Why Measure Training?
Are corporate training metrics simply an exercise in futility that pleases training experts and HR but otherwise has no meaningful value to the business? Yes! If you are only measuring training satisfaction, hours, costs, participants, programs etc.
The Value of Training Measurement
Successful companies have learned that corporate training metrics have tremendous value in three areas:
A Golf Analogy
Take the game of golf. It used to be that putting was the more valued skill in terms of what it could earn a golfer. Nowadays, driving is the more lucrative skill. What happened?
PGA courses have been changed. Fairways are longer and grass in the rough is being cut shorter.
A study cited in the Harvard Business Review by Baugher and Day of Western Illinois University and Burford Jr. of Junior’s Shaft Shack in Forest, Virginia state that “a 1-standard-deviation increase in driving distance would have boosted a player’s earnings by an average of $671,779.15 in 2013, whereas the same relative increase in putting skills would have raised his earnings by just $510,195.91.”
In other words, on average a golfer who improves driving skills stands to earn more than one who improves putting skills. The environment changed and the golfer who could understand how it changed and who could adjust to the changes emerged with the advantage.
The same is true in the corporate environment. Without an understanding of what skills matter most in your workplace, how do you know where your training efforts should focus?
For instance, let’s say you train your sales force on improving their pre-call planning skills but what actually determines sales success in your business and industry is, instead, better business acumen and executive level presentation skills. Your training did not target the skills that would give your team the competitive advantage.
To make a difference, you need to know what competencies are most critical for your team to succeed both now and in the future. And then you have to build or buy them to remain competitive. This requires effective training measurement of:
And again, back to the golf analogy, without consistently measuring the marketplace and your customers, how will you know what adjustments to make in the skills and knowledge of your workforce to meet new and evolving challenges?
The savvy golfer shifted with the course changes and worked more on driving than putting. Savvy companies keep a close eye on the changes that could affect their business and realign their training priorities to meet the shifting environment.
The Bottom Line
Learn from consistent measurement whether, as a professional golfer, you should focus on driving or putting. And learn from measurement, as a business manager, exactly what critical few competencies matter most for your team to succeed.
To learn more about corporate training metrics, download 5 Steps to Smarter Training Measurement
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