Measure ROI on L&D programmes

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Speaking at the CIPD L&D Show, EDF's Darren Gleave explained the importance of measuring ROI

Businesses should measure the return on investment (ROI) of their learning and development (L&D) programmes, according to Darren Gleave, training specialist at EDF Energy.

Speaking at the CIPD Learning and Development Show in London, Gleave described a training programme introduced at EDF for its customer service helpline.

“We would have a lot of customers calling to say they thought they had been charged too much for the amount of energy they had used,” he said. “A lot of the time our customer service agents would book an appointment for an engineer to come round and test their meter, but in most cases that didn’t solve the problem and left customers dissatisfied.”

He said the first step to solving the issue was uncovering the problems that needed to be addressed: reducing the number of unnecessary appointments being made, and reducing the number of customer complaints. “We delivered training in 2015 to 2,500 staff members, via e-learning,” Gleave said. “It was the first time we’d done this on such a large scale so we were interested to see what the results were.”

However, feedback from the sessions wasn't as positive as hoped. While 50% of participants said they would recommend the course, 21% were detractors. “We might have stopped it there and considered this a failure,” Gleave said. “But, since we can record our customers’ calls, we were able to compare before and after the training.”

The business found that staff who had undertaken the training performed considerably better, and the number of unnecessary appointments fell considerably. Customer complaints also fell, which, when all other factors were excluded, could be attributed to the training.

“From this we were able to calculate the savings made for the company,” Gleave said. “As there were 257 fewer appointments booked than we projected we could conservatively estimate we saved £132,480. The drop in complaints due to the training saved us £230,816. Since the cost of the training was only £32,115 in total it had a considerable ROI.”

Speaking at the same event, Jack Phillips, chairman of the ROI Institute, agreed that demonstrating the ROI on projects is hugely beneficial. “If you’re able to show that what you have done has a good ROI then you’ll have a great case for being allocated more funds,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

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