According to the 2021 edition of Mckinsey’s report of The Next Normal, technological, social and emotional skills will be imperative for more and more jobs by 2030. This showcases the urgency of learning programs which is only set to rise in this rapidly changing world of work. The training objective of any learning initiative is fulfilled when employees who have undergone training gain new skills and can apply them to their jobs. This impact is the critical factor which adds value to enable the business to thrive in the hybrid workspace and counter existing skill gaps. What organisations need is performance oriented, personalised and ROI- focused L&D programs.
To enable leaders to implement effective strategies for measuring and maximising learning impact, People Matters and BI Worldwide recently hosted a webcast joined by Rohin Nadir, National Head-Capability Development, KPMG and Komal Singh, Director HR- APAC & EMEA, InMobi. In this conversation, key topics centred around the learning ecosystem, organisational strategy and raising the effectiveness of learning programs were discussed and deliberated upon.
Kickstarting the discussion with trends on workplace learning, Rohin rightly says, “The more personalised the learning is, the closer it is to reality, the higher is its probability of working effectively.”
Komal also vouches for a flexible learning approach that takes account of the audience and the cultural context to build on its effectiveness. In other words, the problem statement to the learning program must be rightly defined.
Innovating the terrain of learning assessments:
Measuring assessments of any L&D program falls in line with measuring outcomes which requires the correct usage of metrics. Komal emphasises on the need for carrying out in-depth feedback because learning experiences tend to vary. One has to truly invest effort in understanding the audience and what is the real change being driven by the program. An interesting way to carry this out is placing emphasis on learning reflections, encouraging the learner themselves to understand their starting points, where the needle has shifted, what are their takeaways and what will they do differently following this program.
“Learning is experiential and how people are engaging with that process and if it is creating the right learning experience is an important measure,” emphasises Komal.
Rohin vouches for the use of varied models for varied interventions ranging from pre- and post assessments and measuring 30-60 transference of skills post the program. When carrying out post assessments, one can take the simple route of going by the learner’s assessment or they can also correlate this with their performance manager’s assessment to truly understand the change and impact delivered. Gamified schools are also a critical resource for real time impact assessment which can help ascertain the cognitive impact of the L&D program. One can create Leaderboards, assign badges or even reward points to completing a course. It is only when we invest in rewarding right behaviors can we find results in behavioral change which will ultimately lead to better business outcomes.
“The future is where LMS, LXP, resourcing platform, business platform, history of learner engagement talk to each other,” advises Rohin. Following this line of thought, he points out the usage of effort estimates, blended learning journeys, NPS and even looking at top performers, their learning metrics and how they are engaging with the learning ecosystem. Learning impact and effectiveness has to be looked at not from a training perspective but also an ecosystem perspective.
The Challenges that remain and how data can help:
Assessing the impact of L&D programs requires tremendous effort because of the vast numbers of data being generated. Systems are not designed to capture data in a way that can deliver comprehensible insights to people. Moreover, they are highly dependent on people being responsive to the data collecting mechanisms such as feedback forms for instance. The other challenge that must be addressed is the need for learning solutions to be aligned with reality, designed effectively to deliver impact and build the capacities that the organization is on the lookout for.
What’s ironic is that data can also be a boon if captured effectively to define learning needs, design learning programs and to ensure the outcome it is being designed for is truly delivered.
When data is leveraged to offer critical insights and made accessible to the right leadership, it can help in building business cases to drive your investments in the right direction. It can push you to make data informed decisions that will positively impact the business strategy of your company.
Aligning your learning programs with the organizational culture:
Change management effort is extremely critical to ensure the effectiveness of your L&D programs. Komal very interestingly points out how organizational culture is 20% what is seen and 80% of unspoken behaviours. Following this line of thought, she emphasises about the impact that learning can have on those unspoken behaviours.
One has to inculcate the organizational culture in every conversation, in every L&D program, it’s design and implementation. Learning around organizational culture can help determine how organizations will evolve five years down the line. Trust and transparency is also extremely critical as well as benchmarking the L&D programs system to drive behavioural and cultural change. Organisational culture is an ongoing conversation that can be geared by L&D programs.
LMS and LXP also need to sit within the culture and overall ecosystem, organizations have to look at completion rates, as well as rely on resourcing platforms to check the change in skills and proficiencies of their people and whether they align with the business strategy. Looking at patterns of learners through data, becoming an ardent student of behavioural economics be it nudge theory, choice architecture, branding are all critical strategies to further implement effective learning.
A final takeaway is that while we are measuring the learning impact and vouching for personalized learning programs, we must always look at the bigger picture. Learning programs have to fit in with the overall learning ecosystem of the organization, it has to align with the business strategy and come from a business need and most importantly, a change stemming from learning has to be witnessed at all levels of the organization. In line with change management, knowledge management and technology adoption, it is very critical that we encourage a learner’s mindset across the length and breadth of the organization to truly deliver business impact and behavioural change.
To watch the complete webcast, click here.