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20 effective when the content and learners were similar in both the reap the benefits of increased productivity, employee com- web-based and classroom courses. . . . Learners were equally sat- mitment, and shareholder value. There must be a strategy for isfied with the two methods of instruction. . . . return on investment (ROI). And the organization must cap- ture the new skills. However, Stizmann et al. found that e-learning was more effec- tive than classroom instruction when learners had more control over the content, sequence, or pace of learning. The authors concluded their analysis by providing com- mon sense advice about how to help ensure that training is a value added experience. Specifically: WHAT IS THE VALUE ADDED? Use training technologies that build how-to skills that When assessing any of the components of the training are highly relevant and immediately applicable. program--organization structure, succession planning, strate- Stay away from theoretical or inspirational training gic training and development approach, program evaluation approaches where "the rubber meets the sky." methodologies, staff competencies, e-learning, or other Follow up on training sessions with on-the-job coaching issues, the final questions to be answered are: What is the and support from managers. value proposition? Why is it worth making this investment for Build training around organizational objectives and the organization? What is the benefit that justifies the cost of strategies. the investment? Use credible trainers. Involve senior management. Research by WatsonWyatt, a worldwide human resources consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., provides a con- The foregoing research reinforces the need for public trary view to the traditional notion that training investments organizations to link their training programs directly to the are beneficial to the organization's "bottom line," whether agency's strategic goals and outcomes, and to have a vigor- the organization is public or private. ous measurement program that provides insight on the value returned to the organization. WatsonWyatt maintains a Human Capital Index, which it uses to analyze a variety of human capital management issues, A different view of the value added question is provided by including the value of training. In this particular study, which Elaine Biech, President and Managing Principal of ebb asso- included ciates, inc., and the author of Training for Dummies. From her perspective, training attracts talent (which is born out by a vari- 750 large, publicly traded companies, training is actually ety of surveys, including the NACE survey of recent college linked to lower shareholder value, with companies providing it being worth 5.6 percent less than companies that do not pro- graduates), keeps a company competitive, saves money, and it vide training. Furthermore, companies that train during an fosters across-the-board buy-in from staff that through train- economic slowdown have a market value that is 3.4 percent ing come to have shared values and shared experiences. So less than companies who don't train during this time. . . . the WatsonWyatt research shows that a large part of the problem what is the test of success? According to Biech: stems from too much investment in `developmental' train- ing--developing people for future jobs. . . . The WatsonWy- You know your training program is successful when the training att findings should not lead HR to abandon developmental department is invited to the decision-making table, when upper training. . . But, in the face of numbers that show training can management taps into the trainers' skills and expertise to plan for be harmful to the bottom line, it is useful for HR to become the future. . . Build a strong `training track' that is connected to healthy skeptics. All training is not equal. Companies must your company's current strategy. I guarantee that it will positively take a rigorous approach to the design of training programs to affect the bottom line.