Faced with the uncertainty the EU Referendum result was bound to bring, markets and currency continue to test the public’s faith in better days to come. With more questions being raised than answers given or believed, companies across both the UK and Europe unsurprisingly have hit the pause button on investment and operational decisions. This could actually be an opportunity for L&D to make the case for more rather than less when it comes to budget.
How? Well, let’s look at the facts for a second.
For L&D, the issue is less about addressing clients’ business and strategic worries and concerns – this is what L&D already does – and more about the budget to do so.
While employees worry about job security or status in their chosen country of residence, it’s the role of leaders to provide reassurance the company is looking to a positive future. And what better way to do so than by investing in people development, showing them they are here to stay?
L&D is always under pressure to mount the business case that future investment in training will deliver exactly what the board expects:
- Lasting changes in behaviour leading to improving productivity and profit
- Clearly showing, quantifying and proving to have raised management effectivenss
No more, no less. And at ASK, we offer a helping hand in delivering exactly that.
Proving the business case requires ensuring knowledge transfer into the workplace. Otherwise it’s just another set of seminars or workshops your employees sit through, not work through. And with purse strings held tighter than ever, working with a provider evaluating everything you have set out to do instils confidence in L&D delivering tangible results.
Engage, Learn, Transfer, Evaluate… how does that work again?
Learning transfer requires excellence in programme design, with every stage working, enhancing and reinforcing the knowledge gained. Unaided behavioural change is impossible for most people and only a small percentage of what is learned on training programmes is typically transferred to daily workplace activity. Evidence shows that best practise is to begin progammes with engagement activities that inform and motivate the key stakeholders, forming a partnership in which line managers, L&D and HR commit to their respective responsibilities and work together.
By motivating and raising participant self-awareness using a combination of blended learning and rich feedback, key skills are enhanced by using the well-founded principle of deliberate practice.
When the learning comes to an end and the task of putting the new capabilities to work begins, the supportive partnership created during the engagement activity makes a real difference. In ASK programmes, job aids, tools and workplace-based Executive Coaching and Personal Development Mentors , help learners implement and extract the maximum benefit from their training.
And there we have it… knowledge transfer, rising productivity and – most importantly – profit.
And let’s not forget what we have set out to do… Evaluate
Going beyond Level 1, it’s our higher level evaluation services that provide measurement enabling L&D and HR functions make the best possible case for the investment in training and development.
Management and leadership are rich in learnable interpersonal skills, but without pre- and post-programme measurement (Level 3 Evaluation), behavioural change depends on subjective observation. We advise our customers to assess the attitudes and skills of participants using 360 degree feedback questionnaires before and after training, visibly showing any shift in behaviour as perceived by the audience that matters most for managers and leaders – their colleagues!
Measurement at Level 4 (Business Impact) is typically considered unaffordable, due to the complexities inherent in removing the impact of ‘externalities’ (such as current events and the economy). The strongest argument against using organisational performance as a measure of the effectiveness of management or leadership training, is the many factors influencing the performance of an organisation – the economy, climate and current affairs to name a few – and most of them are untouched by training, no matter how good that training is.
However, where the management or leadership development in question is part of a wider organisational change initiative, ASK have developed a simple and cost-effective methodology that produces each month a single metric that can be used to measure the impact of the training.
Drawing on the pioneering work on productivity of Robert D. Pritchard, Professor Emeritus at the University of Central Florida, our impact assessment:
- makes use of quantitative and qualitative metrics that are already being collected
- is ‘bottom-up’ so ownership remains with participants
- provides a single overall index of management ‘productivity’ with high informational value
- provides sub-indices that enable problem identification and solution finding
- enables comparison of different business units
And we want to leave you with this thought…
We can’t change the world or reduce its post-Brexit complexity or uncertainty, but for those of you responsible for the future of your organisation’s L&D investment, we can help you make your case and prove it. Wouldn’t that be helpful?
To schedule a free discussion with one of our consultants and talk about the needs of your organisation, click the button below and you can select a date and time convenient for you.
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