There’s certainly no shortage of metrics L&D can use to measure training programs. From the number of hours employees spend completing a course to assessment scores, numbers abound and can be tracked accordingly.
While such metrics as course completion rates and pass/fail rates are certainly valuable, learning leaders are increasingly searching for ways to measure the business impact of L&D programs.
Simply put, how does training affect the bottom line?
While each organization is different, there are certain methodologies that can be put in place to measure the business impact of your training programs.
How do you plan, organize and execute an L&D audit that provides valuable insights and actionable recommendations? Download this free toolkit, which includes templates and checklists, for the planning of your L&D audit.
How to Measure the Business Impact of L&D
Several other teams would need to work closely with L&D to measure the bottom-line impact of training and development programs.
Sales Data and KPIs
Perhaps one of the best ways to measure whether something is working or is not is an increase in revenue.
An increase in sales does not necessarily signal that salespeople have successfully incorporated sales training into their daily roles. An increase in sales, especially those that are complex and consultative, can also mean that others involved in the sale have improved their performance, or that the company’s product or service delivery has improved, and those improvements, perhaps achieved because employees are doing their jobs better, can be tied to increased revenue for the organization.
Job Performance Metrics
HR can step in and provide L&D with performance metrics for employees before and after training. Each department and role has its own way of measuring employee performance and impact to the organization.
For software engineers, it might be less time needed to push code to production. For customer care representatives, it might mean more tickets responded to or higher ratings left by customers.
For other teams, it might mean fewer expenses incurred, such as less money spent on outside contractors because the newly-trained staff are able to handle additional tasks without needing to hire external resources.
Aligning L&D performance with organization wide KPIs requires a deep dive into what training the business truly needs. Get started with this downloadable training needs analysis template.
Compliance training is often difficult to measure. Oftentimes it’s a must-have, based on industry requirements.
However, to prove the impact of compliance training, L&D can work with legal, accounting, IT, and other teams to determine whether there is now less risk in the organization because employees have successfully undergone compliance training. There might be fewer legal challenges or fewer fines or fees that the organization has had to pay because proper compliance training has been delivered and implemented.
Attribution is difficult to measure in any business discipline. In order to verify that L&D programs were indeed responsible for the positive results achieved, it’s important to understand what other factors may or may not have helped bring about those results.
For example, even higher sales, cited above as the ultimate metric of success, might be attributed not to better-trained salespeople but rather to additional features added to the company’s products or services.
If other factors can be held constant, then the results of L&D efforts would be clearer for all to see. The “Before” numbers are just as important as the “After” numbers in order to demonstrate tangible impact.
Further, some learning leaders demonstrate to senior leadership the business impact of not implementing L&D. Not only can this be useful to obtain the resources and assets needed to launch much-needed training programs, but learning professionals can also have the “Before” numbers which can help them develop and deliver programs to learners with a sharp eye for the “After.”
Upskilling and reskilling programs will be essential to maintaining your organization’s competitive advantage in the years ahead. Learn how to get started with your upskilling and reskilling program in this free eBook:
How Upskilling and Reskilling Programs Can Futureproof Your Workforce