A couple weeks back, we talked about measurement. The gist was that if something needs to change in your organization, you have to measure it to change it.
There’s more to this story, however. Often companies think that to measure they need to ask if someone thinks the training applies or that they will use it. Companies believe they are getting the information they want when they ask employees and managers, “Will you or your team use this training?” In fact, all they are getting is an opinion about what people think they may do. Thinking that training applies or that an employee will use it does not translate to the employee applying or using the information.
Where Most Training Gets Stuck
A lot of companies get stuck at that point with their training. They ask employees, “Will training in X help you do Y or change Z?” The employee considers the question and answers yes or no. If they answer yes, then it’s likely the training will be approved and scheduled for their employees.
However, this leaves a major item out of the equation: After training is complete, did behavior change occur? Did the employee do X faster, better, more efficiently? Most organizations do not measure behavior change, which leaves them guessing if training had any impact at all. As we’ve said before, training is the key to changing behavior, so you must be able to measure training and its impact.
Yes, measuring the change is the tricky part. Organizations try to measure knowledge gain and behavior change. However, many are not measuring the right thing. The problem comes in the design. The training is not designed specifically enough to know what to measure. Most of the time, the training design does not connect the behavior change to the correct metric that would measure the change.
How to Get Unstuck
The key is determining the specific metric that signifies the change. We at Strategic Training teach instructional designers to collaborate with business unit managers to figure out key metrics. Together the business manager and the trainer identify learning requirements using business terms. When they work together like this, they start to speak the same language and both begin to work toward goals that support their organization. They can get very specific about what needs to change and then work on a learning program that will effect that change. Once you know what to look for, you can figure out what to measure.
If you want a way to measure outcomes and ROI, check out our Business Impact 2.0. It measures and analyzes the impact of the training and provides detailed reports after training is complete. The reports tell you specifically what employees retained, what behavior change occurred, and what impact that change makes to your bottom line.
Do you have changes that need to take place in your organization? Are you tired of simply guessing about what training you need? Can you see how measuring change would make a difference in your learning initiatives? Tell us in the comments.
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