Measuring Return on Investment and Risk in Training – A Business Training Evaluation Model for Managers and Leaders

Motivation for the study: Smart investment in scarce and critical skills development by means of training is expected to enhance human capital; however, the challenge lies with the
uncertainty in whether the return on these investments are measured and whether training
risks are managed.
Research design, approach and method: Theoretical, abstract research was conducted to
understand existing measurement and evaluation models of training with regard to costs,
benefits and risks.
Main findings: This conceptual paper resulted in a new business model to measure training
return on investment and risks. The proposed model adapted and built on the Kirkpatrick-–
Phillips training evaluation model, adding a sixth, risk evaluation step and specifying
measurement factors for each step.
Practical and managerial implications: Training and line managers must note that although
the evaluation of trainee’s satisfaction, learning, application, impact and financial return is
imperative and must be measured, ignoring the measurement of risk factors such as learning
barriers and challenges may jeopardize the ability of leaders and managers to predict how
investments in human capital development will impact business results.