Then, set expectations with a measurement strategy. This would include course evaluations completed immediately post-training by both the trainee and manager, and then another round of measurement 90 days out and even six months after the training to substantiate behaviour change and, ultimately, the business impact of the learning investment.
Quantification is now the last, but critical step in validating the business case for learning. Producing quantitative and qualitative reports and other high-level output can help prioritize training investments based on real, tangible data showing job impact.
Measuring, of course, assumes that training translates into an actual transfer of learning in the classroom to changed performance on-the-job. For this to happen, organizations must develop a supportive and complementary workplace environment, where management, business processes and supporting tools all permit the learner to apply new knowledge and skills immediately upon return to work.
Organizations often fail to establish success criteria or identify expectations for learning engagements. This is a key pre-training strategy in order to measure trainee performance against agreed upon standards.
ESI's own client experience shows that learning transfer also happens more effectively with an incentive program to motivate employees, full manager support along with executive sponsorship, and a systematic process to prepare individuals to apply what they have learned.
In order to maintain a competitive edge, best-in-class organizations are adopting new approaches to learning, and HR is becoming a 'broker' of these blended learning capabilities. In this way, HR adds real value, turning an organization's workforce into a tangible return on investment by achieving higher quality output, even with fewer resources and lowered budgets.
Laurie Keyser Brunner, Senior Vice President of Global Client Services, ESI International, serves as a champion for ESI's clients, helping them to realize their goals by leveraging ESI's mix of learning modalities, ROI measurement tools, global infrastructure and other products and consulting services. A member of the ESI Executive Team, she drives a range of client service and infrastructure initiatives with a passion for consistently exceeding expectations.
Reprinted with permission by ESI International. Copyright © 2011