14 Nov Top Challenges of L&D Heads in Measuring Performance Impact of Trainings
Analyze and Measure Impact
The Head of Learning & Development (L&D) and Business Heads, mostly from upcoming mid-sized organizations, often share that they find it challenging to analyze and measure impact of trainings organized by their team on performance.
The most common cited reasons for not able to measure impact of trainings beyond the smiley sheets or post-program feedback are:
- Non-Linkage or alignment of training programs and interventions with the team or business performance. In a recent interaction with the CEO of a Sales ITES organization, he shared that 40% of his partner sales impact was due to lack of robust adherence to Internal Processes. On further investigation, it was found that despite having the process, the internal employees were not facing any positive or negative consequences for non-adherence. Even the non-monetary rewards were not motivating enough to follow the process. This organization was trying to do a Leadership intervention as a solution to address internal processes issues. Thus a wrongly identified solution or an intervention cannot create the desired performance or business impact.
- Incomplete or non-availability of existing performance data. When the L&D team is asked to provide analytics on the linkage of performance issues with the suggested solution or intervention, they often cite lack of data. They rely mostly on Training Needs Identification (TNI) data which are not scientifically done but based on what the managers may report during performance appraisals.
- Insufficiently trained L&D team to use performance analytics and select right interventions.Many times it has been observed that the L&D team are not sufficiently trained on performance analytics to establish causal connection between performance data and performance issues. For example, they find it difficult to tell whether non-entry of data in mobile tabs by the ground sales person is due to inability of the sales person, connectivity issues, complexity of the software for entry e.g. GST portal where many entrepreneurs and their team found it cumbersome to fill up data on GST portal. Even the indirect tax officials found it difficult to fill up GST returns. So L&D and Business HR partner should be able to build their competence in establishing causal connections for non-performance or to take the performance at a higher level.
- Lack of strategic focus of the L&D and business teams. They are mostly stuck at the tactical levels of measurement on impact of training. They spend their maximum time to organize training events, create reports to measure mandays covered for training , budget utilization/cost per head, percentage of attendance, trainer’s and training feedback percent. Instead , they need to spend time with the business team to understand why performance or business is getting affected due to people issues. If people or other external factors are the cause that affect performance. They need to sit and identify whether product complexity, sales cycle, or just sitting at the office by sales people is the cause for slowdown in sales etc.
Therefore instead of being problem-focused, lets try to identify most effective solutions like:
- Train internally the L&D and BPHR teams on performance analytics with actual data from the organization instead of only open workshops or seminars.
- HR teams themselves should attend Strategic thinking programs instead of only nominating their business teams.
- Listen to business team carefully and capture data on a consistent basis in an integrated HR Information system so that there are no or minimal gaps in missing data.
- Weekly/Monthly HR meetings should have discussions on insights and patterns from the analysed data than only discussing tactical and operational data. Instead of discussing that the Time to Fill a position is taking x days, share what are the specific observations of filling up such a position in other business and regions and how we can learn the best practice.
I’m sure the experts and stalwarts of HR, L&D team may have more observations and solutions to offer beyond the above.