Replace smile sheets with actual results

Imagine… “416 learners from 52 stores. 18,174 mandatory on-the-job assignments completed, 1,143 of those reviewed and approved by the learners’ managers. 15,086 written comments on results and learning shared among the learners”.

Imagine you’re on your way to a senior management meeting. A senior management meeting where you’re the HR representative. Imagine that ten minutes ago you got a report from your L&D guy. A report stating the figures above. The same L&D guy you gave the responsibility to “get that sales programme up and running” one year ago.

This after struggling with the business area managers’ somewhat adverse attitude towards sending their people on courses. You had an idea of the importance of being able to answer their never ending questions about “what’s in it for me?”, “it’s just another three days away from the store” etc. You remember how annoyed you used to be when handling these questions armed only with smile sheet evaluations about how the actual training days were conducted. The coy smiles from the business area managers and the standard follow up question; “oh great, they had fun. But what’s in it for me?”

Then you met with that training vendor that basically wasn’t interested in talking about “what and how” before you agreed to spend some time agreeing on actual business needs for the training, how to involve the store managers in coaching the learners before and after actual training. And most interesting of all; they said they’d be able to visualize what learners and their managers actually do after the training – in real time and aggregated at the intervals you want. They smiled when you said that you already had an LMS and then a great discussion on what learning transfer really is and where people actually develop in their work roles followed. This ending with them introducing their Learning Transfer Platform – designed for just that. You ended the meeting in agreement of what’s important and went forward from here working as partners.
Even if your L&D guy is officially responsible, you know the buck ultimately stops with you when it comes to delivering results.

You now want to see how those figures relate to the latest bottom line ones for each store. Your experience tells you that these KPI’s, or at least early indicators must show for something. Then you need to capture some shining examples to create and spread success stories as best practice. Finally, a course where your line managers were seen as much as a participant as the learners. Actually; finally a course being a proven investment instead of a cost!

Imagine this feeling going to a senior management meeting next time there’s L&D topics to be discussed.

“416 learners from 52 stores. 18,174 mandatory on the job assignments completed, 1,143 of those reviewed and approved by the learners’ managers. 15,086 written comments on results and learning shared among the learners”

Actual figures from a retail sales training initiative run by Promote Partner Mindset AB in Sweden.
The initiative was run over a period of 11 months in 2013 with 52 individual programme starts. The HR representative’s inner thoughts are pure fiction of course ;)”