From Design to ROI: How to Make Learning Measurable, Part 2

In part 1, we described how programs must be designed to create behavior change. In this part, we show how to connect behavior change to metrics and then to ROI.

You’ll recall this pyramid design from part 1.

PyramidConnect behavior change to metrics

To connect behavior change to metrics, you must find the metrics in your organization that reflect performance.

Learning programs, by definition, teach new capabilities to learners. When people apply what they learn, they do their job differently, perform better, and subsequently change the key performance indicators, the metrics, within their organization.

Organizations use metrics to measure many things. Strategic metrics measure the overall status of an organization. These include metrics like revenue generated and customer satisfaction. Operational metrics, usually found in business units/departments, include things like leads generated, customer service calls completed or orders processed without error.

Adults in Business SettingWhen you choose metrics for your learning program, choose operational metrics. With operational metrics, you are selecting metrics directly influenced by behavior change. These are the first indicators of performance.

Most operational metrics measure results for a single work procedure or process. When you choose metrics this narrow, you limit the influence of outside forces and focus only on the behavior that results in change. In addition, the behaviors that affect a single work procedure or process are limited and more easily identified. By choosing an operational metric to indicate learning results, you automatically isolate learning from any other influence. This isolation creates a direct metric. There is a clean and straight connection from learning results to impact on the metric. It is this direct connection that makes the learning results visible to business leaders.

To measure metric changes, you must identify the metric before you begin program design. With this knowledge, the instructional designer makes the metric change the goal of the program. The metric change becomes the target that the learning professional aims for by changing behavior. Remember, you will only see the metric change when behavior changes. If there is no behavior change, the metric will not change.

Turning metric changes into ROI

ROI is figured by a standard financial calculation that compares the cost of developing and running a program to the gain in organizational results (metrics). This comparison makes learning program results easy to calculate. The financial gain from a metric change can be figured by your accounting department or calculated using basic labor rates. Either way, the ROI calculation is straightforward.

Businesses now demand learning ROI from their learning professionals. Getting to ROI is a matter of connecting the dots between program design, behavior changes, and metric changes.

Use the ROI pyramid to create your plan for measurement. This process can be a success through a disciplined practice. This process provides the evidence needed to show the value of your hard work and your contribution to organization success!

Do you now grasp how the pieces of the pyramid rely on each other? How successful have you been in connecting the dots from learning program to ROI?

If you need help making your learning programs measurable, contact us at eParamus. We’d love to help.

Please follow eParamus on LinkedIn and feel free to connect with me, Laura Paramoure, PhD. I’d love to know more about your training challenges.

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