How can we measure the impact of our learning programs on employee performance and productivity?
The need to upskill employees has become increasingly important in recent years. This is due to various factors such as advancements in technology, changing job requirements, and changes in industry landscape. The impact of technology advancements has disrupted industries and reshaped job roles. To meet evolving market demands, organizations will need to continue to upskill if they are to remain relevant. But how does an organization measure the impact of their learning programs on employee performance and productivity?
Defining Key Results
Training techniques and technologies have come a long way. New technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and game-based learning are immersive, engaging, and cost effective. But companies can’t take the one and done approach of the past, where massive number of courses sit in a repository somewhere and employees are assigned and expected to complete them.
Measuring the impact of learning programs on employee performance and productivity is crucial to assessing the effectiveness and return on investment of training initiatives. Designing training around key results and linking the ROI to employee performance is the first step. Define clear goals and objectives before training begins. Align key results with the companies’ strategic objectives, identify leading and lagging indicators to gain insight to the training program’s effectiveness.
Kirkpatrick Model vs Phillips ROI Model
Choose a model that you can consistently apply. The Kirkpatrick Model assumes improvements come from the training program. Unlike the Kirkpatrick model, the Phillips ROI model tries to find other factors, such as competitive conditions in the company, seasonal programs, bonuses, to remove these.
When designing around key results with intent ensure pre and post assessments are conducted. This helps in gauging the knowledge, skills, or competencies acquired by employees. Collecting feedback from employees who have completed the training can help you obtain their perception of the training. This also helps in determining the effectiveness of the training. Identify performance metrics that align with the key objectives of the learning program. A good example of this is tracking customer satisfaction ratings, response times, and upsells on Customer Service training.
In addition, obtain supervisor feedback to get a picture of the employees’ performance before and after the training. They can provide insight into the employees’ overall productivity which can help you perform a comparative performance and productivity analysis between those employees who participated in the training program and those who did not. This analysis can help identify positive differences or improvements directly correlated to the training.
Take a further step and assess the broader impact on business outcomes. For example, you can analyze data on sales revenue, customer retention rates, error rates, contamination rates, and accident rates to determine if the learning program has positively influenced these metrics. Don’t forget to do a cost-benefit analysis. Evaluate the costs associated with your learning program against the benefits gained. Factor in increased productivity impact, cost savings, quality improvements, etc. Measuring the impact of learning programs is an iterative process.
Examples of key metrics that can be used to evaluate the success of learning initiatives include completion rates, learning retention rates, performance improvements, and cost savings. Completion rates measure the percentage of learners who successfully complete a learning program. Knowledge retention measures how well learners retain the knowledge and skills they have acquired through the learning program. It can be assessed through quizzes, assessments, or follow-up evaluations. Performance improvement already mentioned looks at how learning initiatives impact job performance. Cost savings evaluates the cost-effectiveness of learning initiatives. It measures the savings achieved through improved efficiency, reduced errors, or decreased training time.
Keep in mind to measure what matters, outcomes. Measure frequently, reflect and adapt to continuously improve your training program.