How to Build Corporate Training to Have Tangible Results
We all know how important it is to build corporate training with quality content and good design principles. Where we often fail as a training industry is in building our training programs so we can track impactful performance data. What good and proper data means can vary widely and determining what data to track will depend upon your desired training outcomes.
When designing the training, it is important to ask questions like, “What result do I want?” or “How will I know when this result is achieved?” and “What behavior changes will create the strongest impact in achieving this result?”
All too often we have to move from one project to the next two, and I don’t have time to conduct thorough post-training analysis on training impact. Unfortunately, that lack of time for measurement seems to be a trend. A 2019 study by The Brandon Hall Group found that only 33 percent of L&D teams can measure all of their learning programs at Level 1, and only 3 percent of L&D teams measure at Level 4.
Track Training With KPIs
Knowing which data to track is important because it demonstrates clearly where your learners are doing well and where they need to improve. Moreover, tracking the right data means you can actually tell if your training isn’t driving the underlying business objective. So, having a clear understanding of the desired knowledge and behavioral outcomes and how to measure that success will lead to a more accurate measurement of your training ROI.
To get a big-picture view of your training, it’s a good idea to create a performance map from business goals to behaviors. Ideally, this will involve a deep dive into the key performance indicators (KPIs) on which your employees are being measured. If you then map those KPIs to desired behaviors, critical thinking skills, and a knowledge base, then you should have a decent idea of what direction the training should take. Once those factors are defined, it is easier to build the training around KPIs that are directly relevant. Afterward, all you have to do is conduct a pre-post performance analysis.
Training for Internal Business Metrics
If your internal business processes are well established, as they are in most financial groups, then you likely have a number of metrics or KPIs for each position. It wouldn’t make sense to reinvent the idea every time you build a training program, so it’s best to start with your business metrics. One of our clients, an international manufacturing company, needed to build training to improve seven different metrics. They had these metrics in place already, so it was easy to build a learning experience around relevant behaviors. But our learning team took the program design a step further. We mapped the training activities and learner responses to those metrics so we could visually display the relationship between their responses and the effect on their business. As the learner navigated the course, making decisions and responding within simulated events, they could immediately see the impact on metrics like cash flow, operating profit, and capacity cost.
Figuring out how to track the right data can be difficult, but it is crucial to your training’s success. By aligning your business goals with your learning design strategy, you can more easily track learning outcomes. In this case, the learning experience was developed for the financial group of a manufacturing company, but this process also applies well to compliance training for technicians or sales training for sales consultants. Apply best practices to your training strategy, and you are sure to see success.