By: Shawna Simcik
The idea of training is nothing new but has evolved since the earliest stages of civilization. One of the first types of training practices was an apprenticeship. During the industrial revolution, employee training was essential for individuals working in factories. However, the pace and changes in business and technology have radically shifted our approach to training. As a result, today’s companies must focus on high-quality and emerging leadership development programs supporting remote and in-house employees’ future success.
We know that your organization and employees will benefit by investing and supporting management education. Regrettably, often organizations don’t factor in how to measure the impact of training until after a solution is implemented. Any legitimate training solution aims to solve problems, enhance leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities, and overall provide more leadership effectiveness. Unfortunately, leaders often come back to the office, and nothing has changed. This decreases the perceived value and the lack of effectiveness in your leadership development program investment.
How to measure the success of a leadership development program
So, how will you set yourself up for success? Consider these three areas to measure the success of your leadership development program investment.
- Determine Your Objective.
This may seem simple, but many leadership development programs go wrong when the business fails to decide on the training objective. For example, you choose to launch a two-day training. Managers walk away after these days feeling a sense of excitement and commitment to the company. However, you are left wondering why your leaders are not addressing conflict, not leading more effectively, and employee engagement reports are still low. Take time in the beginning to define the measure of success. It could be simply to increase a sense of belonging, build peer relationships and boost commitment to your business. In this example, a two-day retreat would be a perfect investment.
Alternatively, you may need to satisfy Federal or State requirements. Your measure of successful leadership training may be that a manager logged into online training, passed the assessment, and completed the training. Perfect.
More complex criteria might be to change management behavior, increase overall employee engagement scores or reduce turnover. If these are your measures of success, state them and then determine the data needed to measure tangible outcomes.
- Criteria for Leadership Effectiveness.
With clear standards of success in mind, you can design an effective program that trains your managers to close knowledge gaps. You may want to consider leadership training criteria: specific skills that leaders need in your industry, communication, interpersonal skills, or other behaviors linked directly to your company values.
Setting up clear criteria for an effective leadership development program will lead to a direct completion of goals and objectives. Be sure to use your learning and development expertise to inform your decision. Consider consulting with key stakeholders to define the skills needed to fill skill gaps that lead to business success and greater leadership effectiveness.
- Continual Program Evaluation. Training metrics are data points used to quantify and validate your leadership development program. When rooted in sound theory, training solutions are measurable. Basic levels of measurement might be the completion of the training, satisfaction results, and pass/fail rates. We recommend going beyond low-level metrics such as enrollment utilization and
reviewing other high-level training metrics that map directly to key performance indicators (KPIs). Measures might include learner retention, the applicability of new skills as measured by 360 results, and additional performance metrics such as employee satisfaction survey results, performance ratings, and turnover rates.
Measuring program effectiveness for your leadership development program activities is one of the most important aspects of a quality program. Without measurement, you won’t be able to determine if you have a good return on your investment and provide that leadership effectiveness that is needed.