About HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars
About HRDQ-U Webinars
Learning and talent development have grown significantly in the past two decades, and few leaders would argue that learning is critical for organizational growth. But learning and development practitioners must move from their current value capture focus to a value creation focus, which means using design thinking to drive results.
Learning and talent development programs are evaluated for a purpose and the results are used to make improvements. All stakeholders involved in initiating, designing, developing, facilitating, implementing, and supporting programs must see the results of their efforts. This session shows how to measure up to five levels of evaluation, including impact and ROI. It also emphasizes what learning and talent development executives (the funders) want to see and provides examples of where ROI is occurring and how it is developed. Participants will learn a new definition of value as well as explore the executive’s view of metrics.
This webinar is based on The Business Case for Learning. This book by world-renowned authors Jack and Patti Phillips highlights the exact reasons why learning is an absolute necessity, how it adds value to an organization’s bottom-line, and how to enhance the learning and talent development investment.
Patti P. Phillips, CEO of ROI Institute, Inc., is a renowned leader in measurement and evaluation. Patti helps organizations implement the ROI Methodology®️ in more than 70 countries around the world.
Since 1997, Patti has been a driving force in the global adoption of the ROI Methodology and the use of measurement and evaluation to drive organization change. Her work as an educator, researcher, consultant, and coach supports practitioners as they develop their own expertise in an effort to help organizations and communities thrive. Her work spans private sector, public sector, nonprofit, and nongovernmental organizations.
Patti serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). She serves as chair of the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) People Analytics Board; Principal Research Fellow for The Conference Board; board chair of the Center for Talent Reporting (CTR); and is an Association for Talent Development (ATD) Certification Institute Fellow. She also serves on the faculty of the UN System Staff College in Turin, Italy.
Patti has authored or edited more than 75 books on the subject of measurement, evaluation, analytics, and ROI. Her work has been featured on CNBC, Euronews, and in more than a dozen business journals. Connect with Patti on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and at www.roiinstitute.net.
HRDQ-U offers a curriculum of 80+ virtual seminars for training employees in soft skills. Covering topics from leadership to communication, conflict to change, communication to diversity. Enroll your learners in HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars and let them develop soft skills from their home or office. Learn more about HRDQ-U Virtual Seminars
Sarah Cirone: Hi everyone and welcome to today’s webinar, delivering results that executives and others will love. Hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Patti Phillips. My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions? Please type them into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel and we’ll answer them as we can or after the session by email. I’m excited to introduce our presenter today, Dr. Patti Phillips.
Sarah Cirone: Patti is the CEO of ROI Institute. She is a renowned leader in measurement and evaluation. Patti helps organizations implement the ROI methodology in more than 70 countries around the world. Since 1997 Patti has been a driving force in the global adoption of the ROI methodology and the use of measurement and evaluation to drive organization change. Her work as an educator, researcher, consultant, and coach supports practitioners as they develop their own expertise in an effort to help organizations and communities thrive. Her work spans private sector, public sector, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations.
Sarah Cirone: Patti authored or edited more than 75 books on the subject of measurement, evaluation, analytics, and ROI. Her work has been featured on CNBC, Euronews and in more than a dozen business journals. It’s wonderful to have you speaking with us today, Patti.
Patti Phillips: Thank you Sarah and thank all of you for joining us today to talk about our favorite topic and that is delivering results that executives and other stakeholders will love and of course as results reflect the impact in the ROI of your learning and development programs. Today we’re going to talk about a variety of different things and there is going to be a lot of opportunity for you to engage in the conversation and share with us your thoughts on some of the things that we’re saying, but specifically when you walk away from the session, we want you to be able to list the different types of data that we can report when we’re reporting success of our learning and development programs, and as part of that will be the impact in ROI of your programs.
Patti Phillips: We’ll talk about some of the research that we’ve seen in terms of what senior executives really want to see as far as their learning investments and explain how to get to those measures. More importantly, we’ll talk about the steps you can take to build measurement into your programs so that it’s a seamless part of what you do, because as you know it’s not about the learning program. It’s not even about evaluation, it’s about driving our organizations forward. We just happen to do that with learning programs but in order to do that, we have to have assessment measurement and evaluation built into it and then at the end of the session, we hope to hear from you in terms of your next steps, what you can do with some of the concepts that we’ve heard today.
Patti Phillips: But before getting started and Sarah, I think you have a poll question for us. These are some true, false questions for you. It’s not a test. It’s more your perception of what’s going on here. If you can just answer true false to the items on the screen and Sarah, are you pulling up the… yes you are.
Sarah Cirone: Yes.
Patti Phillips: What do you think about this statement? Most of learning and development is wasted. It’s not used. Is that true or false based on what you observe?
Sarah Cirone: I will give everybody a couple of seconds here to submit their answer.
