Training ROI

Is IBM onto something here with this HR tactic?

Just read this piece in Computerworld, and I can totally sympathize with both parties on this one. Having facilitated or developed e-learning courses that have trained thousands of employees, only to have those employees resign and take their newly acquired skills elsewhere- I wouldn't be surprised if more employers didn't go this route.

Big Blue is mandating a small percentage of its employees undergo training, but with a twist. Employees that are involuntarily enrolled in the program will have their base salaries docked by 10%. Quite significant when you consider the training program lasts six months.

While employees may see the pay cut as unfair, the salary reduction is viewed by management as a form of employee "co-investment" in training, and as a better alternative to laying off and hiring employees with the latest skills. 

Predictably many of the affected employees feel IBM is merely making their lives miserable in order to entice them to quit, rather than going through the process of having to fire all them. 

What do you think? Is training losing its luster as a perk, and will more employees in the near future be forced to "co-invest" in their re-skilling?

I'd love to know your thoughts on this one. 

Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy based in Miami, FL. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop and train their employees and/ or customers. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.

New years are filled with opportunity, just like new hires...

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Every new year brings with it the opportunity to briefly look back and take stock of the past one. What better place to start this review than by reviewing the effectiveness of your new employee onboarding program? After all, a solid onboarding program is key to one of the most import new beginnings not just for your new team member but for your organization as well. 

At many organizations, employee on boarding involves indoctrinating the new hire into the corporate culture. New employees typically learn about the company's history, mission, vision, its founders, organizational structure, and generally how the organization operates. This has become a pretty standard modus operandi, with trainers routinely scheduling these sessions to bring new hires into the company fold. At many organizations, this onboarding is a one-way street, with the organization information-dumping as much information about the company as possible in as little a time as allowed into the new hire. Not surprising is the fact that many organizations who employ these run-of-the-mill onboarding programs measure their success by how much knowledge the new hire acquired about the organization. Barely a level two evaluation by Kirkpatrick's standards, and pretty low expectations.

Ask many managers and corporate leaders what they value most about hiring "outsiders" and many will report valuing the "new perspective" an outsider to the organization brings to the table. Trouble is, most new hires from the "outside" are hired and almost immediately indoctrinated in the company's ways. Not so at one organization who recognized this dichotomy. Wipro, which provides telephone and online chat support for a global customer base, tried something different and was able to achieve a more than 32% reduction in turnover during an employees' tenure with a new onboarding strategy. Additionally, customers' reported receiving significantly better service from employees that went through this new onboarding program. 

Wipro placed a heavy focus on individuals being able to perform in line with their individual strengths. This new "Personal-Identity Socialization" onboarding program allowed new hires to play to their strengths, and even bolstered the self-esteem of employees who participated in the new approach. You can read more about Wipro's innovative approach to new hire onboarding, and see if you may want to incorporate parts of their strategy by visiting this link

These are the out-of-the-box experiments in HR that lead to significant performance and productivity gains for organizations, and where HR truly has an opportunity to earn a seat at the proverbial table. When was the last time you looked at your new hire onboarding program? Are you simply measuring how much information sticks in their heads, or, are you demanding more of your investment dollars when it comes to onboarding your people? Let us know, we want to hear from you!

Alex Santos

Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop  and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.

HR strategies for cultivating a customer service culture

Your customer service training course will fail unless you take a systems view and develop a culture of service.  Customers are not serviced in a vacuum, and unless EVERYONE is involved in delivering a positive customer experience, your investment in customer service training is headed down the drain. 

If you earnestly want to improve the customer service experience for your customers, begin at the top by analyzing your mission, vision, and values.  If all of these aren’t aligned and focused on your customer’s experience and how improve their condition―it’s time for a refresh.  You must involve your Human Resources (HR) team to help you answer the questions as to how you get there.  Human Resources, instructional design and organizational development practitioners can help you analyze your culture from the people you bring into the organization, to how you can develop a more customer-centric and service-based culture with the people you already have. 

 Click on the diagram for more.

Click on the diagram for more.

At every step of your HR workflow, there are strategies and tactics that you can employ to ensure your success.  A culture of customer service involves a system of inputs and outputs, all working towards building a team recruited and completely focused on ensuring the satisfaction and loyalty of your customer base.  As this diagram above illustrates, to build a culture committed to service you begin with your people.  The ones you have not yet hired, the ones you are in the process of hiring, and the ones you've hired in the past.  Click on the image above to learn more about the questions you should be asking at every stage of recruiting, hiring and managing to achieve a culture of service.

Finding a contract HR professional, instructional design or organizational development consultant with the appropriate skill-set needed to properly help you achieve results from your customer service initiatives can be an overwhelming challenge for any organization.  If this is the case for your company, consider seeking guidance from a firm like Collabor8 Learning.  Collabor8 Learning is experienced at strategizing, designing and delivering custom customer service strategies and solutions that exceed your expectations, regardless of your organization’s size.  

 

Alex Santos

Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop  and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.

 

How the xAPI can improve your training ROI calculations

How many times have you been asked to calculate the value or the return on investment (ROI) your training programs are delivering?  Unless your client is okay with "real-world" back-of-the-napkin calculations, you'll need to demonstrate some objective metrics and be prepared to defend them.  It's time you get better at showing your worth, and the new Experience API (a.k.a. the xAPI, or Tin Can API) can assist-if used properly.   Prior to the xAPI's existence, your data collection was limited to what data you could track inside of your learning management system (LMS), and whatever test scores or attendance records you were keeping if you do not yet have an LMS or are still using a spreadsheet. 

Enter the xAPI, now you can include all sorts of offline activities such as conference attendance, coaching and mentoring sessions, and pretty much anything you can condense into the xAPI statement structure of nouns, verbs and objects.  Even successful activities performed on a CPR dummy or carrying a heavy hose out of a simulated burning building can now be tracked as a development activity.  In other words, your universe of learning activities that are contributing to a positive ROI for your efforts just expanded infinitely to what big data folks call N=ALL.  You can now track ALL learning activities, online or off, in front of a computer, iPad, crash test dummy, or an instructor that your learners are learning from in your analysis!

Let me give you an example of how this benefits you.  A year ago, you would have sent an employee needing to develop his or her presentation skills to a class or offered coaching by a consultant in order to develop their skills.  You had no way to track his attendance at local Toast Master meetings, his or her reading a book by a noted author on the subject, or delivering prepared remarks at a local public school or charity as a part of their developmental experiences.  Now, you can track all of these experiences and include them in your analysis of what led to the employee's improved public speaking skills.  In the case of an employee delivering prepared remarks at a local public school for example, your cost for said experience was $0, yet surely you can estimate some benefit derived from the experience in your ROI calculations. 

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You see, to improve the accuracy of any ROI measurement, it is necessary to develop as complete as possible picture of the learning and development activities your learners experienced that led to the improved performance.  The more experiences and activities you include, the stronger the inference you can make as to their value in your ROI calculations.  And if you and your team are enabling these experiences, you can estimate their worth in your ROI calculations!

 The xAPI provides improved visibility and transparency into the activities of your learners, which in turn can improve performance across individuals and teams if multiplied and positively impact your ROI calculations.

 
Additional resources you may want to review when calculating the ROI of your training initiatives:
1. Summary Process for measuring ROI of Training
2. The Direct Path to Training ROI

Have a resource for measuring the ROI of training that is not listed here?  Please feel free to include it in the comments, the above are provided to get the conversation started! 

Alex Santos

Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop  and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.