Return on Investment (ROI): Calculating the Monetary Return of a Leadership Development Program

Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) in training and development has consistently earned a place among the critical issues in the human resource development (HRD) field. Leadership educators may soon find that program sponsors and administrators asking for ROI information as well. This paper reports the ROI of the Southern Extension Leadership Development (SELD) program as implemented at The University of Georgia. To calculate the return on investment, the ROI model proposed by Phillips (2002) was used. New extension agents hired between 1995 and 2001 who completed the probationary period with the Cooperative Extension Service formed the population for this analysis. Analysis of the data indicated that the employee turnover rate for the participant group was significantly lower than for the non-participant group. Based on the ROI model calculations, every one-dollar spent in the SELD program returned $3.86 in benefits and $2.86 (286%) in net benefits were returned on Investment.