Those are still very important parts of program evaluation, but what is emerging in 2011 is the need for new metrics - those methods that measure quality of employee performance, or the intangibles that go along with leadership, communication, and teamwork. The new workplace is driving workers to do more with less; in essence, it is all about getting the most out of your employees, teams, and managers. But how do we truly measure that performance?
As Susan Lesser wrote in her article on page 46, "Your set of employees and their talents are unique to your business, and quantifying and building on their intangibles will quickly provide you with a competitive advantage." Why aren't intangibles such as communication, leadership, and teamwork part of a comprehensive balance sheet that measures the value of these personal assets?
The new business climate is forcing organizations to review the value of every program, which proves that value is imperative to remain vital to an organization's business strategy. The cover story by Jack J. Phillips and Patti P. Phillips compels all learning professionals to provide more than the mere evidence of contribution. For every training initiative, workplace learning and development professionals must provide credible proof of a program's connection to improvement in business measures. There are many factors contributing to employee performance, so how much has learning played a role? What percentage of the increased performance is attributable to learning? That's the type of data so crucial to proving learning's value.
"The more accurately you connect a program's contribution to the bottom line, the easier it is for decision makers to appropriately allocate resources," the Phillipses wrote in the article. And, the authors contend that it is time to stop using excuses such as "it can't be done" or "it's too hard." It is time to move from evidence to proof and show the real contribution of learning to the business goals.
Maximizing the competitive advantage of your workforce requires measuring intangibles, finding new analytics, and discovering the evidence of value. It is time to get serious about showing true metrics (or evidence). The credibility of this industry depends on it.