CorpU research has identified an unsustainable trend among organizational learning and workforce development professionals: taking on more programs while offering less measurement of outcomes. In a way, one can understand how the situation has spiraled and accelerated: feeling the pinch of budgets and business challenges, practitioners eagerly jump to address needs to improve performance, often taking on "emergencies" that require immediate action and resulting in less follow-up and follow-through on evaluating interventions across the board. Corners get cut and quick solutions are applied, resulting in learning measurements that senior executives find unconvincing.
Measurement alone won't change performance, but many business executives tend to agree with W. Edward Deming's point that "You can expect what you inspect". It is critical that organizational learning and workforce development professionals identify the value, return, and impact of their efforts to business leaders.
The remainder of this article provides more detail on human-capital financial statements, an emerging standard to be released for comment in 2012. It includes some reflections on what companies are currently doing with respect to measurement, some recommendations on better practices from CorpU's research library, and additional materials for reference.
“I’m grateful to be in this network. The calls I had with other members gave me the information I needed to move my project forward.”Annette RollsLeadership Development Program Designer, Boeing
“We were able to realize almost immediate value—in terms of definitively quantifiable savings—by implementing the concepts introduced during this [Art of Negotiation] program.”Ken MurphyEVP of Sales and Operations, Mattress Firm
“In my particular case, I certainly care about the HR functions, but that’s not why I wake up every day. I care about advancing the ball down the field with our people’s professional development skills and knowledge. You guys focus 100% on the learning piece, and that’s what I like.”Jim StewartCLO, Teradata