This is part five of a 5-part blog series on ways to dramatically improve the ROI of employee development that do not cost a cent.

5. Define your development objective FIRST… then the method

You maximize your ROI for employee development when you start my clearly identifying and agreeing upon the learning objective.  To “take a class in excel” is not a learning objective, but to “develop the ability to maintain data within the master customer spreadsheet by the end of the quarter” is a learning objective.  Learning objectives should be specific and measureable and integrate into the “real world”.  You may wish to use the traditional SMART tool to define a development objective. A good development objective targets the desired capability/s of the individual (#3 above); defines clear expectations for the learner (#2 above); and, help you to select the best development strategy/s (#4 above) to develop/enhance the specific needs of this individual.  Once defined the development objective can also be used in daily conversation (#1 above) to track progress and encourage learning application.  It is also recommended to limit the number of development objective to 1 or 2 – to focus attention and to encourage direct applications and feedback in the “real world”.  Too many objectives diffuse resources, time/attention, reducing the return of the development investment.


S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timebound

For other ideas on improving your ROI-p contact:  jim ice & associates

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