A critical part of running an effective organization is taking the right measurements of your progress. Just as in any other department in your company, there are variables in corporate learning that can revolutionize your practice if you monitor them.
Set up a rubric
Before embarking on your data study, it’s important to set up a universal measurement tool. Otherwise, you open yourself up to inconsistency and ad hoc assessments. Establish a rubric to evaluate your training department. Not only does this standardize the process, but it also makes it easier to itemize the data you are going to gather, allowing for in-depth reporting.
Surveys and Interviews
Perhaps the best place to start, especially if you’re new to the department or company, is to get an evaluation of the training department’s capabilities from the “customers”. Although you should always consider the sources of information and what their motivations might be, your trainees can offer insights you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. Pay particular attention to what they feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the training department and how the department can best serve the line departments moving forward.
You also want to get a pulse on how the corporate culture approaches learning. Are there differences between the different employee groups, departments, and offices? Who views learning as a crucial part of the business and who needs some more encouragement? All of this can save you a lot of time and effort as opposed to maintaining the status quo.
Many corporate training departments still use outdated materials to deliver their content. It’s important to audit what content currently exists and how relevant it is to the current goals of the organization. If some modernization needs to occur, it’s better for you to know sooner rather than later in order to budget correctly.
Speaking of budgets, financials are always a critical part of running an effective department. Commission detailed reports about how the training department’s money is being spent. Get an idea of fixed versus variable costs. Don’t be in a hurry to change allocations just yet. Wait until you’ve reviewed the other aspects of the department’s business.