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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