Demonstrating learning effectiveness: How to make this bane into a boon
Passing through tunnels of technological advancements, a famous saying goes “If time is money, data is gold.” The modern developments have facilitated the need for data as a mandatory element for learning. In today’s world, we are surrounded by all kinds of data, but can we be successful just by collecting data and storing it? Obviously not. The same goes for learning as well. All the information that we have and everything that we have learned should be put into practice only then will your learning be effective.
The fact that the overall development of an organization measures the effectiveness of learning is not at all unknown. For example, schools collect masses of data such as tracking grades, attendance, test scores, etc. and this data is used to analyze the student’s performance. Collecting data and analyzing it helps us to assess ourselves in an informative manner, and it paves the way for better learning. Although data collecting is beneficial for learning, it is crucial to identify the reason behind it. If you are only collecting it because you have to or you are told to do so, then there would be no effectiveness in your learning. When you use your data wisely, your organization will soon realize that this learning intervention has led to business results.
Evaluation of your training program
There is an urgent need to evaluate the training we go through so that there is a better outcome in organizations. In a Masterclass conducted by People Matters during the L&D Conference 2019, Ms. Preethi Rao, Head of learning effectiveness, C2COD gave her insights on ‘The new world Kirk-Patrick model’. The Kirkpatrick method helps you to create an effective training evaluation plan for any program to display the organizational value of your work.
The three primary reasons to evaluate training programs are nothing but the improvement of the program, to transform learning into behavior and obtain desired results and to demonstrate the effectiveness of this training to the organization. There are four levels of assessment that you need in order to evaluate your training program. They are as follows.
Reaction - It must be ensured that the training is very favorable to the learners and at the same time, keep them engaged in the program. The critical factor in this level is the relevance of this training program to the participant’s job.
Learning - This is the degree in your evaluation where you need to check if your training program imbibes in you the required skills, knowledge, attitude, confidence and commitment. Keeping in mind the active participation of the learner, the skills acquired would differ from participant to participant.
Behavior - The real shift from learning to behavior happens on this level. You must recall if the things that you have learned in your training are applied to your job and aids in your contribution to the organization.
Results - The training that you’ve been through if actively participated, should take you to your desired outcomes. This is the level where you not only learn but also monitor, reinforce and reward yourself and others.
Every training program must be evaluated by these time-tested training four levels of evaluation. Acknowledging your position, you must aim to reach the next level and ultimately, the results. Another essential responsibility of an effective training program is to create a learning culture in an organization. There are a few ways to bring about a learning culture in your workplace:
Reward continuous learning: Only through encouragement and short term rewards can one stay motivated and enthusiastic about learning more. Take out time to appreciate the efforts for continuous learning because not only is it beneficial for the individual but also the organization as a whole.
Giving meaningful and constructive feedback: Gone are the days when feel-good approaches helped learners to participate enthusiastically. There is no harm in telling a neighbor about significant changes one can acquire to be a better version of oneself.
Lead by example: Creating a learning culture also includes leading others. Don’t ask others to do what you don’t practice instead have the courage to walk the talk.
Organizations that seek to build up a learning culture must ensure the implementation of programs that allow the participants to not only learn from them but also lead and teach the others at the same time by applying their learnings in their jobs. A learning culture strengthens the foundation of any organization and an organization with a weak foundation will not stand long. As said, “The single biggest driver of business impact is the strength of an organization’s learning culture.”
(This article is based on the masterclass on demonstrating learning effectiveness-how to make this bane into a boon by Ms. Preethi Rao, Head of learning effectiveness C2COD, conducted during People Matters L&D Conference 2019.)