Finding 4

Finding 4:

More than two-thirds of respondents (67%) indicate that staff development and training have a significant or major impact on top business goals, but just as many respondents (68%) still don’t highly appreciate the financial benefits.

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Mind the Gap: ROI of Learning & Development

Because results talk, healthcare organizations can benefit from a more focused approach to demonstrating the value of their education programs. Looking at our survey results, we see that healthcare organizations have an opportunity to connect the dots between the importance of training and its impact on top business goals.

Respondents clearly recognize the importance of training for licensing and certification needs of staff, with 93% of respondents rating it more than moderately important in both our 2021 and 2020 surveys.

Unfortunately, recognition of training’s effect on top business goals has dropped from 76% seeing a notable impact in our 2020 study to 67% seeing a significant or major impact this year.



icon Key Takeaway

Recognition of training’s organizational impact by two-thirds of respondents is gratifying. However, better communication and clearer connections between training, goals, and outcomes are needed to fully understand the ROI.


top business goals by sector

Demonstrating the Value of Healthcare Training

Delving further into specific business goals, only 32% of respondents identified ROI to the organization as a benefit of their staff education program. That percentage has dropped from 43% in 2020 and 45% in 2017 indicating that training impacts financial results.

benefits of training and development

In order to recognize the impact of training on business goals, leaders must implement an effective way to track training and outcomes and link them together. Only about a third of respondents are measuring the impact of staff education by linking it to service outcomes. On the plus side, 58% are using staff performance as a measure of training impact.

measuring training impact

As further food for thought, less than half of respondents (49%) indicated that their healthcare organization has a designated learning and development budget. The percentage of those having a designated budget was highest in acute and pre-acute care (64%) and lowest in post-acute care (39%).

Some settings in post-acute care are treating more clinically complex patients and are finding a stronger need to provide behavioral health services as a result of the pandemic. Having the funds for training to meet shifting demands is crucial for successfully matching those needs.

designated education budgets

Again, a clear picture of the inputs and outputs can provide a better perspective on the ROI.

“If you don’t have a dedicated training budget, as well as an automated way to track your training and monitor your client outcomes, you’re missing opportunities to show the value of staff development.”— Maria Samot, Senior Vice President, Content Development, Relias

And there’s more. “Beyond your bottom line,” Samot notes, “the personal satisfaction that professional growth can instill in individuals on your team is priceless.”

Sharing results with team members and encouraging staff development can pay off with retention of talented individuals. Many healthcare professionals crave staff development and the opportunity to advance their degree or credentials. Respecting those desires is important to stemming turnover. “Lean in to the staff you have,” Richardson advises. “Cultivate an environment of care across the spectrum.”

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The 2021 Full Report

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