How important is it that the effectiveness of a training program be measured in dollar terms?
The importance of measuring the effectiveness of a training program in dollar terms is related to the target market for the training. As with any product, a training will be valued differently by different markets. In a personal growth market, the dollar terms are less important than the educational effectiveness, where as if the target market is a business, the business will want to know what the return on investment will be for purchasing the training.
Most businesses operate by calculating if anything the company acquires, including employees, will be profitable for the company. When determining the dollar value of a training, it is important to be mindful of the costs incurred by NOT receiving the training. For example, people in a medical setting are usually trained in basic medical safety protocols including the use of personal safety equipment, proper disposal of medical waste and what to do in the event that exposure to a disease has occurred. The training may cost the company a certain amount per session for the instructor's time and materials, but it can potentially save the company in lawsuits, employee leave and medical expenses if the employees apply what they learn in the working environment. Similarly, an individual taking the training for a future job may weigh whether or not the cost of the training is sufficiently offset by the potential wage.
On the other side of the spectrum, employers may offer trainings to employees to boost moral (another way to boost productivity and income), taking the focus off of dollar value and on to trainee satisfaction. The same rule goes towards the personal growth market. A person may take the training less for monetary gain and more for the experience.