Interest in ROI abroad is focused, intense and hot, in India few seems to be interested in metrics. Are any of you doing serious work on level 4 or 4? Found a group here discussing only ROI in HR! group that discusses human capital issues and ROI of training.
From India, Vadodara
Dear Ramkya,

Good that you have brought the subject for discussion. The reasons are as below:

a) Training on otherwise, culture of measurement of ROI on investment is quite low in India. Our businessmen have psychology of the shopkeepers of 18th or 19th century. Forget about ROI on training, how many businessmen calculate IRR on their investment on plant and machinery? How many HR have calculated IRR on investment on HRIS?

b) Indian curricula does not include examples of ROI. It is more theory oriented. Do not count the chickens before they are hatched goes the famous idiom. HR hyperbolises this idioms. They just hatch the eggs and counting of the chickens is left to the destiny.

c) Lack of support from leadership. That includes leaders from IITs or IIMs as well. To measure ROI on training, you need to have right organisation's culture. How many business leaders are interested to create this kind of culture?

d) HR does not have conceptual understanding of employee training. They think that training means what happens in the classroom. Training means only the feedback. Training means only the management of boredom of the participants.

e) There is abundant material available on how to make training learning centric. Trainer should do this or trainer should do that. But then how about learners? The way qualities of trainers are defined or assessed, same way qualities of learners are not assessed. In India there are no qualifying standards for learners. It is comfortably assumed that everybody is capable of learning.

f) Obsession of HR for teaching wisdom to others. Look at their blogs. Our HR honchos honk lot on their blogs but hardly it occurs to them businesses run on money. They are so obsessed with accumulating knowledge that they forget that this knowledge is implemented also.

g) Since HR does not measure ROI on training, negative spin off of is that run-of-the-mill trainers have flourished. Their only concern is to win a day through their craftiness. To train somebody, one requires deep study of the subject. I have seen large number of trainers who have very superficial knowledge. Many times in this very forum we find the posts that ask for ready-made PowerPoint presentations!

h) Second spin off of lack of measurement of training is of mushroom growth of training brokers who camouflage as training companies. Hardly any training company invests money worth of their salt in research. After all brokers are only interested in their cut in between, why the hell they will invest in research? How many training companies have uploaded case study of ROI on training? How many have reached up to level IV of Kirk Model?

Final comments: - This is how we are and this is how we live. My above comments may sound mordacious or audacious. But then these are my observations of past seven years. I have been attending monthly meetings of NHRD, Bangalore Chapter for the last 5-6 years but no time subject of training has been discussed. This speak in itself difficulties of the subject.

Once I had asked same question to the ex-Chairman of ISTD Bangalore on having case study on implementation of training. He is associated with ISTD for the last 33 years! He could not provide any case study. For the justification, he told "look, government also does not implement constitution completely, so why bother about implementation of training? Keep HR in good humour, get business from them and move on!"

Let me see whether I get case study on measurement of training!


Dinesh V Divekar


From India, Bangalore
I am not a HR professional. But I have observed that Trainings are not customised to the needs of an organisation or trainees. The trainers simply some theories as done in Colleges. Even trainees are discouraged to raise query regarding their problems/methods of implementation/ relevance of subject vis a vis the Training program.
It is high time that Every HR training is customised to the needs of organisation and trainees.
A G Desai

From India, Mumbai
Dear Mr AG Desai,

I beg to differ with you and that too strongly. If you say that the trainings are customised to the needs of an organisation then why did you select the trainers of this kind? Do not blame the entire training fraternity for your inability to segregate mendacious trainers.

By the way for the customisation purposes, how many HR do sufficient research of their organisation and provide data to the training department or outside trainers? In my last seven years I must have dealt with 2000+ HR professionals. My observation is that hardly any HR aims at measurement of training on Krikpatrick's Level IV and begins with the training process.

"Begin with the end in mind" is the habit promoted by famous management guru Stephen Covey. Mr Desai, customisation of the training is not the end. End is measurement of returns on time and money invested in the training. When you start thinking on ROI, customisation will happen anyway.

Since Training is my profession, I have been giving my replies on the subject. You may click the following links of my past replies which are related to the discussion:


Lastly, if you are not HR professional, then what is your profession? May I know what measurement you have done in your profession, on what parameters is it done? If you kindly share those details, it would be education to the members of this forum who are predominantly from HR.


