Is Your School Receiving the Best ROI on PD?

Is Your School Receiving the Best ROI on PD? by Toby A. Travis, Ed.D.

Effective and successful business owners and corporate leaders know the importance of wisely monitoring their ROI (that’s their Return On Investment); especially when it comes to the financial resources invested in the ongoing training and professional development (PD) of their employees and leadership team members. They know the value and importance of ongoing and continual PD –but only if that PD is producing a measurable and positive ROI. Otherwise, it is just busy work and a waste of company resources.

The same holds true in the educational world. Nearly every school leader recognizes the value and importance of ongoing PD for their faculty and staff – but effective and successful school leaders know that much of what passes for PD today has minimal measurable immediate results, let alone a lasting impact on their efforts toward continual school improvement.

Many school, company, and organizational leaders who believe in the value of ongoing PD also struggle with where to invest those resources in order to see the greatest ROI. Well, what does the research say? PD and leadership training that focus on increasing the level of TRUST in your leadership, in your teachers, and in your school’s program produces the greatest ROI; more so than investing in any other form of PD.  Take a look…

An extensive study by the Indiana State Teachers Association revealed that schools who have invested in high levels of trust experience:

  • More stable and effective learning environments.
  • Higher levels of student achievement.
  • Lower incidents of student behavioral problems.
  • Stronger financial bottom lines.
  • Greater levels of teacher retention.
  • Increased contribution of the discretionary energy of school stakeholders. (i.e. people volunteer more!)

Do you know your school’s level of trust? Have you assessed it recently? Begin by implementing a trust level self assessment tool.  There are a number of quality and research-based free tools available online. I have personally used, and can recommend, resources found at http://www.trustedge.com and http://www.jimcollins.com. You can also begin by securing the commercial services of a detailed 360 assessment in order to pinpoint areas to target your investment in PD training.

In contrast to what many fail to understand, and as David Horsager, author of the best-seller The Trust Edge, has said, “Trust is not a soft skill!” Your level of trust is quantifiable. It can be assessed and measured – and then a detailed and strategic PD plan can be implemented that specifically addresses the areas which may need attention.

We know that good schools spend a significant portion of their budgets on the continual professional development of their faculty and staff. But, the research shows, that great schools are investing those PD dollars in increasing their level of trust. That’s where they realize the greatest Return On their Investment.

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