In Latin educare "to educate" means "to draw out." But it seems as
if education and training are often more focused on a top-down
teaching approach where information is disseminated, than a true
drawing-out process in which participants discover the learning
through a process facilitated by the trainer, leader, or educator.
But what's the solution? And what are the advantages?
In this three-part series of articles, we'll explore the benefits
and strategies for a true drawing-out process.
Part 1: Draw out participation and engagement
discusses the ways to draw out participation and engagement by
involving your trainees in the process. (Published in February.)
Part 2: Draw out the best from each
participant shows how to draw out the best in each
participant by understanding his motivations and needs.
Part 3: Draw out results provides solutions for
drawing out sustainable results from your training sessions.
Part 3: Draw Out Results!
Recently I was talking with a new customer who said his number one
goal was to increase trust among employees. Great! I
thought. But how do you want to measure it?
In another client meeting, I heard him say he measures training
effectiveness by how much his trainees remember from the training
30 days later. While this may be a good way to measure
knowledge-based training, isn't it just as important (if not more
so) to measure behavioral change? After all, remembering the five
definitions of strategic thinking doesn't matter unless trainees
have applied the learning. And the application is irrelevant unless
the results can be quantifiably measured against tangible business
A goal without measurement is like a race without a finish line.
How will you know you got there? In all businesses, the finish line
is the bottom line - profits. Profits keep us in business. Even in
not-for-profit organizations, financials are measured by top line
(sales or revenue) minus costs.
So training initiatives must be measured in bottom-line numbers to
make them truly relevant to the purpose of business. Agreed?
Let's get back to my clients goal of increasing trust among his
employees. How can we measure that? Surveys can help, but when
measuring an intangible such as "trust," it's nearly impossible to
get an accurate assessment. Besides, how does an employee survey
relate to bottom-line measurements anyway? Therefore, I suggested
my client consider the following measurements:
- innovation and new product introduction (because high levels of
trust are critical in high-risk situations such as launching new
- product or service success rate (because low trust can kill a
- quality and accuracy rates (because low levels of trust can
significantly limit quality and accuracy)
- employee recruitment, retention, and tenure
- employee punctuality and reduction in absenteeism
- workforce engagement and workforce satisfaction
- leadership development.
Each of these factors can be quantifiably measured and all relate
to the bottom line. Therefore, the training you deliver must trace
back to these kinds of measurements.
For a list of results measurements in six key categories, see the
link at the bottom of this article.
Three critical components to results
There are three critical components to achieving results:
performance, ownership, and process.
Performance means that teams have moved through
the stages of development (Tuckman's
Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing) by understanding each other,
identifying and overcoming the barriers to success, and learning
how to adapt to work better together. Soft skills programs can
accelerate performance by breaking down these barriers and opening
Ownership is derived by drawing out the ideas and
solutions from the employees and team members themselves. When
people are involved in a solution, they are more engaged and
committed to successful execution. Training programs need to
involve participants in coming up with their own ideas and
solutions. Brainstorming, games, and other activities should be
used to engage the trainees and stimulate them to become involved
in the solutions.
Process ensures that the ideas are turned into
goals, actions, and measurements. At DrawSuccess, we follow a
nine-step process (which is available to readers from the link at
the end of this article), beginning with idea generation and ending
with celebrating success. Ideally, the results process is delivered
through a wraparound training approach, with each session building
on the previous one and allowing time in between sessions for
homework and reflection.
Probing questions to ask when identifying results
The following list of questions can help prompt participants to
come up with their own ways of measuring results from a training
session. They can also useful when meeting with internal or
external clients prior to a class.
- How can the criteria be measured before and after the
implementation of the goal to show improvement?
- Is there currently a system in place for measuring this
- Can before and after surveys be used?
- What other measurements could be created, both quantitative and
- How can you isolate the measurements to specifically measure
this goal (by time period, product, person, or customer)?
- Where else can you get this information? For example, a company
that doesn't have market share information might be able to get it
from another company that serves the same market but doesn't
compete with them.
- Are there any industry measurements the team can use?
- How can other teams, groups, or individuals help out in the
- How can the team measure behavioral change in a quantifiable
Visit my website for
free handouts and an activity to help you improve your ability to
measure results. (Enter code: DRAWSUCCESS3).