How do you measure the impact of learning?

Every year organisations make significant investments in learning and development.

However assessing the impact of these initiatives can be a tough – yet critical – part of the whole L & D process. After all, why would you invest in any performance improvement without measuring the results against your expectations?

L & D professionals in organisations are always keen on identifying reliable metrics and methods to measure the effectiveness of learning initiatives in their organisations for a variety of reasons.

The benefits of L & D measurement include, but are not limited to, things like enhancing knowledge and skills, boosting employee engagement, as well as acting as a critical indicator for planning future learnings. As well as a key performance indicator of return on investment for learning and development.

A mixed approach

However one size does not fit all, in fact the best approach for measuring impact of learning is to use a variety of approaches and tools. Stage 4 of our observable behaviour change process includes a mix of Measurable Action Plans and Delegate Buddies that support participants when they’re back in the workplace.

So what are your go-to measurement tools for your L & D programmes? We did a quick poll of the favourites from our team and clients and currently the following are top of the list.

Staff or customer engagement surveys

Simply asking for feedback from participants on the value they received is a very simple yet useful tool to implement. Beyond the simple pre and post assessments make space for participants to evaluate the learnings. You can also consider assessing engagement during a workshop or programme, where you have more of the participants active attention.

What about a post training retention survey, to prove how effective the training was in the long term? Armed with this feedback you can continue to make changes and improvements to ensure that participants remain engaged and get value from the learning initiatives.

360° feedback from colleagues and peers

Gathering direct feedback from subordinates, peers, supervisors and customers is really useful and may enable more objective and participative results to be taken into consideration. Again looking at before, during and after the learning and development initiatives.

Self-reflection

Participants self monitoring, before, during and straight after the learning and development intervention is really useful. But self-reflection some time (2 – 3 months) after the event gives a truer insight to how useful the learnings have been. Using reflective learning with questions such as ‘What am I doing differently?’ and ‘Where has the training made a difference to me?’ gives valuable feedback as well as participant buy-in.