Evaluation of strategic human resource development
Imagine this scenario: a medium-sized multinational software development firm has, for the first time, invested in a first-line manager development programme. This investment was made due to the fact that past experiences have taught the senior management team that they employed brilliant analysts and programmers but the firm had lost some key employees and had not completed critical projects because of poor first-line management. The senior management team was very clear that they wanted their first-line managers to be exposed to superior thought leadership and experiences from other industries. This meant that the investment in development was high, and several of their managers were taken out of the business on development days. At the end of the first 12-month modular programme the Finance Director was keen to evaluate his return on investment, and had several meetings with the HR Director and the training and development manager. The Finance Director was left with a conclusion that the development programme ‘promised to change the world and now it is impossible to evaluate whether it had any impact at all’. This conclusion no doubt had an impact on future training investments, as well as the relationship between the Finance and HR Directors.