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surveyA survey sets out to: describe, compare, explain, or predict a condition, behavior, or outcome. It provides trainers and managers information they need to make decisions about programs, projects, people, and initiatives. How much you should invest in a survey to accomplish these purposes depends on the value of the information derived from that survey.

Regardless of the type of survey instrument you plan to employ, there are certain characteristics surveys must meet. They are:

  • measurable survey objectives
  • sound research design
  • effective survey question design
  • sound sampling strategy, when needed
  • effective survey response strategy
  • meaningful data summary
  • effective data display and reporting.

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JackPattiToday's executives must show accountability for their investments. Many executives have found that actually measuring the return on investment on a few selected, significant, high-profile programs is an excellent way to show fiscal responsibility for key projects and initiatives. Our best guess is that about 30 to 40% of executives are using ROI as a tool to evaluate non-capital investments. Yet, according to the Corporate Executive Board in their major benchmarking efforts, almost 80% of organizations want to use ROI in the future. This gap of actual use versus desired use underscores the misunderstandings and misconceptions of ROI as a legitimate part of the measurement mix for the C-Suite Executives.

For two decades we have been assisting organizations with this important issue. In the last ten years we have kept track of the many questions that are often asked about ROI in conferences, workshops, and consulting assignments.

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Piramide ROI
The reality is that training "events" don't work. As vocational education and learning professionals, it's time we stopped delivering training events and started delivering performance improvement processes that have learning as a key component. You don't go to a class and next week, everything changes.

Companies invest in training and development to enhance capability and improve performance. However to improve performance, employees have to do things differently and better when they return to work. If they don't change their behaviors back on the job, then performance won't change, no matter how much they learned. As Einstein supposedly quipped: "One definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing and expect a different result."

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