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What You Measure Is What You Get
As human beings, we are compelled to chase perfection and adapt our behavior to the metrics we are held accountable against. We are told where to start and where to finish but a lot of what happened in between stays unaccounted for.
If we measure learning by tracking numbers as to who attended the training, course completions statistics, hours of training delivered, what we get is also attendance, completion rates, and time spent on training. We don’t get the efficiency and effectiveness of the learning outcome or the business impact both the learning and training have caused.
Relevance Of Measurement and Data
We believe in meaningful learning consulting backed up by the requisite training. And in between all this, for us, measuring the business outcome based on the impact of relevant education that has been imparted is essential for understanding:
- Is the learning is working for you?
- How is the learning impacting your workforce?
- Are you able to report and measure training effectiveness?
- Are you able to extract relevant insights for decision-making?
- Is there enough intel indicating learning transformation now being observed?
- Do you have sufficient information to define continuous improvement programs?
- Is there enough intelligence that could build the foundation of your future learning strategy?
Al these questions are very relevant to us to tell you that we believe in both the journey and the destination. This is how it works. We ask you what you want to achieve in this partnership, and we then make sure our design responds to your real needs.
A Glimpse into What We Can Do
Measurement strategies outline processes leading to data collation, data reporting and improvement actions or action plans.
This is a combination of the following:
- Evaluation – The evaluation processes must be simple with possibly 10 questions or lesser. We use the Kirkpatrick learning level methodology with the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology.
- Business Data – Business data are periodically gathered to track the customer’s desired outcomes aligned to the defined learning program. Categories include examples like sales, cost, cycle time, productivity, risk, safety, innovation, quality, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, etc. There could be information management systems that come into the picture here.
- Learning Utilization Data – A training program’s completion rate is very important. A program coverage statistic is key for the organization’s stakeholders to see. A learning management system would help here.
There are three primary groups we would need to focus on, namely:
- Course Authors, Instructors, Trainers – They want to understand what learning elements worked quickly and did not work. What learner demographics had a positive or negative impact and experiences. They wish to see timely insights to change what they do the next time when another learning program is launched.
- Course Owners, Program Heads, Project Managers, SMEs – They wish to have a tactical view of the Course Authors, Instructors, Trainers who ran a specific training program to pinpoint improvement opportunities for short-term adjustments and long-term change.
- Business Heads, Executive Heads, Training Heads – The overall outcome of the training program is what they wish to see, specifically the efficient metrics, effectiveness metrics and outcome metrics.
These activities should be planned when an improvement is identified because of data, the required goal, negative trending, etc.
- Improve the Training Program – If there was an issue with the learning journey, content, or the learning environment. If so, an improvement action should be taken to change this positively.
- Improve the Learner Experience – If a learner from a particular demographic (job function, year of service, business unit, skillset, etc.) had a more negative experience or impact, action should be taken to change this positively.
- Improve the Business Outcome – If the desired measure hasn’t been met, then an improvement action should be taken to change this.
There are many innovative ways to explore. We will address what you wish to elicit as a statistic from your learners, so let’s collaborate to understand how this can be done.
A few of the critical measurement strategies we could explore and include the following:
Trigger Behavioral Surveys
Use a frequency-based approach to avoid hazy data and ask people what they do on the job versus what was ideally intended. Anonymize the data to reduce response bias and focus more on the business function level, though an individual level can also be considered. This method helps to identify a behavioral baseline. Do this before and after the learning experience.
Set Realistic Milestones
A milestone is a significant event in an employee’s development. It describes achievements that are vivid and visible by definition that would be meaningful to the learner. Milestones are a way to track constructive progress toward a business outcome. Stack up the milestones based on a timeline, and that becomes a measure. It’s not always about KPIs and MBOs.
Utilize Performance Rubrics
Performance Rubrics are handy in measuring student learning given some specific learning outcomes. Rubrics can be built in different ways. It does take the initial thought, effort, and time, but gives a clear picture to the learner and trainer about the level of performance expected for a certain task. Rubrics help in defining expected performance, standards of quality, levels of accomplishment.
Identify Role Models
Role modelling is not a mentorship program and is far simpler to implement. Learners can emulate the behavioral aspects of Role Models. Identify individuals whose output is exemplary for a specific learning initiative. Role Models can then provide feedback to learners. Learners can measure their progress by continually comparing their performance to that of the Role Model. It is learning by aspiration.
An individual’s performance improvements can also be tracked via:
Learners must evaluate themselves against certain success and achievement factors and identify where they feel they need to improve. They can then track their performance against these goals before and after the learning program. This could also be assessed in between if it is a learning journey. Survey tools help in this regard.
Set some ground rules and have peers evaluate one another. Any evidence-backed feedback on how a fellow teammate performs against their set measures would add immense value.
Who better than the learner’s Manager to drive and track the success of the learning program and learning engagement the team is involved in? Once again, an evidence-based evaluation will help track improvements.
A team a learning goal and tracking the journey to getting there helps boost performance. A lead must monitor the improvement made by his/her team and then have the team self-assess their performance.
Set SMART goals here. Define a benchmark. Check where the current performance stands and set a target value to hit in terms of a percentage increase.
There are ways to check and measure if your content or learning program is working can be done by:
Trigger Quality Surveys
Check on feedback on whether the learning resources and experiences the learners go through are helping them to get where they want to.
Track Course Usage Statistics
Is every learner engaging themselves in the learning programs and learning journeys? Which course is being accessed the most, and which chapter are the learners spending more time on? Merge this data with some of the performance tracking intel and check if you can spot any trends.
Track User Sessions
Are learners logging in often and coming back to the same learning journeys? What point of time in a business day is the activity trend seen to be high? This is critical data.
Track Discussion Shares
Which course has the main discussion thread being generated? How many comments are being given that are positive for a specific discussion? This can be considered a good indicator of success. If creating a buzz factor is one of the parameters, then you can track this metric.
Spot Sudden Spikes
Is there a drastic performance improvement, or is there a score that has shot up during a performance evaluation, seen by the learner, by a peer, by their Manager or even another Manager?
Our Learning Consultants and Training Consultants will help you with the required foundation and partner with you to make performance metrics do the talking.