“We know our learning programs deliver results…we just need the data to prove it. That’s the only way to establish our value to the business.” Have you ever said these words or had these thoughts? Have you ever been pressed to use data to show your value?
Why Learning Professionals Are Being Pushed to Provide Data
You’re not alone. Nearly every learning professional feels challenged in this way. Why?
- Highly competitive, global environments force businesses to consistently improve their capability through learning.
- Organizations are stretched for time and money; they want proof that both are being spent wisely.
- Effectiveness data is so easily obtainable from other departments, businesses believe the learning department should provide this data too.
Today, these are common demands. Yet many learning professionals feel lost or unable to deliver data that shows what their learning programs provide. Uncertainty about how to obtain the data baffles many in our profession.
This is a needless worry. It’s simple to connect learning and business results.
How Can You Derive Data From Learning Programs?
Here’s the secret: Learning program design.
Yes, I know that seems like a big answer to a big question. Let me explain.
Measurable learning design relies on choosing the right metric and using the right design. When you’ve identified those two things, you can measure the impact of training on the learner, on the job, and on the organization.
How do you choose the right metric? Businesses use metrics to measure many things. For learning programs, focus on operational metrics. Those measures are found down at the department or business unit level. These are the measures taken by individual business units, departments, or specific roles. Examples include number of leads generated, forms processed, errors made, department retention, etc. These metrics reflect the operational outputs from a role within an organization.
Why choose operational metrics? These metrics are granular and focused. With these metrics, you eliminate the influence of outside forces. If these measures change after students take the learning program (focused on the behavior change that will influence the metric), then you can directly link the learning to the metric change.
Now that you have the right metric, next comes program design. The program design is what creates change in the learner. Your learning program, when designed well, will focus on and create behavior change. The behavior change will influence the metric, and that change is what you will measure.
How to Use Data To Tell Your Story
This is the path your story follows:
Identify Business Metric Needing Change > Design Training that Will Create Behaviors that will Change the Metric > Deliver Program to Learners > Evaluate Behavior Change in Learners > Measure Business Metric Change
You must make these links to tell your story. When you follow this progression with your learning programs, you’ll be able to provide both behavior change and metric change data to your stakeholders. There will be a clear chain of evidence linking the learning program directly to the metric improvement.
Business Impact 2.0 Measurement software helps you easily make these links. The software guides you through finding the correct metric, creating standardized design (that targets behavior), measuring the metrics as they change, and finally, proving the ROI of your programs. This software provides the data for you. With reports generated, you’ll have visual proof of the changes made to the organization due to learning.
Learning professionals need to master this progression. This progression allows you to connect your learning programs to measurable financial results. More importantly, it helps you know your business and proves your value to the organization that you support.
Do you need to prove the connection between your programs and critical business results? Our Business Impact 2.0 Measurement software gives you the ability to do so. Interested in following this path to measurable learning design? Then contact us at eParamus. We’d love to work with you.
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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