Training is an area where performance metrics has been missing the point during the past years. This brings about a situation where either the wrong measurements are being selected to determine whether the training program is effective or training may be ignored in any real sense when planning for company over all business performance.
Businesses can not control what they can’t measure, so it’s critically important to find and use the correct performance measurements for any investment which the organization makes, including that of training, which is certainly one of the most important investments which will be made by any organization.
Because the economy today is global and the rapid increase in the level of technology means a workforce which is more mobile than at any time in history, there is increasing competition in the global marketplace. Companies have had to face the necessity of value engineering everything, including their training programs.
With this in mind, today’s best learning companies are finding new and interesting methods to plan and implement training which is more effective, can be completed in less time and costs less money. These businesses then are monitoring the success of these changes by identifying the success of the systems developed through comprehensive management. These organizations are learning to improve the Return on Learning investment.
It is important for not only general management but members of the training staff and management understand the base concept in the development of measurements for evaluation of training performance.
For example, a measurement of the organization’s training area is not about how many employees were trained in a certain technique. Instead the performance metric might be to determine how much the productivity in a certain group increased because the training was completed.
If a department is falling down because of the number of lost time accidents and the training is followed by a reduction of the number of days off due to accidents then there is a performance indicator which indicates how well the training has succeeded. It is not so much what is being taught, or how many employees have learned it, or even how many days of training were spent during the previous six months. The true measure of success is in well the training has been assimilated into the individuals.
Employees who are focused on finishing a particular course and who assume that is what the company deems most important may lose focus on what is critical for the health of the organization.
Equating the cost of the training to financial results of the training is fairly simple to determine, once you recognize what the objectives are. For example in the above example, you can easily determine a cost of a lost day of work. If intervention in a employee’s life to enter a AA group meant a measurable difference in the number of lost work days, that is a measurable statistic.