Patti Phillips: All right. About 68% of you say it’s true. Most of learning and development is wasted. That’s typically what we see too and depending on whose research you’re reading, it’s been reported anywhere from 30 to 60% of learning is considered scrap, so they’re doing nothing with a large portion of what they’re being presented in the learning development programs. Let’s go to the next one, Sarah. The next one is the learning outcome desired by executives in client organizations is rarely measured. True or false?
Sarah Cirone: It looks like we just had a technical glitch there. If people could just type in their answer for this one and we can share that.
Patti Phillips: Well, this is good. It gives you practice typing in. Just type your answer, true or false to number two. The learning outcome desired by executives and client organizations is rarely measured.
Sarah Cirone: Oh, yeah.
Patti Phillips: Is that true or false?
Sarah Cirone: We have all [crosstalk 00:04:38] coming in.
Patti Phillips: So true there. It hurts.
Sarah Cirone: Yeah, we have [crosstalk 00:04:42].
Patti Phillips: I like that statement. Is that true? It hurts. Yeah, that’s true, then we want it to be, right? True, true, true. That’s unanimous for those who responded so… all right no variance there. All right, number three. Most learning providers do not have data showing that they make a difference in the organization. Now we’re reporting out on the learning providers. Most learning providers do not have data showing that they make a difference in organization. True or false?
Sarah Cirone: Okay. Couple more seconds here for people to type their answer in. There we go.
Patti Phillips: Alright so that would be true except for the one or two who… that’s not true, so okay. Let’s look, number four. Most executives see learning as a cost and not an investment. True or false?
Sarah Cirone: Okay.
Patti Phillips: All right, that’s good. We got some folks who are looking at it as an investment. And last, most executive view hard skills as more valuable than soft skills. True or false?
Sarah Cirone: And a couple more seconds here for everybody to launch their answer. Here we go.
Patti Phillips: All right. Majority say true once again. We would tend to agree with the responses to the polls. We do find that based on the research, most learning is wasted. We give people a lot of content that they don’t apply, which if they’re not applying it, the question is why give them the content, right? It’s not about what people know. It’s about what people do with what they know, but more importantly it’s about the impact of their doing something with what they know which gets us to the number two, the learning outcome desired by executives is rarely measured. That’s true. Although that is starting to change as we’ll talk about today. We are seeing some progression in the area and thank goodness because we’ve been in this field for decades and then others have grown into this field over time and so we are seeing some things change.
Patti Phillips: In terms of the learning provider, we love working with learning providers. That is changing as well but most of them don’t. Most of them are trying to, and this is talking about the external provider. Most of them have a solution that they think can solve the problem and it’s not that they’re selling the solution, it’s not like a sales job but they are in the business of selling the solution and they often rely on the client to understand why they need that solution. A lot of times that solution provider and the senior executives who have a problem aren’t in sync and then often lands in the lap of the person who’s the go-between.
Patti Phillips: Most learning executive to do see… most executive, excuse me, do see learning as a cost, not an investment and that’s really our fault folks because when we report on the learning investment, the reporting is around the activity of learning. Activity represents costs, costs get cut. We’ve got to change our communication around learning and position it as an investment. That means we need to be speaking in terms of results. The so what of learning. And then also most executives view hard skills more valuable than soft skills is only because hard skills, the technical skills are more directly tied to those measures that matter.
Patti Phillips: Soft skills drive hard data. It’s just that we’re not good at demonstrating how that connection is made. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. Now in terms of research over the years and there continues to be research that just reinforces the need that we see here. Good news is we are making progress. In 2009, 2010 ROI Institute did a research project in partnership with the Association for Talent Development back then AST. Today, ATD and we went to senior executives, CEOs of major corporations, Fortune 500 companies and while we only heard from 96 of them, we were very happy to have data from 96 CEOs of these major corporations.
Patti Phillips: We basically asked them three questions. One question was, given the different types of data, and so there was a list of the different types of data and examples. Given the list of the types of data, what are you currently seeing in terms of measuring learnings, investment? What type of data should you be seeing and then please rank them in terms of importance in your decision making. As you can see on the screen, the measures most frequently provided by the learning and development function to CEOs were measures that we consider level zero data, the activity, inputs, and indicators of the spend, so how many people have been trained. How much money we’re spending per person on training? What percentage of payroll is dedicated to learning?
Patti Phillips: All these measures that we have, the activity within a platform for example. How many people are accessing a program, for example, very activity driven. 94% of them say they’re getting it. 86% say, well we probably should because is the spend, right? So, we need to know what we’re spending on programs but in terms of ranking it, it ranked only number six. The data that were given our senior executives, while they need to know, it’s not the most important thing that they need to know. Now other measures like efficiency. Okay. Efficiency is just efficient use of resources, so very much an activity type measure as well. How much are we spending per person on the training? But efficiency measures they probably should be seeing a little bit more of that is not as important as those inputs and those indicators and again, both of these we would consider level zero data. It’s just use of the resources.
