These relatively intangible benefits include:
- Stronger leadership skills
- Strengthening interpersonal skills
- Working on Self-Awareness
- Keeping up to date on current trends in the business market
- Learning & creating new ideas with other professionals
- Building positive relationships across cultures to enhance business development
The concern some have, is that there is no way to measure the return on investment and thus no way to prove its effectiveness. A recent study recommends an alternative perspective on the return on investment when it comes to concepts that are less tangible:
Program benefits, especially for leadership educators, may be harder to measure. Converting leadership impact data into monetary values, in most instances is difficult–but not impossible. For example, a team building program in a manufacturing plant reduced the number of monthly grievances filed by employees. Six months after the program was completed the reduction in grievances per month (related to the program as determined by supervisors) declined by seven. Using the labor relations staff in the company, the cost of the average grievance was estimated to be $6,500 when considering time and direct costs. At seven grievances per month the total annual value of the program would be $546,000 ( 84 x $6,500= $ 546,000).
When converting data to monetary benefits one must first focus on a unit of improvement or measurement. In the above case that unit was the number of grievances per month. Then a value was assigned to each unit or grievance. In the above case the value or cost of one grievance was estimated by those most familiar with the process, i.e. the labor relations staff. Once these figures are determined, the value of the program or improvement can be calculated.
Here, it is clear that they have focused upon something tangible and related it to the perhaps more intangible skills gained through their educative program. The skills they learned enhanced their team-building skills and their relationships within their organization, leading to financial savings in the long run. Leadership and professional development programs have immense benefits that easily connect to tangible areas of success in any workplace. All that is required is to make the effort to recognize that connection. Consider for yourself, what difficulties are arising in your organization due to miscommunications, and what savings could you experience if you learned and applied better communication skills to lead your team?