Flash back to yesterday’s objection, “How will you measure that it is working” should have been labeled, ‘How do you measure if it is being used and adopted.” This is what I had in mind knowing that ROI would be a separate topic today.
“Not so sure about this being a new way. Seems like your list is looking at the activity rather than the result. Aren’t we looking for behavior change at the level of contribution to the business? Things like are they doing their jobs more effectively?”
She is so right. We do want to want this to change behavior. But now even the behavior question is in question. What behavior? With traditional learning we expect certain behaviors to result and we try to measure that. With social learning we are looking for different behaviors, but the same end results. Let’s look at both of these.
The first is more cultural. It is adopting and changing more than just what they learn, but also how they learn. They are the ones in charge of their learning and teaching each other. Instead of being forced to go to training (something we can have control over the format and measurement), they are being allowed and encouraged to learn on their own. For many, this is a new concept. Not necessarily a new practice, but in a way it is a new permission that we let them learn from each other. This involves trust. It involves the expectation that they are accountable to their own learning. Here are some more ideas to measure.
The second is more of the traditional ROI. How do you know that it is producing bottom line results? So many people say, “You can’t measure this. There is no traditional ROI model that will work for this.” I agree but disagree. There should be an adaptation, but we can still see bottom-line results. And, honestly, the numbers are not always the best ROI. Because the ROI is then used to make decisions. The results that come out of these environments may not have a hard and fast ROI at first, or may be very difficult to calculate. The subjective results, however, can be very powerful for those who make the decisions. From them they may be more than on board – they back it 100%. All this, but they may never have looked at a formal ROI on it.
This isn’t always the case. But my point is that we can’t overlook the stories, the experiences that are so powerful – and then sharing them – in our quest for an ROI.
# Number of new product ideas
# Idea to development initiation cycle time
# Retention/Employee turn over
# Time to hire
# Prospect identification cost
# Prospect to hire conversion rate
# Hiring cost
# Training cost
# Time to acclimation for new employees
Remember, we are looking at the final outcome, not necessarily “did they learn”. Because, honestly, we don’t care if they learn if they don’t use it for the benefit of the company. So the benefit is what we measure. Other’s measurements might be:
# How large one’s network is
# Number of meetings taking place (or, more intuitively, are NOT taking place)
# Number of travel arrangements made (or, again, NOT made).
This is certainly not an exhaustive list. What others are you thinking of?