How to measure leadership training impact

How to measure leadership training impact

When it comes to deciding what leadership training to implement, it always comes down to the bottom line.
What will yield the greatest return? So often we are asked the following questions:

How do we know that if we spend money on training, we will see results?

How can we measure the results of training?

How do we know we are getting a return on our investment?

How can we increase our return on leadership training?”

These are all legitimate questions that need to be addressed.   Let’s consider how we change a habit. Have you ever heard the saying “21 days to make a habit”? This is such a simple concept that we overlook the impact that simple repetition will have on how we change behavior.   I relate this to the power of positive thinking. We have the ability to alter our thought processes simply by repeating a positive phrase each day for 21 days or more. Writing it down reinforces and solidifies the change on a deeper level. So how does an organization set up a training program that sets up each individual for success, providing measurable results that rock your bottom line?

At SSTL, we believe in developing programs that cut to the chase, they must be engaging, effective, useful, and lasting. Transformation comes when we build skill and confidence in the areas that will make us successful. To do this, effective leadership training resembles a circle of continual improvement and reinforcement. The days of 3 days of leadership training where you take home a manual is no longer effective.   Additionally, relying solely on on-line learning without practice and reinforcement has its’ shortcomings as well. A hybrid of learning is most effective. The workforce is too busy, time is money, and attention spans are shrinking. Speak So They Listen pays close attention to the culture of today’s workforce. Training must be pointed and change must happen with practice and repetition. Therefore, we have partnered with MindmarkerX, a leader in training reinforcement, to fill the gap in leadership skill development and measurable results. We care about your returns and business impact.

At a time when we are beginning to launch our new App reinforcement tools for mobile, on-the-go learning, I felt that this would be a great time to share a blog written by Anthonie Wurth, President of MindmarkerX to expand on our methodology of training for optimal returns.

How to Measure Leadership Training Effectiveness

B Y: A N T H O N I E WU RT H |L E A D E R S H I P , B E H AV I O R C H A N G E

In 2013, Deloitte revealed that U.S. businesses spent a whopping $15.5 billion on leadership development. Despite sinking this much money into leadership training, research shows that most organizations do not feel confident that pipeline talent can meet the corporation’s future needs. How do you measure leadership training effectiveness? What can your organization do to address and close the leadership skills gap? Is your organization measuring training impact? Measure Leadership Training Impact Many leadership development training managers believe that the impact of their leadership training cannot really be measured, but this isn’t necessarily true. Your leadership training should be measured to evaluate the return on your training investments.

One reliable way to measure training impact is to look at KirkPatrick Model Level 3: Behavior.

Has the leadership training resulted in behavior change? Did your leaders change the way that they approach tasks? Are they applying their new knowledge and skills acquired in their training?

If not, then training managers need to reevaluate their training goals and assess why their learners are not achieving the desired behavior changes.

Study Behavior Change

By analyzing behavioral changes after training, you learn valuable information about what parts of the training were impactful and which were not.

How to Measure Leadership Training Effectiveness… 2/5

Quizzes and surveys can help you evaluate whether your leaders gleaned important lessons from the trainings, or whether more skills reinforcement is needed. Another pitfall to effective skills development is that, many times, skills reinforced in training are not necessarily truly relevant to professional leadership development.

It is critical to make sure your leadership training achieves your training goals, accomplishes your business objectives, and increases business impact. Otherwise, the skills gap will still persist.

KirkPatrick levels are just one way to measure effectiveness. If your organization does not use the KirkPatrick model, that’s fine. As long as you are looking at your training results and business impact, your organization will be able to measure leadership training effectiveness.

How to Define Effective Leadership Training

Let’s take a moment to define effectiveness vs. efficiency. There is a critical difference between effectiveness (“do the right thing”) and efficiency (“do things right”).

What are you really looking for when seeking effectiveness? While efficiency has a place, it doesn’t necessarily produce the desired impact. When you want to measure leadership training effectiveness, you really need to measure 3 elements: application, timing, and impact.

How are your leaders using their new skills and when are these new skills being used? Based on these first two measurements, you can determine whether or not the training created impact within the organization.

Set Measurable Training Goals & Benchmarks

To measure training impact, you must be clear about what results you want to see after training. Be specific. Often times training goals are broad and organizations fail to set clear benchmarks, such as measurable training results and reinforcement objectives.

Notice the emphasis is on the ability to do something, not actually doing it. Have your leaders moved from knowledge to application? Once you have outlined results driven goals, you determine your measurable reinforcement objectives.

One strategy to try is the 3×4 approach. Think about these 3 measurements of time – weeks, months and quarters. What do you wish to achieve in 4 weeks, 4 months, and 4 quarters?

Build these measurable training goals and learning objectives into your training programs and make them clear to leaders. When leaders know what they’ll be evaluated on and why it matters, they’re more likely to grasp and implement training goals and reinforcement objectives.

As with any training goal, repetition and reinforcement yields the highest returns and impact for an organization. To learn more about how our new App reinforcement tools can increase your ROI, contact us today for a FREE discovery call! We look forward to hearing from you.