Last Minute 2021 Planning

Chances are, you left a lot of planning to the last minute in 2020. That’s understandable. It’s hard to make long-term plans when the short-term future is so unpredictable. But I think this past year gives us a great example of why looking forward is always better than looking back. 

For the most part, companies measure learning by looking back: “How much did we deliver?” “What were our completion rates?”

Looking back on 2020 won’t exactly prepare us for 2021, but it’s not too late to take what we know and make plans for the future.

So, what were people measuring during the year of the pandemic? Unsurprisingly, what they always measure; completion rates and learner-satisfaction scores. However, there is something worth building upon. According to the results of a joint study by Brandon Hall Group and SAPLitmos, more companies were regularly using employee engagement, customer experience ratings, customer satisfaction and leadership effectiveness ratings to measure learning than those using course grades and assessments. This is a huge step in the right direction. 

Here other outcomes more than half of companies regularly use to measure learning:

  • Cost reduction
  • Turnover reduction
  • Revenue Growth
  • Risk mitigation

In 2021, it is more critical than ever that companies begin to identify the metrics and KPIs that will give them a true picture of learning’s ROI and impact on the business. The pandemic impacted business strongly enough so that most have reassessed their goals re for this year. Learning must reflect those changes and set up a framework to measure outcomes aligned to the new business goals. In 2020, only one-third of companies were calculating the ROI for learning as it relates to meeting specific business objectives.

Since everything else is changing — where people work, how they communicate, how training is delivered, etc. — it is the perfect time to transform the learning-measurement strategy to fit the new needs of the business. L&D must be involved as a strategic partner to the business and demonstrate how learning and training will get the organization where it needs to be.

David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group @davidmwentworth

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Mike Cooke



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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.