by L. Sanders | March 18, 2024 | 5 Min Read

Quantifying Training Impact: Connecting Learning to Performance Metrics

Performance Metrics

Quantifying the impact of training on employee performance and organizational outcomes is a critical aspect of L&D.

This week, we’ll review how to connect learning objectives with performance metrics to illustrate the real-world impact of training initiatives.

The Importance of a Connection

Creating a clear linkage between what is learned in training sessions and how it translates into improved job performance is crucial. It turns abstract learning objectives into concrete, measurable outcomes that can be tracked and evaluated.

Programs aligned with business objectives are three times more likely to lead to improved outcomes.

(Source: Brandon Hall Group)

Illustrating With Real-World Examples

Case Study 1: L&D has been contacted by a Safety leader because there are “too many work-related injuries.”

  • A poor training objective would be: “Learners will understand better safety practices.”
  • A better objective is: “Improve safety results from X to Y.”
  • Better still: “Improve (specific) incidents from X to Y over a (period of time).”

Clearly the “poor” example is hard to evaluate and it’s “iffy” on whether it’ll actually improve safety. The “better” option is easier to evaluate and has a clear connection to a result the Safety team wants to improve. And targeting the most-common injuries and having a time period are a plus!

Case Study 2: A sales organization wants to improve sales on their “powered-by-AI” software product.

A typical L&D organization would ask the sales organization questions like:

  • When does the training need to be delivered? 
  • What format? 
  • Who’s taking the training? 

Those are all good questions; however, a “next level” L&D team would also ask questions like:

  • What are sales now?
  • What’s the improvement target for sales? 
  • How can we help the sales team succeed in that objective — where are the biggest opportunities?

The answers to these questions will provide baseline metrics and a future target. Plus, the L&D team will get bonus information as to what sales behavior or activity needs focus. (Obviously, more than just three questions will need to be asked… but you get the picture.)

Connecting learning to performance metrics not only validates the investment in training but also ensures that training programs are relevant, practical, and tailored to meet both the learners' needs and the business’s strategic objectives.

How Can Unboxed Training & Technology Support? 

With competency and skill trends:

  • Skills Gap Analysis: Tracking competency and skill trends allows organizations to identify gaps between current skills and future needs. This information is crucial for workforce planning, talent development, and succession planning initiatives.
  • Targeted Training Programs: Identifying emerging skill trends enables organizations to design targeted training programs to address specific competency gaps. This ensures that employees have the skills and knowledge required to meet evolving job requirements and business demands.
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