The greatest form of sophistication is simplicity. One process for effectively measuring the value of training is as elegant as it is simple.
You are delivering training to a client that provides healthcare services in the 6th most populous country in the world. 23% of that country’s population lives below the poverty line (earning $1.25/day), and only 45% of the population has limited access to any form of healthcare. Do you think the client will want to be able to quantify the impact of the training you are providing to justify their investment of very limited funds? You bet!
I’m living that scenario right now as I write this article. I’m in Kuala Lumpur facilitating ASTD’s Training Certificate course for a client that operates in some of the most remote places on the planet and has a high level of need to demonstrate positive impact of the training course I’m facilitating for them.
So when the stakes are high and future investments in training are hanging in the balance, how can I possibly help them prove value and positive impact?
Here is the secret my consulting firm has used quite successfully: By having managers ask 3 specific questions and tracking the answers over time, you and your organization can quantify the value of your training and increase the level of funding you receive to train your employees.
Here are the 3 questions your managers should ask their employees after attending any training program:
What have you learned?
The power of this question lies in the simple fact that managers rarely ever ask it. As I shared with my client here in Kuala Lumpur, a manager’s priorities can always be determined by the questions s/he asks. If you want training to stick, managers have to make training a priority, and it starts with this question.
How have you used it?
By asking this question, a manager essentially sets the expectation that the training will be used. It also creates dual accountability for the application of the training because by asking this question, the manager must be supportive of its application. If the employee hasn’t used it, the manager can take action to help the employee apply what was learned – whether it be by removing barriers that are preventing application or by providing a gentle and encouraging nudge to motivate the employee to use it.
How has it helped you?
The final question in the sequence is where the value and impact is determined. The employee’s answers should be documented because they will contain embedded nuggets of highly valuable data. By skillfully asking a few follow up questions based on the feedback received from employees, the impact and value of the training can be reasonably quantified with a great deal confidence and accuracy.
At Infinity Consulting and Training Solutions (ICTS), we’ve developed a question and answer process that managers can complete with an employee in 15 minutes or less. When the process is used consistently, the benefits of asking these 3 specific questions and documenting the answers are enormous. The benefits include and are not limited to the following:
- Training professionals will gain higher levels of management buy in
- Managers will become training’s biggest word of mouth endorsers
- The savings will be quantified.
All of these lead to higher levels of investments in employee development which is a huge competitive advantage in the highly competitive war for talent.
For more information regarding our process for effectively measuring the value and impact of your training programs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Floor is Yours
What additional tips and strategies for effectively measuring the value and impact of training and identifying return on investment (ROI) have you used? Please share them in the comments below.
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