The skill that has the highest ROI

by L&D09 Mar 2017
Bruce Tulgan, the founder and CEO of RainmakerThinking, said that his company’s research indicates that, regardless of the complexities of the work, the number one non-technical skill-set that has an impact on ROI is management communication.

“When time and energy are applied to building the communication-skills of learners – and the communication-skills of leaders, this has an immediate impact improving productivity, quality, morale, turnover among low-performers and retention among high-performers,” he told L&D Professional.

“I’m talking about helping learners take responsibility for their part of the ongoing management dialogue.”

Tulgan pointed out what he sees the highest impact non-technical skills which have
“a huge pay-off in almost any kind of work, and in almost any kind of organisation”.
  • Understanding expectations clearly and specifically;
  • Use schedules and checklists and other job aids;
  • Monitor/measure/document their own performance on an ongoing basis;
  • Help leaders learn to put more structure and substance into their regular guidance direction, support, and coaching of direct-reports;
  • Engaging in regular trouble-shooting and problem-solving;
  • Holding people accountable;
  • Pushing extra rewards toward people when they are going the extra mile.

However, a recent report suggests an up-hill battle for L&D professionals to demonstrate value and earn greater executive support.

LinkedIn’s 2017 Workplace Learning Report recently found that while 69% of organisations see talent as their top priority, only 8% of CEO’s see impact from L&D programs.

In the survey, two-thirds of L&D professionals said L&D was centralised within their organisation, while a third said L&D was decentralised across HR, Business Operations, IT, Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Engineering, and Finance.

Tulgan said that in order to provide its clients with the best strategies and information, Rainmaker Thinking leverages its ongoing research into three key areas: the ‘great generational shift’ in the workforce, leadership, management & supervision and human capital management.

“Over the years, this research has resulted in articles, white papers, and best-selling books such as It’s Okay to Be the Boss, The 27 Challenges Managers Face, and Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage the Millennials,” he said.

Related stories:
Inside the mind of Millennial learners
Organisations not seeing L&D impact