Dinesh V Divekar


From India, Bangalore
Anushaji, Pl. share investment per person for the said training
From India, Bhiwani
Hello Ramky,
In my first post, I have written about training brokers. Anusha's post brings subtle difference between true training professional and a broker. Without getting into merits of what discussion at hand, she has uploaded information about her company's trainings. She has done what she is capable of doing. Look at her company's website. You will find "Case Study" section. But then do you find any case study on measurement of training up to Level IV on Kirkpatrick's model? No! But then our modern HR will get carried away because of the fancy words or jargon. That is the tragedy!
Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear All,

A hot topic which needs a lot of attention for today. There is a lot of agony not only because the level IV of Kirkpatrick's is seldom followed, there has been a lot of cooked up data on the ROI wherever the companies have been enforcing the results of training being translated into profits.

In my experience of training i have seen very few companies which have followed the evaluation of training. All goes well up to level II, But beyond that it becomes a ritual to fill the records. The possible reasons from my observation and from the words of HR fraternity is that,

1. It is easy to measure a technical or a skill development training, but not that easy to monitor a behavior.

2. People in all hierarchy believe that behavioral training is not essential as they are already perfect

3. The other beliefs they hold are, when they are educated adequately there is no need for further training. This why in most organizations they recruit people from the similar industry, as the may be equipped to handle the given job with the basic education and experiential learning.

4. Training is a waste of time for many heading the organizations. The general recommendation is to get rid of people who cannot contribute to the goals. So the pointer is HR is so inefficient to recruit the right people.

5. There is nothing much given in behavioral training. The philosophy is "Everything said or given during training is not something new, but known to all of us " Why should i change? or what is that i need for me to change when i am already good enough ( for some it is perfect) ?.Hence behavioral training is utter waste of time for many even in the HR fraternity

6. Above all, one common reason is that "when there is so much of routines to be handled, where is the time for calculating and evaluating ROI?"

The information above is not healthy,but this is not meant to hurt anyone either, but to remind and reassure that training is a must, and many times an investment. The process of individual changes be it in technology or in behavior of the individuals willingness is mandate.

The first step hence is to create that atmosphere top - down, and encourage small changing steps in people, process or technology. As rightly pointed out by Mr.Dinesh, good trainers need to be scouted for and evaluated on their strengths to be employed for good results.

It is a good sign that people are looking at training as an investment, and hence the ROI.

Genuine efforts of HR fraternity despite all the odds is to be appreciated whole-heartedly as they walk through a lot of resistance across the peers and the management which stand in their way.

With my appreciations for a sensible topic again,



From India, Tiruppur
Dear Citehr Members,

After reading the query about Return on Investment in training and the comments associated with the post, I am surprised at the post entry by the consultant who without making any warranted points of discussion, has advertised a training program that will solve the entire gamut of ROI. It is all the more surprising to see some members asking about the commercial investment of such programs without identifying the root cause of the problem on why ROI is not taken into consideration by some organization leaders in India.

My Comments on the subject

As very rightly highlighted by certain Citehr members here, some organization leaders may have grown their respective organizations in terms of size, capacity, production levels, etc. as they are catching up with globalization. However, the thought process in some of these organizations is dated to an ancient civilization in terms of leadership style and management process. (still a mom and pop shop)

They choose not to invest in the development of their staff but want the ever increasing numbers to be achieved.

I wonder HOW?

The problem is some business leaders cannot look beyond numbers and the irony is that some have the HR team who plays the role of a YES MAN for every challenge posed in the people development process. While I do empathize that HR faces many constraints in an organization, they also have the ability to scale up their people management process’ in their current capacity.

In the west, HR is still a support function. However, they have defined process' in place that make the organization leader accountable as well for their ability or inability to lead the organization and people development process. Therefore a ROI model is identified based on the quantum of individual investment made by the leader as they are the front runners of the process.

Case Study – An organization leader has put a mandate on their HR team to hire staff at a given cost.

As identified by HR in their meeting with the organization leader; salary budget per person is lower than market standards in which a single staff member is required to move a mountain or two over a six day work week.

Training is called in to make the staff member turn into spiderman, batman, shaktiman and any other combination of a man or wo-man to achieve the pre-identified target, revenue, numbers.

This contributes to the second issue; The Training Broker or the Make Shift trainer who can teach anyone anything is called in. (They can teach spiderman to make cob webs, they can teach batman to jump from a building, they can teach shaktiman to move a building)

Many HR folk love these guys as the problem for HR is solved without considering their own errors in the process of people engagement and development. Here is where the hole starts getting deeper.

