Incorporate conversations about emerging and critical capabilities into every workforce planning conversation. Don’t wait for business leaders to come to you, said David Jackson, partner at Mercer.
Use business leaders’ annual goals to identify what competencies will be most critical to help them achieve success. “Leaders can then complete competency assessments to establish baselines and identify training to further develop these competencies,” said Mike Gaines, director of strategic alliances at Halogen.
Invite business leaders to learning teamwork sessions. Use these meetings to get a sense of the perceived and measurable business value of current learning offerings and what you can do to improve, Jackson said.
Model the life cycle for each employee. “This the most effective way to dig into the challenges, and ensure business unit leaders feel joint ownership of the solutions you develop,” Patel said.
Provide relevancy at the point of need. Today’s learning is situation-driven, so design learning that is accessible where they need to learn, said CGB Enterprises’ Dave Koll.
Hold managers responsible for success. Before employees take training, introduce managers to the content and set expectations for them to model that learning on the job, Gaines said.
Link learning initiatives to clear business objectives, then track them. For example, if the goal is more inclusive hiring and promotion as a result of unconscious bias training, track the inclusiveness of teams managed by those in the training, and compare them with diversity and inclusion stats for other managers, Jackson said.
Incorporate the employees’ perspective on need. Nike has a “voice of the employee” day where CLO Andre Martin’s team reviews the learning experience and locates the greatest/least value.
Focus more on whether the learning drove new ways of working, and less on content and design. “Measurement should be used to shift behavior not to assess value,” Martin said.
Measure what counts. ROI is an often overstated approach, Patel said. He said he prefers to calculate the value of adequately equipping employees to do their jobs.