Prior to COVID-19 companies were set to increase investment in L&D

Before the outbreak of COVID-19 the amount of investment in learning & development (L&D) was set to increase amongst UK companies.

This is according to research conducted by Warwick Conferences, a conference, meeting and events business. In its report ‘The ROI Conundrum’ it was discovered the importance placed on L&D by UK companies.

Another topic that arose from the report, is the need to evaluate training courses, as almost half of L&D directors believe that the return on investment (ROI) of training programmes could lead to “an enforced programme change”.

Also, just over two-thirds say they do not send out a participants survey of the training programme within a week of the course ending. One method that seems to be favoured is setting key performance indicators (KPIs) against the training objectives and monitoring new skills in performance reviews.

Nearly all who took part in the research did say that at least one action is taken by managers following a programme.

Due to the pandemic, it is believed that company budgets will come under more scrutiny and that ROI will become increasingly important. However over 90 per cent said that they encounter at least one barrier when measuring ROI.

Paul Bartlett, director at Warwick Conferences, said:

It’s clear from this survey and report that L&D still holds significant importance to organisations across the UK.  When businesses start to look to future-proofing, L&D will have an important role to play and if this is the case, it is likely that there will be more scrutiny on programmes.

L&D planners must ensure they are equipped to prove the training programmes in place do deliver business impact, as it is likely that questions will start to be asked.

Jack Phillips, who provides commentary within the report and is chairman of the ROI Institute, said:

It is great to see that there are positive attitudes towards the role of L&D within the wider business function in the UK. However, finance teams should not be deterred from L&D, especially if the main reason is to reduce cost. We have studied thousands of programmes, and we find that it is not unusual to find cheap programmes deliver a negative ROI, with greater business impact coming with more investment.

The quality of the programme – both in the delivery and location – has a positive impact, according to our years of extensive research. L&D directors and programme managers need to ensure that, if they are receiving budgets, that they employ a proactive approach to calculating ROI and proving the value that training brings.

This report was based on the responses of 200 directors across finance, HR and L&D.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.