Case study 9 training systems


Case 1 – Tricky Nicky

Tips:  This is a relatively straight forward assessment of the financial value of the training provided to the carpet cleaners.  Questions 1-4 take the student step by step through the assessment.  Question 5 gets the students to focus on the factors that affect performance, other than KSA deficiencies. 

1.  How much does the re-cleaning cost Nicky per year?  Show all mathematical calculations.

Number of offices cleaned per year = 6/day X 100 people X 250 days = 150,000

“Bad” cleanings = 1/6, so 150,000/6 = 25,000 “bad” cleanings/year

Cost per “bad” cleaning = $20.00

Yearly cost = 25,000 X $20.00 = $ 500,000

Since the training program will reduce bad cleanings to 1 in 12, it will save Nicky $250,000 a year if everyone is trained.

 (If you wanted to figure in “opportunity” costs as well, the total cost of bad cleanings is $40.00. The additional $20 in cost is because time spent re-cleaning means time not spent cleaning and earning a $20.00 profit.  If opportunity cost is built into subsequent calculations, it will be based on a $40 cost rather than the $20 figure we use.)

2.  If everyone is trained, how much will the training cost? How much will it cost if only the group with the most errors is trained? Show all mathematical calculations.

The costs associated with training that are listed on page 390 of the text add up to $17,900.00. This is the cost if everyone is trained (i.e., five sessions of 20 employees each). 

As stated in the case, these costs are based on conducting five sessions.  Thus, if only the 50 with the most errors are trained, only three training sessions will be needed (no more than 20 employees/session). The value of this question is to determine if the students are able to see that some costs will be the same (development), some will be reduced by half (e.g., cost of employee wages while at training), and some will only be reduced by 40 percent (per session costs).

If only half of the cleaners were trained (those averaging two bad cleanings out of every nine), the $4,000 in development costs would remain the same.  Trainer cost would be reduced to $240.00 because three sessions would be required instead of five. The reduction in sessions also reduces the cost of the facility and equipment to $300.00. For factors associated with number of employees trained, the cost is cut in half.  Thus, the cost of materials is $1,000.00, refreshments are $300.00, and employee costs would be $4,000.00. Indirect costs (evaluation) would also be cut by 50 percent to $1,200. The rationale is that, for the most part, these costs are based on the number of people being evaluated. Since most of the evaluation measures are developed in the TNA stage, the vast majority of trainer time is spent in collecting and analyzing post training data.

Thus, total costs for training only 50 employees would be $11,040.00. 

Different answers could occur based on different assumptions in the area of indirect costs.

3. If everyone is trained, what is the cost savings for the first year? If only the group with the highest recleaning requirements is trained, what is the cost savings? Show all mathematical calculations.

Since the training will reduce the number of “bad cleanings” by 50 percent, the yearly cost of “bad cleanings” after training = ½ cost prior to training ($500,000) = $250,000. Thus, the cost savings is $250,000 – $17,900 (cost of training) = $232,100.00.

The group averaging 2/9 re-cleanings generates 2/3 of the re-cleanings, costing the company $333,333/yr. If this group reduces its re-cleaning to 1/12 it will still cost the company $125,000/yr. in “bad cleanings.” The gross savings will be $333,333-$125,000= $208,333/yr. The cost savings is $208,333-$11,040 (the cost of training) = $197,293.

4.  What is your recommendation based on the expected return on investment? Should both groups be trained or just the group with the 2/9 recleaning ratio? Provide a rationale that includes both financial and other factors. Show any mathematical calculations.

Since the gross savings if everyone is trained is $250,000, this means that training the group averaging 1/9 recleanings will result in a gross savings of $41,667.00 (i.e., $250,000-$208,333=$41,667).

The cost of training only the 2/9 group is $11,040.00. The additional cost to train the 1/9 group is $6,860. The percent return on investment for the 2/9 group is [($208,333-$11,040)/$11,040] x 100, or a 1787.07 percent.  For the 1/9 group the return on investment is [($41,667 – $6,860)/$6860] x 100, or 507.39 percent. 

Thus, from a financial perspective, both groups should be trained, even though one’s ROI is considerably higher than the other.

From an employee relations standpoint, training both groups has the advantage of giving both groups the increased KSAs and equal treatment.

5.  Let’s back up and assume we’re still at the needs analysis stage. Assume that employees had the KSAs needed to clean the offices effectively. What other factors might you look at as potential causes of the recleaning problem?

Motivational factors such as pay, working conditions, group norms, etc.  Opportunity factors such as equipment, procedures, etc. 

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