feedback quotes:

Ms. Gulati: It was a great experience to meet everybody and just talk.

Mr. Mehrotra: Thanks for inviting me and was really great to interact so openly.

Mr. Singh: It was a great learning experience. Look forward to such informal learning experiences.

All Together

The Unconferences that we host are a medium to facilitate informal and peer learning; and we don’t charge our guests for that! These are small group (up to 10 participants at a time) and informal get-togethers. We genuinely want real and meaty discussions to happen so everybody gets to take back their share of authentic learning.

Look forward to more in this space and if you would like to be invited for an Unconference, please write to us


Unconference: Chapter #5

‘Becoming Credible HR’ is one of the burning topics of discussion among HR and Business Leaders. Through recent Unconferences, we’ve tried, along with a few Leaders across industries, to address some of the aspects that not only define what is HR but also the vision for it going forward. Refer to some of the aspects from Unconference #4 by clicking here.

Unconference #5 on March 18th 2016 again had fabulous and intense discussions on what makes HR credible and here’s an excerpt.

Ms. Archana

Ms. Archana Y., Chief Manager Training at Indian Oil, was the pace-setter and she started by sharing her views on ‘Rewards & Recognition’. She mentioned that we not only should be innovative with the methods of rewarding but also should be considerate about how we reward them. From using the right language and communication to creating the grandeur of the platform.

Mr. Joy Chatterjee, Director – Training at The Park Hotels, added that we also need to create R&R systems for being consistent at work. He shared an idea of ‘catch them doing the right thing’.

Ms. Anjali Khanna, VP HR at Jaipuria Group, reflected that Business Leaders should be clearly communicating their expectations to the employees & add more objectivity. And that how HR can empower Business Leaders in doing this.

Ms. Arpita Kuila, HR Head at NEC, talked about the need to develop High Potential employees (Hi-Pos) and she cited examples from one of her previous employers that how intense the discussion used to be between HR and Business Leaders during Performance Appraisal and Training Needs Identification times.

Ms. Anju Sabharwal, HR Head at Vodafone, mentioned about the need to become transparent when recognizing people and about choosing the right words. She also talked about how 9 Box grid works.

Mr. Bhupender

Mr. Bhupender Singh, Sr HR Consultant at Orange Business Services, shed immense light on the practices of his current organization for R&R for example, ‘Recommendation Meters’ that each Business Leaders get, Instant Rewards systems etc.

Ms. Shweta SA, Partner at Collaborative Climate, talked about Talent Development and how Red Tape Culture in an organization curbs it, esp. it’s processes and performances.

Ms. Rupinder Kaur, Partner at Collaborative Climate, added that HR personnel need to be Credible Activists and we must study more about Businesses and find ways to add value to different functions.

This write-up is definitely just a peek into the kind of discussions we had but it surely was intense learning for all.

Some quick feedback quotes:

Ms. Archana Y.: Am so glad I came, please call me again the next time too.

Mr. Chatterjee: It was a fantastic experience; would love to come again.


The Unconferences that we host are a medium to facilitate informal and peer learning; and we don’t charge our guests for that! We genuinely want real and meaty discussions to happen so everybody gets to take back their share of authentic learning.

Look forward to more in this space and if you would like to be invited for an Unconference, please write to us at

Dr Rupinder Kaur – Addressing ‘Competency Frameworks’

Dr Rupinder Kaur

Dr. Rupinder Kaur, Principal Consultant at Collaborative Climate, is definitely an extremely talented professional and we so witnessed again through the panel discussion on Competency Mapping at L&D Global.

She participated as a celebrated panelist and shared great insights about defining competencies in today’s world of Economic Development, and HR and L&D Evolution. She shared different models of Competency Frameworks, and even talked about 6 Foundational Competencies and 9 Areas of Expertise of ATD Model.

She also explained the difference between

  • skills and competencies, and
  • functional and non-functional competencies

The audience, a mix of senior and mid-senior professionals from various domains of Human Resources, was simply enthralled!

For more, please write to us at