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Performance Analytics – Creating Accountability in Learning

Posted by Josh Cardoz on Thu, Jul 21, 2016

Accurately measuring ROI in L&D is the golden egg in our industry. It's what everybody wants, but what nobody has been able to achieve. In part, that's because  learning is never the only thing that contributes to performance (and what is?). That makes isolating its effects incredibly challenging.

At the same time, organizations, whether internally or externally, are always looking to prove that what they are doing works. So how do we find that golden egg without destroying the goose that laid it?

Perhaps the answer is less in what we do than in how we think.

When it comes to ROI and learning, what’s really missing in organizations is a culture of accountability. For too long, learning success has been measured by asking, “Did they learn what we needed them to learn?” 

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Instead, we need to move the conversation to, “Did we give our learners everything they need to succeed?” This is a subtle shift in messaging, but in terms of accountability, it has the potential to make a seismic impact. 

Creating accountability isn’t about peering over learners' shoulders to make sure they fulfill compliance requirements. All this will get you are completion rates and participation scores. But, when you make learners accountable to themselves - that is, when you empower them to take control of their own learning journey - your performance metrics instantly become their performance metrics. That's the objective: to make accountability a mutual goal for both the learner and the organization.

That’s why for us at SwissVBS, reinforcement is key, not only from a learning standpoint but from a data-collection and performance analytics standpoint. In ECHO, we've managed to create a performance-driven learning solution that provides real-time insights, showing you exactly where in the learning journey your learners are situated. And the best part? It puts learners squarely in the driver’s seat. They will only do as well as they want to do, because their performance and learning are so closely linked.

Think about it: By keeping the focus on the performance goal (rather than the learning goal), the learner and the organization have a common purpose, which makes them mutually accountable. After all, learners care about doing well on the job, not about doing well in their training. If we give them what they need to do their job successfully, they don't care whether we call it "training" or "performance support." They're just happy to be achieving success in their field.

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Here's an example of what shifting the focus of accountability looks like:

A service technician is scheduled to make a repair in a customer's home on a Thursday. This is his performance goal.

In a typical L&D solution, the technician would be sent to a 2-day workshop or 5-hour eLearning course, which would occur weeks (if not months) before he actually needs to use his new skills on the job. He is "accountable" to a facilitator or manager for knowing his stuff at the end of the workshop or course. But how does that help him when it comes time to perform with a customer?

Now, contrast that to a model in which it is up to the technician to prepare for and execute his performance goal as he sees fit. His organization will support him in whatever way he needs, but ultimately, he is accountable to himself in achieving that optimum performance. This is the viewpoint we take with our ECHO learning programs - learning designed with a performance-first mindset. 

Here's what a week with ECHO might look like for a learner who is supported in achieving a performance goal. The column on the right shows the kinds of data an organization can retrieve from ECHO during the learning journey to improve their support.

  Learner Organization
Monday Watches a couple of microlearning modules (no more than 2 mins. each) to refresh his memory: "Troubleshooting the RX90" and "Making an in-home repair" Determines which modules are resonating more with with which users and determines avenues for additional content based on learning needs (e.g., "More technicians seem to need help with the RX90 model than with any of our other products.")
Tuesday Takes a reinforcement quiz on the specific repair he is about to perform - testing his technical knowledge of the model. Does adequately on the quiz, but still needs help with certain aspects of the repair.  Identifies on a question level how learners are performing. Identifies knowledge gaps and instantly seeks to fill them. 
Wednesday A special quiz is dynamically curated for him based on his results from Tuesday. He takes the quiz and does much better this time.  Dynamically assembles quizzes to meet highly targeted learning needs. On a higher level, knows how each employee is faring with specific skills/competencies/ knowledge required to perform. 
Thursday - Day of Repair Onsite at the customer's home, he pulls out a model schematic on his phone while performing repair. Consults a checklist to ensure adherence to customer satisfication protocol. Understands which resources are relevant in the performance moment. Which resources are preferred? What are learners looking for to find success with customers? 
Friday Realizing he could have performed a particular aspect of the repair more effectively, he consults a short module relevant to the repair.  The organization now has an accurate and focused snapshot of how a particular employee prepares, performs and debriefs for the task. The organization can now tweak the learner's journey accordingly to further support his success.

When you shift your learning culture to that of mutual accountability, the data you can derive from the learning moment and the performance moment become that much more powerful. 

Get in touch with us today to get a glimpse of what ECHO would look like in the hands of your people and the powerful analytics you can retrieve to add value to your organization's performance goals.

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Topics: Performance Analytics

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