How to measure the impact of Learning and Development programs?
Do you know why companies are focusing on learning and development so much?
There is so much competition in the market that technologies used in the business change. With changing technologies, it’s better to make sure employees are equipped with the same. But company leaders also want to understand whether the learning and development team is doing its best. That’s why the results for learning and development programs have to be measured. However, the results of the learning and development programs can’t be easily measured in terms of impact on the business.
As per an estimate, there has been an increase in the amount of money spent on training in the US by 14% every year. Therefore, someone needs to gauge the effectiveness of this learning. With so much training going on, businesses are eager to find metrics that can help them measure improvement in employees’ learning.
There are many ways in which employee training can be measured, and they include quizzes, surveys, certification exams, and case studies. It’s important that before training starts, you decide the factors on which you need information, and they are measured afterward.
Now, one of these models to measure learning effectiveness is the Kirkpatrick evaluation model.
This model was formulated by Donald Kirkpatrick. It has 4 stages:
- Stage 1: Reaction
- Stage 2: Learning
- Stage 3: Behavior
- Stage 4: Results
This level gauges what has been the reaction of the learners to training. There is the employment of questionnaires and use surveys given to learners after the course to get the impact of training on them.
This stage also measures the knowledge of the learners. There is a range of metrics available to measure the performance of employees.
• Tests are taken after training
• Influence on the key indicators of performance
• The supervisor of the employees gives the feedback
This stage gauges the impact of the training on the learner’s performance. There are a lot of methods used for measuring how performance has improved. These include questionnaires, feedback given by managers, observing employees while working, and KPIs of employees as yielded by how they actually perform on the job. The feedback of customers is also useful. This feedback is measured through surveys.
These results are very important for the company to know whether the amount spent on learning and development was useful or not. So, the results stage measures whether there is any hike in the productivity of employees after the training. There should be an increased motivation among employees to do the job after the training. This happens because they know how much the company values them to offer the training.
Is measuring the employee’s results useful?
It’s useful to measure the results of the training. However, the above training model stages need to be applied differently to different kinds of training programs. The level of the program decides the type of stage applied to it.
Stage 1-Reaction: It is useful for all programs
Stage 2-Learning: It is useful for programs involving “hard skills”. Hard skills are those skills that can be gauged. These skills include the ability to use software programs quite well. So, employees can be tested for any improvement in these skills.
Stage 3-Behavior: It can be used to measure strategic programs. This implies measuring the outcome in terms of whether the employee’s performance is aligned with the company’s strategy.
Stage 4-Results: It can be used to measure the outcome of learning and development programs with the cost of 50,000 USD
So this is how organizations measure the effectiveness of their training programs.