While measuring impact on performance and business results (such as ROI) are vital to monitoring and communicating the value of leadership development initiatives, we have seen many organizations struggle to evaluate these programs in a rigorous and credible manner. To assist our clients in overcoming these obstacles, we have codified them into four broad, interrelated categories:
- Organizational Silos – Different teams use different data, metrics, processes and measures of success
- Insufficient Expertise – Designing and implementing a rigorous evaluation program, and monitoring and analyzing the data is not “automatic,” and staff lack skills and/or confidence
- Scarcity of New Resources – Often the “elephant in the room” that needs to be accounted for by designing a sustainable, resource –conserving approach
- Inadequate Technology – legacy, stand-alone systems require extensive “massaging” to produce usable information
None of these obstacles should prevent your organization from measuring the impact of its critical learning programs. For example, let us examine a common scenario that combines a lack of expertise with an organizational gap between Learning and Development and Performance Management for competency-based leadership development programs.
Many organizations describe the performance expectations of their leaders as high-level competencies, such as “displays emotional intelligence” or “demonstrates entrepreneurship,” while, on the other side of the equation, leadership learning programs echo the same high level competencies in their learning objectives (which typically also include the target knowledge, skills and attitudes.) What’s missing in this equation, however, are the specific, observable behaviors that would indicate successful application of the learning program by participants. In order to design a truly effective leadership development program that can be monitored and measured, you must begin with the end in mind and integrate measures at every level of the program to ensure that desired observable behaviors are cultivated to yield the intended outcomes.
Please feel free to watch the video below for ways you can break down the barriers to evaluation in your organization.