Over the years, we’ve seen a clear reaction to economic downturn. If customers aren’t buying, retailers cut training. Why? I think it’s because from the outset the value or specific financial impact of solving a particular problem through training hasn’t been quantified. Many of our clients are initially excited about our ability to measure training impact; until they have to measure it. Then the resources dry up, the interest fades, and the priority shifts.
The idea of measuring is interesting initially but most of our clients are satisfied that the skills we taught were exactly what they think their associates need. And that’s often enough. So the question of post-training assessment or evaluation or ‘How do we know what they know?’ becomes more important when you ask another question. “Why do we need to know what they know?” If we’ve clearly defined the scope of the problem we’re trying to solve with training we can show conclusively that using the skills they learned has a direct and measurable impact on that problem. Otherwise, we’re measuring energy, excitement, and more subjective reactions to the training instead of whether we made progress in closing the gap or solving the problem we had.
When we know what they know (learned) we can track behaviorally what they are using and can show that those behaviors are closing the gap and solving a business problem that had real financial impact. Our partner, Axonify, and MOHR Retail work together to show clients how to measure impact in a clear, definable, and financially-specific way. Otherwise the focus is just about whether the food was good.
How do you measure what they know? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this here or via tweet @mohrretail. In retail, every day is a chance to learn. MOHR!