Posted by Caveo Learning ● December 11, 2014

Apply Business Metrics to Prove Value of Corporate University

business-metricsDefining the success of learning initiatives requires adopting KPIs that are business-focused, not learning-focused, to gain alignment with organizational business strategy.

Learning KPIs such as average test scores, course development numbers, or cumulative training hours, may on the surface seem like important benchmarks, but they are ultimately meaningless.

Instead, learning leaders should focus on determining exactly how learning solutions will address a key business need, and then set out to prove it.

A panel of learning leaders at the Chicagoland Learning Leaders Conference discussed strategies to design corporate university programs with strongly correlated, business-focused metrics. Here are some examples shared by Paulo Goelzer, president and CEO of the Independent Grocery Association, and Gail Leiber, senior director of global L&D operations for Abbott.

Measure training effectiveness with a post-initiative assessment.

Goelzer uses a simple yet effective process for rating the effectiveness of his organization’s training solutions. He compares the customer survey scores of stores that have undergone training, the stores’ pre-training scores, and the scores of similar stores that haven’t yet participated. Armed with that data, Goelzer can pinpoint the specific areas where the corporate education makes a difference… and where it needs tweaking. 

Identify key performance indicators prior to the learning journey.

Kit: Is Your “One-Page Learning Plan” in Place? Leiber uses a more complex system for determining the return on investment measure of performance. She seeks to isolate the dynamics of the various geographic markets where Abbott does business. External factors, such as the political and socioeconomic climate, can influence training ROI.

In drawing up training effectiveness metrics, Leiber examines a variety of business inputs. “What are the factors that affect that market, and what does that drive from a performance standpoint? And therefore, what do we need to be looking at to measure, to really show impact and what we’re doing to support the business?”

Put simply: learning leaders must determine what ideal employee performance looks like in a given situation, before any learning can be developed.

After that, create training effectiveness metrics that definitively show whether that ideal performance is taking place.

Watch the video to see the full discussion.

Topics: Metrics & Measurement, Learning Strategy, Interviews with Learning Leaders