From a good trainers perspective, the right needs analysis would include a series of training interventions that will focus on product knowledge, process knowledge, sales & service. If the learning needs of the trainee is addressed, the ROI model that distinguishes between predictive and immediate measurement can be put into place.

However, HR that more or less works on a conservative budget, being a support function decides to slash half the curriculum. Hence, they do not have a mental or practical concept of ROI as they do not identify the right amount of investment in the people development process.

Outcome for the staff = Was promised the sun, moon and the stars, given poor individual development opportunities and after a year got summoned by HR that they are not motivated.


a. What is the cost of demotivated employees?

b. Which training module and ROI model can reverse the process of demotivation?

Outcome for HR = No problem, 2015 budget has been approved and we will re hire/replace.


a. How will HR hire or build the best talent in the event of poor annual budget allocation in the future?

b. Should HR wait for 2015 budget or start taking initiatives to build a productive work force by engaging Senior Leadership to invest in their people within their current capacity?

Impact on ROI in training cannot be measured or implemented if the organization itself does not have a proactive approach in people development. Therefore, an ROI in such situations is in itself a failure to begin with. Training plays the role of entertainment by making people run and jump over different areas of the classroom. This is given the classification of ice brakers, activities, etc.

That is not training. That is Jumbo Circus.

ROI Explained

Level 1

Reaction to the training material, program, core concepts, etc. The focus of the ROI model in this level is the close the gap between the expectations of the learning needs and how well did the program meets the expectations.

Measurement at this stage happens in the form of smiley sheets, assessments, feedback communication between the trainee and the management. At this stage, if the HR or operations does not discuss the outcome of the learning intervention and does not implement measures by providing on the job coaching to reiterate the learning objectives; the ROI is headed for failure.

Level 2

Learning and change in attitude of the trainee that is required on the job based on theories, principles, facts and techniques taught through the training program. Now the key point here is that a commitment needs to be gained.

How is HR or Operations putting measures in place to ensure that the commitment is maintained?

Level 3

Behaviour. Now that the trainee is groomed in the required skills and the commitment is gained; how is the change in behaviour being mapped?

a. Are there any weekly monitoring or observations assessments being mapped to the trainees appraisal in order to identify the shift in behaviour?

b. Has this been mapped to the performance management system?

c. Who is responsible for ensuring that the investment made in training is on the pay back modes in terms of visible changes in behaviour patterns?

d. How is the change in behaviour impacting product, process, targets, revenue?

Level 4

Results. If the first 3 steps and measures have been put in place then what is the tangible outcome in terms of results. Tangible results can be quantified in terms of cost, quality improvement, increase in quantity, etc.

Having simple tools in place, an ROI model can be identified by mapping the tangible results before the training and after the training.

My closing comments

It must be noted:

ROI does not measure "soft" benefits; it is a tool that can measure results.


The Training Specialist

From India, Mumbai
As many know at CiteHR, I am not a HR expert or a Training expert. However, as an academic who has done research and has taken sessions on How to Improve the Chances of Publishing Articles in Scholarly Journals and Research Methodology, I am conversant about the Kirkpatrick's Model. Even in the West, the level 3 and 4 are not used widely for reasons (Cost, Time, Lack of Data, etc) highlighted in the article at Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Training Model - Team Management Training From Other useful sites about this model are
Colocation | Broadband Wireless | Dedicated Servers | Web Design & Development | DSL | Web Hosting | Infinity Internet <link updated to site home> Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Evaluation Model in Instructional Design

From United Kingdom
Dear Anusha of Middle Earth Consultants,
Instead of just placing an advertisement, it would have been more appropriate if someone from your organisation had contributed to the discussions. I hope even now someone will kindly do that.

From United Kingdom

If you are knowledgeable about any fact, resource or experience related to this topic - please add your views using the reply box below. For articles and copyrighted material please only cite the original source link. Each contribution will make this page a resource useful for everyone.

Please Login To Add Reply

About Us Advertise Contact Us
Privacy Policy Disclaimer Terms Of Service

All rights reserved @ 2021 CiteHR.Com™

All Material Copyright And Trademarks Posted Held By Respective Owners.
Panel Selection For Threads Are Automated - Members Notified Via CiteMailer Server