Why do we need to measure learning? The answer is – you don’t. If you don’t have plans to succeed as a business in five years time, then measuring the impact of learning is, infact, a fruitless exercise. If your business has only year-to-year goals, learning-growth metrics will be hard to establish, and may not even provide value to your business.
On the other hand, if you intend to evolve your business, and create a learning structure that sees company growth, then measuring team learning is crucial to your success. Without measurement, how can you be sure your training will have an impact at all?
A Successful Learning Journey
What does successful learning look like?
A LinkedIn survey found that 94% of employees expressed that they would remain with their companies if they invested in their career development. This is just one of many statistics that prove that staff training is essential, but what does successful learning look like?
The first point of action is to look outside of your business – study your competitors. What are the big, successful businesses doing? Disney, for example, spends millions on their staff training. Do you think that they’d be investing to that extent if they didn’t see great weight and value in training? Then look at what the trends are pointing towards, evaluate the market and predict customer behaviour so that you can create a learning environment that is prepared to adapt to those demands.
How can you be sure that your learning is having an impact on your company? Look inside of your business. The best way to determine if your training is having a significant impact on your business is to analyse your employees. What percentage of your succession positions have been internally filled, compared to externally? Then weigh up those two classifications and determine how many of those internally-filled positions have been successful in comparison to those externally filled. If your training is not up to standard and meeting the level it needs to be, you’re going to find that your internal employees aren’t skilled enough to be promoted to higher-level positions, and you will ultimately need to invest more to hire external skilled individuals to successfully fill the gap. This highlights my point that investing more in your people will ultimately reduce your overall company costs.
How can you be confident in the accuracy of your measures?
Key Performance Indicators are very useful tools when trying to practically encourage and reflect on growth. However, in order for KPIs to work effectively, ownership and responsibility need to sit with your employees. True success comes from individual motivation and accountability for oneself. For this to be realistic, KPIs need to be simplified so that employees can meet the standards you have set out for them.
When you consider what your employee KPIs should entail, define your three overall company objectives, and ensure that your KPIs reflect those. You should also define your learning objectives and set KPIs in relation to this (this may be project related, for instance).
In my experience, employee growth has been a leading indicator of a business’s agility and resistance to market change, which is inevitable. But if learners aren’t curious and have no personal desire to grow their skills, then KPIs are ineffective and sustainable growth is impossible. Which leads me to my next point…
What do we need to be teaching our employees today that prepares them for tomorrow?
Teach your managers how to successfully recruit. If you want to create a continuous learning culture in your company, you need to build a team of people who have a desire to learn. This culture calls for curious people with the foundational characteristic of self-motivation. Your employees need to understand what kind of people your business needs. According to a Lorman survey, 87% of millennials highly value learning and development in the workplace – seek out employees who hold this value. Implementing staff learning journeys without motivated employees is like building a beautiful Rolls-Royce, and leaving it without a driver. Ultimately, you’ll be sitting with a very expensive car that doesn’t go anywhere. No one will be getting into that car.
Inventor R. Buckminster Fuller said, “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” You need to show your team what the DNA of your company’s ideal employee looks like in order for them to know what they are looking for in a team.
What have you put in place to ensure that you’re able to implement your training? Will you be caught off guard, or prepared for the future of business? A company who is ready for the future has the right people and a strong training structure that teaches the right skill sets and makes learning simple and accessible for employees. The only way to determine whether your business is prepared, is by continuously measuring the success of your training.
Summit places a core focus on training that is specifically targeted towards equipping employees and businesses to excel in the present and the future. To ensure that you are moving in the right direction at the pace you need to be, we prioritise tracking progress and measuring the impact of your learning on your company growth.
Get in touch with Summit today and let’s map out a journey that gets you to where you want to be!
About the Author
Matt Lambert, Managing Director
Matt has a passion for innovation and doing things differently, which comes from his broad experience in front line and management roles within Business Intelligence, Sales, New Business Development and Commercial Finance held within blue chip companies. Matt has worked across five continents and 19 countries to launch new products, establish sales operations and lead strategic projects.
His passion for education comes from a desire to address fundamental structural issues within Africa. Matt has extensive experience within International Hotel School heading up its Durban Campus before taking over the online business, and then moving to Operations Director, before taking over and growing Summit since the beginning of 2018.