In a recent blog post titled: Are You Measuring the Business Impact of Your Employee Training Programs? we identified a 4 step process for demonstrating the value of your employee training programs through measuring business impact. Defining the problem and your employee training solution is the first step in measuring business impact. The second step in this process is to define your business impact indicators. The third step to measuring business impact is to gather, record, and analyze your data.
At the beginning of this stage, you’ll first need to develop a data collection plan. You need to consider what factors would be beneficial for your overall analysis of your employee training program, such as:
- Timeframe of data collection
Given the specifics of your training program, what are the appropriate times to gather data? How long after your training has ended would you expect to see positive changes in performance? Will you collect data weekly, monthly, annually?
- Identify data sources
Where will you find the data that you’ll need? Are your departments already running reports that you can access, or do you need to perform surveys or assessments periodically? If you’re relying on others for your data collection, make sure that they understand the context of your project, their role in the data collection process and your expectations of timing.
- Establish baseline or comparative data
Prior to the kickoff of your training program, you’ll want to establish baseline data by which to compare your results to. Determine which data would best represent your starting point. For example, will you be comparing employee groups, trained vs. not trained, or will you be focused on individual achievements?
Documenting your data collection strategy will help all parties involved remain focused and accountable during the process. Once your training program is underway you’ll be able to compile the data necessary to conduct your business impact analysis.
The main goal of analyzing your data is to help you get a better understanding of these 3 key areas:
- What do the results say about your training program?
- Do your results match the business objectives you first set out to achieve?
- What lessons can be learned from your results?
As you analyze your data you’ll want to include any additional evaluations that were conducted during the training. For example, did your participants answer survey questions regarding their perceived value of the training? This might provide additional insights that impact your results. You’ll also want to consider anything else going on in your business that may have impacted your results. For example, were there other initiatives occurring at the same time as your training program. The more comprehensive your analysis, the more credible your findings will be.
Stay tuned, our next blog post in this series will focus on the final step, sharing the results of your analysis.
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband, Steve, and her Siamese cat, Elvis, and with family and friends.