Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2 Ways of Looking at Training Measurement

2 businessmen are looking out the window over the city

At LSA Global, we all agree that training measurement is important. Our clients think business-oriented training metrics matter because they provide important information about the adoption of targeted skills, the associated impact on performance and where to focus performance coaching.

Basically, we believe that all training and training measurement should answer four key questions:
  1. Are people using the new knowledge, skills and processes from the training
  2. Are managers involved, supportive, and reinforcing the key behaviors and concepts from the training?
  3. Is the training making the desired performance and business impact?
  4. Where do people need help to continue to progress?
But, depending on your function in the organization, you might evaluate these measurements in very different ways. The HR department typically looks at training from a behavioral and performance point of view.  The Finance department often looks at the training results from a financial perspective. Managers typically look at training from a “time away from getting the real work done” point of view.  Participants often look at training from a career development perspective.  We maintain that the more aligned these key stakeholders are in the way they design, evaluate and apply the measurement results, the more the organization as a whole will benefit.

HR knows that development, when aligned with strategy, has value beyond direct ROI in terms of employee engagement and retention. But Finance rightfully wants to see a more direct financial measure of value. HR would like Finance to understand that there are nuanced areas of organizational and employee development that are difficult to measure solely in terms of dollars. Finance would like HR to be more conversant with the quantitative financial measures which drive the business forward. Employees want the company to provide the resources they need to succeed while investing in their career development.  Managers want employees with the skills to get the job done in a way that aligns with the strategy and corporate culture.

If these groups can work more closely together, instead of knocking heads, they can achieve far more. If they plan and agree together on strategic goals that are clear and implementable, there is enormous benefit to the company…the goals could actually be reached. If they can work to integrate talent management strategies and operational needs, resources will be allocated more precisely. If they can agree on the behaviors that align with strategic priorities, they can design a performance management program that promotes those behaviors. If they can put in place a more cooperative review process to see that all their functions are achieving objectives, they will be better able to coordinate on the people decisions that matter.

When the training strategy is aligned among constituents, the sky’s the limit with effectively aligned training measurement

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