Measure and Appreciate Talent Outcomes

by Jeffrey Berk, COO, Performitiv

Learning’s ‘holy grail’ is to measure business outcomes. These include measuring how common business results are connected to learning. Results such as revenue, expenses, quality, productivity, customer satisfaction, risk, cycle time, and employee retention are common examples of business outcomes where L&D desires to show its connection.

However, let’s not forget about important talent outcomes. Talent outcomes are not the business results mentioned above, yet they play a very important role in measuring learning’s impact, especially for strategic, visible, and costly programs. Over the past year, Performitiv has partnered with L&D experts to identify the main sources of talent outcomes, such as culture, engagement, leadership, knowledge and skills, and quality of hire. These outcomes are extremely important to executives for programs such as leadership and onboarding, as well as programs that are part of material change or reorganization.

The next challenge is to figure out how to measure these talent outcomes. Unlike operational business outcomes, talent outcomes are not as clear or obvious. They require evidence of impact but neither perfect nor precise statistical measures of impact. As a result, we can ask questions on evaluations to understand if the programs were connected to the talent outcomes.

Here are some sample questions of talent outcome indicators on evaluations:

  • Culture: As a direct result of this learning, I feel more connected to our organization’s values and beliefs
  • Engagement: As a direct result of this learning, I am more motivated and committed to this organization
  • Leadership: As a direct result of this learning, I feel I am significantly better leader for this organization
  • Knowledge and Skills: As a direct result of this learning, I am confident I will significantly improve my job performance
  • Onboarding/Orientation: As a direct result of this learning, I am confident and comfortable to perform my job requirements at a high level

While not perfect, the above guidance may be used to build your own talent outcome indicator questions, as they are reasonable evidence of impact. For example, the Engagement indicator question may be used to help an executive understand whether participants in a program felt significantly more motivated and committed to be with the firm as a result of participating in a program. The program manager can then look to learning objectives, exercises, and support materials to show the connection of the program toward engagement.

2020 CTR Annual Conference

Learn More about Learning Measurement to Track Impact

Jeffery Berk will be discussion Learning Measurement in depth at the 2020 Virtual CTR Annual Conference, October 27-29, 2020. Join him for his session: Learning Measurement Using Impact Process Mapping, October 28 at 2:00 pm (ET). Registration is completely free.


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