Sustainable business growth can’t be achieved without highly skilled employees. Creating a culture of learning for employees and leaders through learning & development programmes became a top priority for HR professionals. In fact, learning and development programs have become the major focus of investment in many organisations since they are seen as strategic tools for employee engagement, productivity, and overall organisational growth.

This value is clear to many HR or L&D professionals. However, many HR professionals are struggling to prove the return on investment (ROI) and the correlation between their business success and their training and development program to their executives. In fact, only 8% of the respondents to a McKinsey survey said that they track their programs’ return on investment. Another study from the ROI Institute found that 74% of CEOs want to see ROI in their learning programs, yet, in reality, only 4% do. These are mostly because of the methods, approach, and the lack of digitalisation of traditional programmes.

A successful training or a learning program must equip employees with the necessary skills, must be sustainable as well as create business value and a measurable ROI. So how is it possible to create real value and prove the worth of training programs? Here are the steps you need to take:

1- Make Sure Why a Training Programme is Needed

Behind almost every training need, there is a challenge – whether it’s a process that needs to be improved or lack of communication between managers and their teams. So the very first step to effective training is to conduct an overall analysis of the needs and challenges of an organisation. This is where you identify the skill gaps, performance gaps (as well as the causes), pain points and the potential business impact of the learning and development program. Try to include all the stakeholders to get better inputs. This enables you to implement your program with a clear focus and business goals. 

For example, if your organisational goal is providing better customer service, a programme in which managers coach employees with proven success customer-engagement techniques would be suitable for you. 

Another important reason to conduct analysis is that many training programs are requested for the wrong reasons based on a hot topic or a trend. We also witness that managers request “any type of training” for their staff from the HR, without addressing any problems or goals.

However, we know that training is the smallest part of the 70-20-10 rule in development with a 10% share. On-the-job learning (70) and coaching/mentoring (20) are more important than actual training in most cases. 

For these reasons, you need to focus on your organisational and employee needs to choose the right solution. But most importantly, make sure you always support your training with coaching/mentoring and provide conditions for employees to successfully implement their learnings at their workplace.

2- Design Your Programme Result-Oriented

A training programme should be designed to produce results in line with your focus and goals. In order to track and measure the process and see the impact clearly, you should:

a- Utilise technology, the right tools and contemporary methods for quantifiable results.

b- Identify the right metrics whether they are for cost reduction, retention, productivity, employee engagement, customer satisfaction/loyalty or work quality. 

Determining the right metrics is the key to creating real value from training. For instance, instead of just measuring the time allocation data of the program attendees, you should measure the impact of the programme through business metrics, such as sales, Net Promoter Score (NPS) or conversion rates. 

3-  Set the Framework and Roles

Let every stakeholder be aware of the process, the training framework, the content, and their roles beforehand so that they can be ready to address issues and take action. 

4- Measure the Results

Once you’ve determined your needs, the method, and your metrics, measure your metrics before you start your training in order to compare them with the final results. That’s how you can demonstrate the value of employee training and the development programme and calculate the training ROI.

Showing the effectiveness in terms of actual money can be challenging, especially when it comes to soft skills training. But thanks to the improvements in HR tech, organisations are now able to reach meaningful analytics by spending less time and money than with traditional methods. 

5- Optimise the Process

You track and measure the training process for a reason. Use this data for optimising the ROI and allocation. When you continually revise, you will be able to get insights into the correlation between capabilities, performance and your training program. You will also be able to assess your previous metrics. If possible, try to compare your data against industry benchmarks.

6- Create a Learning Environment

Putting a value in training isn’t just about measuring and showing the training ROI. It is very important to make learning a part of your company culture where all leaders and teams take time to process what they’ve learned, apply their learning to their work, and provide feedback. 

And most importantly, try to ensure the transfer of knowledge and learning. This can be successfully achieved by adopting a coaching culture in which everyone in an organisation improves their capabilities through coaching. This way organisations can close existing skill gaps and even discover new talents.

Build and Maintain a Learning Environment and Measure your Process with Digital Coaching

Digital coaching is one of the best ways to see the value of training or an L&D programme. With a wide range of tools, digital coaching can cater to every learner’s needs – even for large organisations, while requiring a lower training budget than traditional approaches. 

At SparkUs, we also add the human touch since we know digital coaching by itself can’t replace a real-life coach or mentor. Our approach consists of: 

SparkUs Team & HR Meeting: Here we analyse your organisational goals and determine the development strategy and the main development agenda.

Insight Meetings & Feedback: Here we evaluate the development agenda and provided that the programme requires utilisation of technology, we create a mock-up platform for the stakeholders.

Program Design, Pilot & Launch: This is when we create a bespoke coaching programme and micro-pilot for further customisation.

Running the coaching and training process through the SparkUs Digital Coaching Platform. Our platform enables you to:

  • Implement the right development program for your employees.
  • Implement suitable measurement tools according to the strategic goals of your programme
  • Use the measurement design as part of the program design
  • Turn a verbal process like coaching into numeric data
  • Combine Net Promoter Score (NPS), 360-degree evaluation, pre- / post-test methods with the platform
  • Calculate ROI according to the strategic goal of your organisation all without violating the confidentiality of the coaching sessions.

And last but not least, we get the support of our professional coaches throughout the whole process. Our programmes are designed and run by ICF credentialed coaches with over 40 years of expertise. 

Contact us to see how we can create value for your learning programmes.

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