You want to optimize quality and protect your investment in a leadership development programme or maybe sales training. But where to start? Is the timing right for yet another project? What pitfalls to avoid? And what about that colleague of yours who does not believe in measuring people and development?
I have gathered a handful of tips for you from some very experienced practitioners. The tips are based on interviews with our international clients.
1. Start Small
We all know the feeling of having gotten in over our head. Not something you would recommend, right? Starting small, however, is a great way to ensure the success of any new project. It allows you to focus your efforts, familiarize yourself with the concept, reduce complexity and limit the extent of potential mistakes.
Learn from your experiences before you go full scale.
2. Illustrate the Value – Create Involvement
The scenario is the same everywhere. People are drowning in emails and surveys. Translation: you need to convince your organization that impact measurements are not just another survey from hell.
It is absolutely imperative that you convey the value and necessity of impact measurements on all organizational levels. Imagine your stakeholders and how you would answer the question “What is in it for me?” If you can answer this, you know what buttons to push to create motivation.
And do not forget, managers are the key to successfully conveying your message. They know their employees better than you and they can help you understand and communicate the value of impact management in their particular context. Moreover, employees will never prioritize impact measurements unless they are also at the top of their manager’s list of priorities.
Create involvement by articulating the added value of measuring and securing impact.
3. Link to overall business strategy
Overall business goals and strategy should be deeply embedded in any impact management framework. This ensures that every single people development programme or course is focused on developing business-critical competencies that will strengthen business performance and make an actual difference on the bottom line.
Secure strategy execution by aligning overall business goals and programme-specific objectives.
4. Target your communication
You finally have the results and you want to tell everyone about them. But what to communicate? How and to whom?
First of all, know your organization and know your stakeholders. Different stakeholders have different informational needs and agendas. Be careful not to drown people in unnecessary information. Distinguish ‘nice to know’ and ‘need to know’ and always keep in mind the purpose of what and why you are communicating.
As an example, a programme participant will be interested in his individual performance and how to improve whereas a VP would rather hear about how to maximize impact and return on investment of a programme and how it supports important business drivers.
If stakeholders are drowning in information that they feel like does not concern them or their area of responsibility, it is hard to create a constructive dialogue and make active use of the impact measurement results.
Be relevant, precise, encourage feedback and dialogue.
5. Just do it!
Training without measuring will get you nowhere. Securing impact calls for action – whether the goal is to protect your investment, document the impact of a specific programme or improve it, identify what drives business performance or know if employees actually execute and apply new competencies on the job. What you do not measure you cannot manage.
Get your goals straight. Remember, knowing the impact and value of your corporate learning activities starts with identifying both programme-specific learning objectives and the overall business goals that they support. You cannot make reliable measurements if you do not have a clear purpose for measuring.
As for the sceptics, they will always be there. Use their critic to continuously evaluate your impact measurement design (and while you are at it, prove them wrong.)
Act now – take the plunge and get started!
How do you measure the outcome of training activities in your organization?