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One Thing TD Execs Should Do Right Now: Make Sure They Measure


Wed Sep 09 2020

One Thing TD Execs Should Do Right Now: Make Sure They Measure

Measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of talent development efforts has always been important— but never more important than right now.

Whether we are years into a digital learning strategy or haven’t even gotten started on one, we’ve all been scrambling to take development virtual. And we have probably moved more learning online in the past three months than we did in the last three years.


But in the rush to rise to the occasion, we can focus almost all of our attention on just getting it done and not much at all on getting it done well. There are at least two major ways that failing to measure can hurt us:

  • If we don’t measure the impact of our newly virtual offerings, the default assumption will be that they are “just as good as the way we did it before.” If that assumption is valid, great. But since there will undoubtedly be financial and other pressures to stick with virtual offerings, the damage could be significant if the assumption is false.

  • Failing to measure the efficiency of our work carries its own risk. At times like these our heroic efforts may require costs (financial and human) that aren’t sustainable. We have to have a clear understanding of what it cost and how that compares to the costs incurred in the past.

If you have not been measuring efficiency or effectiveness, it is time to start. If you have been measuring, sustaining those efforts and reviewing metrics should be a top priority.

If all that has changed is the modality of the training, then using the same measures will give you a good look at how your new approach to training is working. But is modality all that all that has changed?

Ask yourself:

  • Are you still teaching everything you did before? Did you have to drop modules, eliminate practice sessions or breakout discussions, or do without real-time instructor observation and feedback?

  • Are you actually teaching new things? Are your retail salespeople now suddenly tele-salespeople? Are office staff members now accessing customer or employee information in new ways using new protocols?

  • Are you teaching the same things to the same people but under different circumstances? We’re all aware of how the pressures and distractions of remote employment affect those working from home.

Unless you are teaching the same things to the same people under equivalent circumstances, you need to reconsider your existing measurement system. Meet with your stakeholders and get agreement to new measures or standards. But whatever you do, measure.


For a deeper discussion, join me September 11 for the webcast, The One Thing Talent Development Should Do Right Now. Along with Eivind Slaaen, Michelle Braden, and John Cone', we'll explore how to revisit your talent development agenda and rethink your value proposition.

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