May 4, 2020

Measure and Appreciate Talent Outcomes

Learning measurement’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 – they are as follows: 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 Performitiv, along with the council of leading practitioners, drafted as samples 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 a 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.

Quality of Hire: As a direct result of this learning, I am confident and comfortable to perform my job requirements at a high level.

While not perfect, and we encourage you to use the above as guidance to building your own talent outcome indicator questions, they can be roughly reasonable evidence of impact. For example, the engagement question was used to help an executive understand that the vast majority of participants in a program felt significantly more motivated and committed to be with the firm as a result of participating in the program. The program manager highlighted numerous learning objectives, exercises, and support materials that showed the connection of the program toward engagement.

Ultimately business outcomes are important but don’t forget about the talent outcomes.

Thank you,

The Performitiv Team

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