3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010

Jody Wheaton engages clients in a performance consulting role in the development and delivery of holistic talent management solutions that meet unique business needs. Her consulting experience spans a variety of organizational effectiveness activities, including talent assessment for selection and development, assessment centers, 360-degree feedback and competency-based development solutions. She earned her master’s in industrial and organizational psychology from Radford University.

Q. Realistically, how much should companies set aside for a training budget?

The minimum that we’re seeing clients spending is 2.24 percent of total payroll, but in some cases, I have seen it as much as 4 percent of the budget. Our approach is to provide the choices and recommendations. For businesses that have a tighter budget, our approach would be to provide solutions that are solid but are also considerate of their budgetary restraints.

Q. How can companies monitor training results?

The first step is to define success upfront and determine what needs to happen to sustain that success. On the back end, the measurement of the effectiveness of the investment is also critical. We recommend measuring this at multiple levels. The first level is learner satisfaction with the program, the second is the actual transfer of learning, the third is measuring behavioral change through qualitative and quantitative measures, and the last is identifying ROI and the impact to the organization.

Q. What is the importance of corporate training in this economy?

Organizations are running lean and more is expected of their talent. We’re seeing fewer and fewer resources that people have to do work, and so if we look at it from an employee engagement and retention perspective, and we believe the philosophy that talent is our top resource, it’s critical that organizations are spending dollars toward the development of their talent. Even with a longer-term perspective, we often hear of the effects the generations will play in retirement, and that talent will be expected to move up more quickly and understand all the historical knowledge of the organization. If we’re placing these additional demands and expectations on our employees, then we should, as a best practice, be developing them to retain them.