Why It’s Hard to Secure Budget for Learning Measurement and 3 Tips to Make It Easier

The state of measurement in L&D lags woefully behind all other areas of the business. This lag has made learning measurement a hot topic at nearly every conference I’ve attended this year. L&D professionals realize that this area needs serious improvement.

Given the sheer volume of data being collected by businesses today, it seems truly insane that a better job isn’t being done by the L&D profession.

Consider this quote from a Chief Learning Officer article, Stagnant Outlook for Learning Measurement:

In the 2008, most enterprises reported a high level of dissatisfaction with the state of training measurement. By 2010, that feeling had moderated substantially as analytics became mainstream in other areas of the business. But once CLOs could compare their capabilities with capabilities in other business areas, their dissatisfaction increased. In 2013, 2014 and again in 2015, there has been more dissatisfaction — partially resulting from higher expectations combined with continuing challenges around resources and leader support.” (Emphasis mine.)

I’d bet that not only did CLO dissatisfaction increase, but that the dissatisfaction of the CLO’s boss also increased.

L&D will continue to be devalued if they cannot bring their level of accountability and reporting up to at least the same level as other departments and functions within the business.

Why Is Securing A Learning Measurement Budget So Hard?

First, many people operate under the delusion that learning can’t be measured. I’ve already disproved that here, here, and here. That is an argument that truly needs to die.

Second, L&D and business are talking at odds. Business uses the language of business and L&D uses the language of training.

Third, many businesses and L&D professionals don’t know that they should even ask for this essential part of their budget. Most of us think of the L&D budget as a big bucket.  As the awareness of learning measurement options increase, a need for a learning measurement budget is being created.

As businesses and learning professionals attempt to solve the measurement challenge, they need resources specifically set aside for measurement and evaluation.

Thankfully, L&D professionals are finally coming around to the idea that learning is, in fact, measurable. There are ways you can make it easier to secure funds for adding learning measurement to your budget.

3 Easy Ways to Get Learning Measurement Added to Your Budget

  1. Show that learning measurement is not only possible, but it’s also simple.

My book, ROI By Design, explains how you can design courses to measure learning impact. If you skim through my blog, you can find a multitude of tips on making program measurement easy.

  1. Speak the language of business.

My last post described how framing learning measurement in terms of quality assurance (QA) can put you and your business leaders on the same page.

  1. Explain to your bosses why effectiveness is a much better measure than efficiency.

Many business leaders just want you to tell them how many courses you deliver, how many people you trained, and what the results were on your smile sheet surveys because that is the only data they have known from L&D. Ultimately, they are dissatisfied with that data because those figures tell you practically nothing about the value of L&D. Switch your learning to measure business outcomes and metrics deliver that data to your boss and suddenly you’re playing a whole new ballgame.

The need for learning measurement will only grow, especially as our profession is compared to the data driven decisions of other company functions.

What is the state of learning measurement in your organization? Do you need help making it data driven so you can more easily secure budget for learning measurement? Contact eParamus and we can help you make that a reality.

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.

Photo: dskdesign / 123RF Stock Photo

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