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Return on Investment and People Development . Tom Smith. “The aim of this establishment is to create an environment where champions are inevitable”. About Lane4.

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the aim of this establishment is to create an environment where champions are inevitable
“The aim of this establishment is to create an environment where champions are inevitable”

About Lane4


“Like other leaders, many HR executives hold flawed and incomplete beliefs. They fall prey to second-rate evidence, logic and advice which produce suspect practices, and in the end, damages performance and people”

Pfeffer and Sutton (2006)

Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense

the value of top talent
The Value of Top Talent







Low Complexity Jobs 19%

Moderately Complex Jobs 32%

Highly Complex Jobs 48%

Sales 48-120%

Hunter, J.E., Schmidt, F.L. and Judiesch, M.K. (1990) Individual differences in output variability as a function of job complexity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75; 28-42

the risk of workforce disengagement
The Risk of Workforce Disengagement

The Reward of Engagement

High performers with low retention risk – the “true believers” – exhibit very strong emotional and rational commitment to their day-to-day work, teams, managers and organisations

The Danger of Non-Engagement

Poor performers who frequently put in minimal effort – the “disaffected” – exhibit strong emotional and rational non-commitment to day-to-day work, the manager, team and organisation.

A Risk and an Opportunity

The “agnostics” exhibit only moderate commitment to their work, teams and organisations. The “agnostics” are capable of moving into either the “disaffected” or the “true believers” categories; many in fact already lean towards one of the other

“The True Believers”

“The Agnostics”

“The Disaffected”






Leaning towards disengagement

Leaning towards engagement


Source: Corporate Leadership Council Research (2004)


Barriers to using ‘hard data’ to measuring HR / L&D activities

Less to do with any disinterest in measuring bottom line impact, more to do with the difficulty of doing so…


‘’Hold HR accountable: do not accept measures of activity - things like positions filled, training hours delivered and appraisals completed on time. Require measures of accomplishment that reflect business success: sales or revenue, profits, productivity, customer retention and so on’’

Kaufman (2006)

‘’How to Fix HR’’ Harvard Business Review

change the questions we ask
Change the questions we ask….

New Questions

  • What do the employee behaviours suggest we do?
  • What works here?
  • How does what our business needs fit into the overall system?
  • What do patterns over time tell us?
  • What data do we need?

Today’s Questions

  • What does the employee survey suggest we do?
  • What works at GE?
  • What does the business need?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What other data do we have?

Based on Nalbantian et al, 2004

roi leadership development examples
ROI - Leadership Development Examples

We specialise in those industries with the key traits of professional sports – constant pressure and the need to deliver immediate and tangible results

We specialise in those industries with the key traits of professional sports – constant pressure and the need to deliver immediate and tangible results

  • Working with Royal Mail top 90 senior managers
  • 18 month programme aimed at reducing bureaucracy and managing transitions
  • 25% improvement in management confidence to effect change
  • “Making Sainsbury’s Great Again” Leadership programme for top 1000 business leaders
  • Internal capability building of 50 accredited coaches
  • Staff perceptions of the new leadership behaviours up 11% to 76%
  • Development of Top 150 in CCE over 5 year period
  • Aimed at improving organisational confidence
  • 60% reduction in voluntary attrition and improved engagement
roi leadership development examples1
ROI - Leadership Development Examples
  • Development of UK Dealerships Management teams
  • Aimed at improving sales and after sales service ratings
  • Difference in participating vs non-participating dealerships
  • 4x2 day workshop in High Performing Leaders Programme
  • Significant improvement in 180 leadership scores (pre vs post)
  • EES scores highest in participating businesses

 Discuss examples of ROI work within your organisations…..

 What will you do differently next time?

  • Measurement of ROI needs to change from retrospective and separate to proactive and integrated
  • HR initiatives should be integrated into the business as a whole with shared accountability for the results
  • Measurement of ROI should be used as a feature of feedback loop to ensure that HR initiatives continually and positively impact the organisation