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Measuring and Proving Learning Success in Your Organization

Natalie Benfell 

May 1, 2019

There are many benefits to learning at work: it can boost team and individual performance, improve employee retention, and contribute to your bottom line. See the infographic at the end of this blog to discover a host of other advantages, too!

However, some organizations can be reluctant to spend money on a learning strategy if they doubt that they will see an immediate return on their investment.

And despite the benefits we’ve highlighted, learning is sometimes hard to quantify, and some L&D practitioners struggle to prove its success and value to their stakeholders.

So, how can you prove to your organization that employees are engaging with your learning solutions, and are genuinely benefiting from the resources dedicated to them?

There are lots of different ways that you can measure success. And Mind Tools is here to help you to identify and measure those successes!

Mind Tools’ Client Success team highlights five factors that you need to consider when analyzing your L&D results:

1. Do Your Learning “Successes” Match Your Business Objectives?

When defining your learning strategy, it’s important to include KPIs that align with your organization’s overall business goals. Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Training Evaluation Model identifies a number of outcomes to consider, including:

  • Increased employee retention.
  • Increased production.
  • Higher morale.
  • Fewer staff complaints.

Monitor these KPIs regularly so you can see whether your learning strategy is having a positive impact.

2. Are Users Sharing What They Have Learned?

Employees sharing learning resources that have engaged them is a great sign that they’re really benefiting from them. It’s also an effective way to encourage further engagement from other users. People are much more likely to engage in learning if it’s been recommended by their peers. Encourage users to share the content they’ve engaged with by getting a group discussion going.

3. Are You Measuring Quality Traffic?

Tracking the number of visitors is a popular way of measuring user engagement, but it doesn’t take into account how successfully you’ve promoted the learning.

When sending a marketing email to learners, measure how the click through rate compares to the number of opens. Likewise, consider the traffic on your platform against click through rates, to measure the impact of your marketing. You can measure this from campaign to campaign and test how well you perform in each.

4. Can You Any Spot Spikes in Activity?

A spike in activity can indicate a number of things. For example, if it coincides with a campaign that you’ve carried out, it’s a great indication that the topic, execution, or an element of the campaign has been successful.

Consider the resources that you used, who you sent them out to, how you sent them, and the time and day you ran the campaign. By analyzing what you did, you can then run a similar campaign to try to replicate the results.

Do some small tests and tweaks to your campaigns to identify what elements best engage your users, and then apply that to the rest of your marketing activity.

If there wasn’t any planned activity around that time, again consider the time and day that this happened. It could be that you’ve uncovered a particular time at which your users are engaged with learning.

Keep monitoring this particular time and date to see whether this spike is repeated. If this is the case, why not schedule some marketing activity around that time, such as push notifications or emails, and see whether this encourages users to engage even more?

5. Have Your Users Noticed Any Benefits?

If you really want to know how successful your strategy is, go straight to the source!

Ask your users directly how they’re finding the resources, what they like most about the solution, if there’s anything they’d like to change, and if there’s anything they want more of.

From this, you can create success stories of some of your learners’ experiences, and encourage them to explain how learning has helped them to overcome challenges and excel at work. Keep a record of these testimonials and share them with your senior management team as proof of success. Don’t forget to share them with the rest of your learners, to inspire them, too!

Some people may not be comfortable in sharing their opinions on the solution openly, so consider sending out a survey that users can fill in anonymously. That way, they can share any pain points without feeling judged or embarrassed.

You can even include some quantifiable questions, for example, asking people to rate the resources with a mark out of ten. That way, you’ll have some strong statistics to share with your SMT when they ask how learners are responding to the solution.

From this you may also be able to create user profiles based on their answers and preferences, and aim content at that particular group.

Want to see your learning strategy soar? Request a demo today and find out how Mind Tools can help your organization.

And here’s the handy infographic we mentioned earlier!

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