6 Indications When You Should NOT Measure Training

A Note to new managers on a bulletin board reading "Stop Doing What Doesn't Work"

Should You Always Measure Training?
When you should NOT measure training…While it may be true that “You cannot manage what you cannot measure,” you should not measure each and every training initiative.

Three Questions Training Measurement Should Answer
When done right, training measurement helps leaders to answer three key questions:

#1.  Skill Adoption?
Are employees using the new skills and knowledge on-the-job?  It is one thing for employees to learn new skills in a workshop or online.  It is a whole different ballgame to understand if, and how often, they are using the newly learned skills and knowledge on-the-job.

#2.  Performance Impact?
Is the adoption of new skills and knowledge changing behaviors that are making an impact on desired performance results?  It is one thing to change behaviors.  It is a whole different ballgame to understand if those behaviors are correlated to targeted performance improvements.

#3.  Reinforcement and Support?
What else specifically do learners need to adopt the new skills and knowledge and improve their performance?  This is where many training initiatives fall short because learning is viewed as an “event” instead of a change initiative.

Does Your Training Measurement Answer These Questions?
Sadly, many companies cannot answer these three fundamental questions about their highest profile training initiatives. Additionally, many companies waste precious time and resources measuring and reporting on interesting but comparatively insignificant training metrics such as:

  • training hours
  • people trained
  • costs
  • courses developed
  • satisfaction scores

While learning and development functions should have this data at the ready, it hardly answers the three most critical questions.

When to NOT Measure Training
To save yourself time and money, we recommend that you stop measuring training that has any of the following attributes:

  1. Unclear, misaligned or unsettled business outcomes
  2. Poorly defined or disputed business success metrics
  3. Lack of executive-level sponsorship
  4. Lack of connection to a top 5 business imperative
  5. Lack of relevance to the participants, their boss or the executive team compared to other priorities
  6. Employing a “Training Event” approach rather than a “Change Initiative” approach

The Bottom Line
If you follow these training measurement guidelines, you will quickly discover that very few will miss your reports on training hours, attendance, courses, and costs.

To learn more about when you should NOT measure training and training measurement best practices, download 5 Proven Steps to Training Measurement

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Rambus

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Learning & Development

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