Financial Accountability

training is an investment which balances time and money

How Much Do Your Problems Cost?

An agency had some significant incidents which were jeopardizing their licensure. Despite the severity of the situation, the Assistant Director was concerned about spending $2000 on a comprehensive training plan. He did explain that with each incident, he and the Executive Director together spent about 20 hours picking up the pieces. After roughly estimating their salary and benefits at $50 per hour, some quick math showed they were burning $1000 per incident in wages for just two of the people involved. This figure also didn't account for the time of others nor the cost to their reputation. But looking at the cost of the problem showed that the training plan would pay for itself after preventing just two future incidents. Here, they hadn't looked to see how fast they were spending money on the problem and had no basis for comparing that to the cost of a proactive solution.


The cost of the solution should be outweighed by the cost of the problem. But how do you know the cost of the problem?

A school district estimated the cost of replacing a certificated teacher at $40,000. A risk management provider spoke of a district which had spent over $24,000 in legal fees to ensure they had their ducks in a row to fire a staff who kicked a student. Had they previously sent that staff to a professional crisis intervention training, they would have ensured the staff knew such an act was wrong, provided the staff with proactive skills to better address the incident and would have had ready training documentation as grounds for dismissal. And they would have spent only 1% of what the legal fees cost them.

A social services agency estimated that replacing entry level staff costs them over $2000 each. Look at just the tangible costs of advertising, recruiting, screening, hiring and 60 hours of basic training and you will see how it adds up - although these costs are not so easy to spot in one lump sum! The truer cost of losing a staff is $4000: $2000 lost on the person who left + $2000 to train a replacement (and maybe higher if you could measure the loss of experience leaving with the departing.) If you are complaining about high staff turnover, you should definitely be looking at the costs and the causes of the issue.

Metrics: The Secret Weapon of Success

Even if you run a school district or a non-profit organization, it still needs to run as a business in order to keep the doors open. Business Metrics are those quantitative measurements you monitor which reflect the agency's performance and achievements. Standard business metrics include revenue, expenses and return on investment (ROI). Indicator issues related to the need for crisis management and safety training typically include:

  • Number of Incidents
  • Property damage costs
  • Injury claims costs
  • Staffing costs
  • Consultant costs
  • Legal costs
  • Insurance costs
  • Staff turnover
  • Staff hiring and training costs
  • Administrative costs
  • Regulatory compliance and penalties
  • Morale costs

By selecting and monitoring key performance indicators you will always know where you are, where you are headed and how close you are to your destination goal. As with driving, you often don't realize how fast you are going until you look down at the dashboard. Without a dashboard of critical indicators, you could be driving off a cliff without even realizing it!

The metrics you establish for your needs not only help you determine how close you are to your destination, but can also help you determine if you are actually going in the wrong direction!

Crisis Driven Dashboard

Crisis Driven Dashboard analysis worksheet

The Dashboard Worksheet can be used to establish a baseline of specific issues, set goals for specific issues and periodically re-assess the metrics of specific issues.

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RIGHT RESPONSE for Financial Accountability

The RIGHT RESPONSE Workshop helps you Transform Problems into Success with evidence-based training success. Simply complete a Results-Driven Training Plan with the staff of RIGHT RESPONSE specifying what you plan to achieve by when. If you don't achieve the specified results, simply ask for a refund of the training fees you paid.