Behavior and performance evaluation is arguably one of the most difficult things to measure from training. One of the reasons for this, is that business critical behavioral goals after-training haven’t been defined, don’t line up with the ultimate goals of the business, or data to evaluate these behaviors is difficult to obtain.
When you build a house, you need to start with a solid foundation. We explore this foundation in our last blog post. After your foundation is built, you are then creating an environment that is future-proofed and reliable.
Taking a Step Back
In this journey from foundation to completion, it’s important to step back and look at your training. This can require asking a few tough questions that will determine if your foundation is truly “strong” enough for what you are trying to accomplish (proving changes in behavior and performance impact).
Some critical questions to ask are:
- Has employee performance changed because of learning and development?
- Is there evidence to show people are applying what they learned?
- How do we know our training efforts produce desired results?
The answers to these questions give insight into learning’s impact on behavior and skill.
Business results are driven by people’s performance. When learning and development fulfills its highest purpose, it impacts behavior, thought, and skill and shows up in day-to-day performance. Performance-driven learning and development produces results that are observable and measurable.
Getting Started With a Performance-Based Approach
In the chain of evidence that shows learning and development’s impact on achieving business goals, the links between performance and business results are strong. In fact, the extent to which people use skills and behaviors required to achieve business goals determines growth, success or failure. It’s important to not lose sight that training and development’s goal is building capability and performance that impact business results.
A performance-based approach for learning and development is driven by measurable outcomes. Measurable outcomes for performance show up in observable behaviors. Traditional performance outcomes are expressed as “People will know…” or “People will understand…” but knowing and understanding something doesn’t describe performance. How will we know that they “know” and how will we know they “understand”? We do that by describing the desired skills and behaviors as performance that we can observe and measure.
When we describe performance outcomes resulting from learning and development, we create the link to business results.
- An observable, measurable performance outcome described as, “Resolve customer calls without escalation”, supports the business goal for “Improving first call resolution by 10%.”
- An observable, measurable performance outcome described as, “Use robot-assisted calibration tool to align machinery mechanism”, supports the business goal for “Decreasing product returns by 95%.”
There’s a direct impact on business results from performance outcomes and the outcomes are measurable.
There are a variety of case study examples showcasing talent development’s success with this through the usage of enabling learning technologies such as Waypoints inline training software. Waypoints supports competency-based training which can quantify that an employee actually “can apply” or “perform” what is being taught. This performance data is captured in Storepoints Learning Record Store (LRS) to provide reports that can be mapped to support performance goals and prove impact to business goals.
An example of Waypoints with WordPress
Clients use Waypoints in order to prove employees are proficient at the software that they use day-to-day in their organization. This is done by first walking users through the software, step-by-step with guided workflow pop-ups. At the end of the training, the user can prove application of what they learned. In the case of call-center ticket resolution, the user is given an issue to resolve. Waypoints verifies that the user can perform the steps involved to create a ticket, edit a ticket, and close/resolve a ticket, and provides performance data about the steps and time it took to complete each task.
Building a foundation of excellence starts with a conversation. If you found yourself answering ”no” to the questions provided above, it might be time to start thinking about ways to make them turn into an empowering “yes.” Riptide’s Learning team, or Kevin Yates, would be happy to speak with you about how to begin making talent development changes at your organization today.
Check out the next blog post in this series: What Everyone Should Know About Evaluating Learning Knowledge Transfer.
About the Authors
Kevin M. Yates
Kevin M. Yates is a data detective for training, learning and development answering the question, “Did training work?” with facts. He is also creator of The COURAGE Model©. Connect with Kevin on his website, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Elements makes eLearning easier through enabling, behavior-focused learning technology that provides insightful analytics (Storepoints Learning Record Store), and walk-through software training (Waypoints)”