Are You Demonstrating Return on Investment?

08/06/2016

Blog post by SimGHOSTS Australia Officer Kirrian Steer

Do you take an active role in managing your professional development or do you just undertake whatever training is offered to you? Everyone working in simulation understands how important it is to undertake regular training to build skills and knowledge in all of the simulation domains. There are benefits to taking a proactive approach to your professional development and demonstrating return on investment to your employer. Early in 2013 my employer offered me the opportunity to attend a conference. I was grateful for the offer but I was aware of another event that would better meet my needs. The event was SimGHOSTS in San Antonio. I investigated costs for both events and found that even though SimGHOSTS required international travel (I live in Australia) it would only cost $300 more for me to attend SimGHOSTS. I requested that I attend SimGHOSTs instead and offered to pay the additional $300 highlighting that the content at SimGHOSTS would better meet my training needs than the conference I was originally offered. My manager agreed to my request and even paid the extra $300.

When I returned from the event I made sure that my employer saw the value in granting my request. In the next month:

  • I organized a training session so that I could update colleagues on what I had learned
  • I documented solutions to problems that we had been having with our manikin connectivity and AV systems, and
  • Recorded and edited videos for our simulation centre using skills I learned in the pre-event AV workshop

I went on to attend two more SimGHOSTS events in Australia in 2014 and 2015 with the support of my employer. Each time I made a point of demonstrating what I had learned and sharing this with my colleagues when I returned. Not only does this benefit my employer but it also helps me to consolidate my knowledge and skills and maximise my learning from the event. Three SimGHOSTS events have been held around the world in recent weeks. If you were lucky enough to attend one of them, make sure you demonstrate return on investment. An employer is much more likely to grant requests for professional development if they can see evidence that you are meeting an identified training need and providing return on investment.