How to Use Corporate Training Metrics to Drive Value

How to Use Corporate Training Metrics to Drive Value
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Why Corporate Training Metrics Matter

Are corporate training metrics simply exercises in futility to placate training experts and HR but otherwise have no meaningful value to the business or to training participants?  Yes!  If you are only measuring Level-1 Training Metrics like: training satisfaction, hours, costs, number of participants, types of programs, etc.

The Value of Training Measurement
When done right, successful companies have learned that corporate training metrics have tremendous value in three areas:

  • Helping to evaluate what matters (where to focus your efforts)
  • Tracking progress (what is working and not working)
  • Increasing accountability (what is expected, modeled, and rewarded)

A Golf Analogy
Take the game of golf. It used to be that putting was the most 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.

In Business
The same is true in the corporate environment. Without assessing what skills matter most in your unique workplace situation, 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 most valuable 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:

  • Training Adoption
    Are they using it?
  • Training Proficiency
    How good are they at it?
  • Training Impact
    Is it making a difference?

This can be done through leadership simulation assessments, surveys, or focus groups.  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 strategy to meet the shifting environment.

The Bottom Line
Like a professional golfer that should focus on driving over putting, make sure that you know exactly what critical few work competencies matter most for your team to succeed.

To learn more about corporate training metrics, download 5 Steps to Smarter Corporate Training Measurement

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