How do you prove that your learning programme has positively impacted performance?
You’ll remember from our previous success story with iamsold that driving engagement was their initial barrier to achieving success. Since then, they’ve reported soaring engagement rates through their Success Hub, powered by Thinqi.
Now it’s time to prove that the learning has worked – here’s how they plan to do it.
“We need to make sure we’re investing time and money into the right things.”
Learning transfer is the focus over the next 6-12 months for Dan Milne, Customer Success Manager at iamproperty (parent group of iamsold). “As a business, we need to make sure we’re investing our time and money in the right things when it comes to customer education and adoption,” he says. This will involve answering the following:
What impact does viewing learning content or completing a badge within the Success Hub have on sales performance? Is the content really giving their customers – the estate agents – the knowledge and techniques they need to be confident with the auction service? Can these customers utilise the product in the way they’d hoped?
“Platform engagement is only part of the story.”
Up until now, iamproperty has been measuring the activity when reporting on learning data.
“We’ve been looking at the number of users, logins, content views, reviews and badge completions,” says Dan. “All that data is really useful but it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of just assuming that high numbers quantify success, but I think that platform engagement is only part of the story. We need to look at what the users have actually done with the information and how they’ve utilised this knowledge and skills in their role. It’s nice to see a high number of logins, but the business wants to see the results of learners engaging with the content and the impact this has on the bottom line.”
This view is shared by Professor Robert Brinkerhoff, the creator of the success case method (SCM) evaluation model, who states that “performance results cannot be achieved by training alone, therefore, training should not be the object of the evaluation.” Instead of focusing solely on what happens during training, L&D professionals need to look at the overall impact on performance once back in the workplace, which is exactly what iamsold aim to do.
Consistency = the key to lasting behaviour change
Dan says he will now be employing metrics associated with marketing to measure success. Marketing skills for L&D is a growing area of interest, with many parallels between the two – namely ‘buying into’ a product versus a learning programme, engaging a target audience and driving behaviour change.
“I was thinking about this in terms of a marketing conversion rate,” says Dan. “You’re not going to get in front of every customer that you want to, but of those you do, not all of them will want to buy your product. The same rules can be applied to L&D – in learner engagement terms, what proportion of the customers we reached did we convince to log on and engage with the learning content? How many of them went on to transact with us in a month? Have they been able to show consistency across the three months? It’s not about logging on or other vanity stats, it’s about looking at those end goals.”
As behaviour change happens gradually, consistency will be key. This goes beyond just the initial transaction following engagement with the learning content and considers behaviour change over a longer period of time.
“If it’s just the one time that they engage, then this tells us there is something else we might need to implement within that learning journey,” adds Dan. “We need to look at the long-term picture, the never-ending learning journey if you like, and to establish consistency. We’ve all been in that training session where we’ve enjoyed it but once it’s done and the weekend has passed, we just step back into our old habits.”
“We’re making it as seamless as possible and creating a great learner experience.”
Thinqi’s smarter learning system will equip Dan and the iamproperty team with the tools they need to achieve lasting behaviour change through effective learning transfer.
Seamless access to learning content
Firstly, Thinqi will support the organisational structure and single sign-on (SSO) to make the login process seamless from the iamproperty dashboard to the Success Hub. Dan notes: “It needs to be a transition where the learners don’t even realise they’re accessing another platform and can instantly see the content most relevant to hold their attention.”
Measuring performance using data lakes
The second way Thinqi will help is through access to data lakes, which will help construct a Microsoft BI dashboard. This will help the team at iamproperty to link learning data with their own CRM and measure learning transfer from content engagement through to sales performance.
“This is really going to help us to prove return on investment and ensure that we’re investing our money wisely,” says Dan.
“The support we get from the Thinqi team is second-to-none.”
“I’m confident in the Thinqi learning system itself and that its features will help us with creating that great learner experience,” says Dan. “It will help us position the learning content in such a way that it’s digestible and will also allow us to include practical skills. The support we get from the Thinqi team is second-to-none. With them on hand whenever we need them, we can keep coming up with new ideas to make sure the learner journey is as seamless as possible and that we’ve got everything right.”
We’re confident that we’ll be sharing a follow-up success story for iamproperty following this – watch this space.