Getting value from your L&D investment

“Make the course more like the job and the job more like the course.”

This was the line used by DDI in their report on the Top Barriers to Learning in 2014/15. The report analysed the biggest influences that hindered the learning and development progress. They compared barriers to formal learning with those to on-the-job training, and the result was very surprising as the order was almost completely opposite.

job learn 4Here are the top six barriers to on-the-job learning:

  1. Poor post-learning feedback from manager
  2. Not enough opportunities to apply the learning
  3. Weak connection to personal development plans
  4. Not being held accountable for using the learning
  5. Low relevance to business challenges
  6. Low relevance to the job

Image of smart business people looking at their leader while he explaining something on whiteboard during seminar

The top six barriers to formal learning:

  1. Low relevance to the job
  2. Low relevance to business challenges
  3. Not enough opportunities to apply the learning
  4. Weak connection to personal development plans
  5. Not being held accountable for using the learning
  6. Poor post-learning feedback from manager

How to apply this knowledge across a range of learning methods? Think about your own methods – do these barriers seem relevant? Which barriers in your organisation prevent a greater ROI on your investment?

Creating an integrated learning strategy

One of the key reasons, L&D efforts are too often “squandered”, writes DDI in its report, is because they are considered only in isolation rather than as a planned sequence integrating both on-the-job and formal learning.

Organisations need to capitalise on the strengths of both methods, viewing on-the-job learning as more like formal, and vice-versa. Or in other words, “make the course more like the job, and the job more like the course.”

At Jan Alley and Associates we know that a one-off training event will probably not permanently change behaviour. By applying learning to an actual business need, we’re creating a real-life situation that will extend the life of your learning. It will not only make the link clearer between learning and real-life application, but will also create a behaviour change in your participants.

Applying the Kirkpatrick 4 Levels of Evaluation

Professor Robert Brinkerhoff’s research on High Impact Learning showed that learning transfers back onto the job and the impact on business results can be increased from 10% to 80% when resources and effort are placed on what happens before and particularly after the learning.

Using our Bronze Level Certification of the Kirkpatrick Four Levels of Evaluation®, we have found increased transfer of learning to behaviour on the job by ensuring we are measuring:

  • Level 1: Reaction – how did participants react to the learning event?
  • Level 2: Learning – did they actually acquire the relevant knowledge, skills, and attitude?
  • Level 3: Behaviour – are they applying their learning on the job?
  • Level 4: Results – what is the impact on the business?

Our evaluation plans are designed to ensure the learning is relevant to the job and business needs. They will establish on-going actions to reinforce the learning and then measure and record the effectiveness of the training and ensure there is a contribution to business results.

Are you ready to provide training that makes a significant impact on your company’s performance and results?

We’re happy to talk to you about how you can measure and increase the value of your learning and development investment. Give us a call on 09-579-8566 or email me.

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