Welcome to the Powerful Practices Top 10 Series.
These next few blog posts will highlight top Learning & Development challenges, their criticality, best practices for resolution, and how the Meridian Learning Management System can position you and your team for success.
In my many years of learning consulting, two of the most frequent and often subjective questions that I ask my clients are What are your measures of success? and How do you determine learning effectiveness?
Sure, Kirkpatrick’s Levels of Evaluation will give you hardcore statistics, however, there are so many layers that need to be analyzed as well i.e.,
Is the training program geared towards the correct audiences?
Is training really the answer?
How would you successfully answer these questions?
Learning effectiveness is a highly subjective topic which encompasses levels ranging from the standpoint of the learner, the business unit, the division, and so on. Taking a holistic approach to determining learning effectiveness is a smart strategy that you can employ when gauging and measuring outcomes. Learning effectiveness does not simply fall with the learner, it’s a much broader, ongoing conversation that all levels in the organization must participate in to maintain an engaged, motivated learning culture.
So, what does this look like?
In previous Powerful Practices posts, I discussed strategy, alignment and targeting. These are all key players in ensuring learning effectiveness. Learning strategy is essential in building relationships and alignment with the overall organization mission, vision and goals of the business. Learning alignment is critical to the overall health of the organization to ensure that all business units are aware, informed, and poised to work cohesively towards a common goal. And, learning relevancy is vital due to the fact that the learner must able to apply the acquired knowledge to solve a current business problem, support a new product launch, or generally know why they are learning said materials.
To improve and ensure learning effectiveness throughout your organization, these key players must be actively engaged throughout the process. Learning effectiveness heavily relates to these key players.
For learning to be effective, not only for the learner, but to the overall health of the organization, the following elements must be thoroughly discussed, defined and strategized for success learning:
- Learner – Ultimately, the learner is at the heart of this process. A formal instructional design methodology must be utilized to design, develop, and implement an instructionally sound, engaging, and knowledge training product. I would strongly advocate using Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation as your measurement tools and processes. These levels provide solid measurement and statistics to ensure your learners are receiving the very best solution to meet their needs.
- Subject Matter Expert – To ensure and improve learning effectiveness, the SME’s role is critical. They are the primary source of content, context, and process. The role of the SME is to provide the learning process with rich chunks of knowledge to incorporate into both the learning design process, as well as, implementation. For example, the SME can provide valuable information regarding the business unit that may impact a successful launch like the potential language barriers of a remote team OR the multiple shifts in multiple time zones that must be trained for a successful launch.
- Manager – A manager’s role in learning effectiveness plays across many different layers. The first layer is managing their team and productiveness. Then, there is the role managers play in the broader organization, as a conduit of top-down information to ensure business operates successfully and efficiently. Their role is to ensure all parties have the correct information, at the right time, and with the right direction.
- Business Unit – This role is pivotal in the learning effectiveness process. The individual business units must be aligned to the greater good of the organization to ensure the training solution is aligned and relevant to the current business goals and strategies.
- Division – Since business units roll-up to divisional leaders, this layer of administration acts as the glue to keep everything together. Ultimately, they are the gatekeepers to ensure proper alignment of all business units to the greater good of the organization; which translates into designing, developing, and implementing a strong, dynamic learning culture.
To operate as a cohesive and strategic, business entity, all business units must collaborate in a healthy, open arena for sharing, communicating, living and breathing the mission, vision, and strategic goals of your organization. Learning effectiveness, whether it is ensuring or improving, must be discussed and strategized at every level.
Meridian LMS™ offers a variety of tools, workflows, and functions that assist you in creating and implementing effective training solutions. For instance, curricula and bundles on effective organization strategies can be created for leadership teams that include knowledge transfers, on-the-job training, collaboration spaces and professional development scenarios. Meridian also offers an OpenSesame Marketplace integration that allows you to purchase relevant, aligned content that can be imported right into Meridian LMS for seamless transactions.
Certifications can be created to define the perfect aligned learning path in a structured, sequential order. Those certification paths can, in turn, be delivered on a multitude of platforms on-demand, 24/7 via our LMS. Collaboration spaces can also be configured allowing learners to post files, wikis, and discussions to aid in sharing of best practices, white papers. The collaboration spaces help foster open discussions of real-time challenges and resolutions. And Meridian’s robust reporting tools also allow you to track, manage and drive performance easily through the use of custom dashboards and ad-hoc reporting.
Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC, is the leading provider of enterprise, web-based learning management software. Meridian’s powerful, easy-to-use solutions are leveraged by organizations dedicated to building world-class learning enterprises. Meridian has over 7+ million users worldwide and believes that learning is first, learning is yours, and learning is without limits.
Check out a Meridian LMS Demo to uncover more and schedule your live system demonstration.