Patti Phillips: Now, into the terms of the measures that we like to call results, reaction data. 53% of the CEO’s say we’re getting those data. 22% say they need to. It is ranked the lowest, yet we tend to love that, right. Reaction data are our vanity metrics. What people think about our program, what they think about the facilitator. What we need to be looking at there is really about how participants perceive the content in terms of its usefulness on the job so relevance, importance, intent to use. Learning, 32% of CEOs say yes, we get that data. 28% say we need to get the data. It’s ranked number five in terms of importance.
Patti Phillips: Application, 11% are getting data around use of knowledge, skill, and information. 61% say they should be so a gap there, right? Because again, it’s not about people knowing is what people do with what they know that is important and then in terms of ranking, that was ranked number four. Is the impact data, the so what data. The senior executives want to see. Okay, people are indicating a change in behaviors. Now all indications are they’re following the procedures are… their behaviors are changing as measured by a 360-degree feedback questionnaire, but so what? How does that improve output quality, cost, time, customer satisfaction, job satisfaction, work habits, and innovation.
Patti Phillips: Only 8% of our survey respondents said they’re even seeing that information. 96% say we should be, and it is number one most important to them. Making the connection between the learning solution and the measures that matter to the organization, the indicators that say we’re moving things forward. Now in terms of ROI, ROI was ranked number two and of course being the ROI people, our question is, well, why is it ranked number one? But the reasoning behind that was if we can connect learning programs to improvement in business measures and truly be able to answer the question, how do you know it was your program that caused that improvement? We can make the leap to the money.
Patti Phillips: Getting to the money is not as hard as demonstrating that connection to impact so we can make that leap. ROI was number two. Only 4% say they were getting it. 74% say they want it, so big gap in the measures that matter to the executives and what they’re actually receiving and then number three was awards. Now in your chat box, I’m curious, why do you think awards was number three? Application data was number four, so you have impact data most important. ROI data second most important and awards third most important. 40% of the CEOs said they’re currently measuring it. 44% say they should, so they could and the should or the currently and they should be pretty much together but third, why is that? Why do you think that?
Sarah Cirone: Everyone you can just type your answers into your questions box on the GoToWebinar control panel.
Patti Phillips: Yeah, the data came from 2000… It was 2009, 2010 study, Thomas. Why do you think awards came in number three? Real quick.
Sarah Cirone: Oh, we have, it looks good on them. Employees like to be recognized.
Patti Phillips: Sure. Yeah. It looks good for the organization to get those awards. Employees love it because they’re saying, yes, we’re doing good things but in terms of the organization itself it’s part of their branding strategy, right? We win all these awards. If you fly Delta, Delta is our number one airline. We like all the others, but we live in the South and Delta is our number one but when you walk on the plane and you look at the plane itself, you’ll see all these stickers about Delta, great place to work and all the cool things that they’ve accomplished is a phenomenal organization and when you see that, it really helps the brand, it makes customers proud, they’re buying from you, it makes employees proud to work for you. That’s why wards is so important.
Patti Phillips: Now in terms of what we’re focused on is getting to that impact and that ROI. Awards is important and we often recognize that as an intangible benefit even though there is monetary value to it but in terms of the measures that we’re focused on tends to be the impact in the ROI connecting to the business measures that matter. Now when we talk about ROI, this is your only math problem for the morning, but I do and if any of you have been on any of my other webinars, that I do a math problem every time. When we’re talking about ROI, we’re talking about the fundamental metric that CFOs, CEOs, managers, business managers, operations folks, the one that they’ve been using for a long time and the reason we use this is because you can use this across any type of program and project and consistency of reporting is important.
Patti Phillips: ROI looks at earnings compared to investment, or another way to say it is net project benefit. So, a project is any type of program, project, or initiative. Net project benefits compared to project costs times 100 and the output will be a percentage return on the investment. Here’s your math problem. Let’s say we have spent $230,000 on a project and the first-year benefits based on profit and cost savings, whatever the measures are is $430,000. What is the ROI? Again, your net project benefits to get to net, what is important here is the net. To get to net all you’re going to do is take your project benefits minus your project costs divided by the project costs times 100 so you’re removing the cost of the project. So real quick, let’s see what we came up with. Do you want to put the poll up?
Sarah Cirone: Yup. There we go we should see the poll now.
Patti Phillips: This will give you maybe a hint. Did I just click it off?
Sarah Cirone: No. People should still be able to select.
Patti Phillips: Okay.
Sarah Cirone: Yeah. We see those answers coming in. Give people a couple more seconds here.
Patti Phillips: All right, let’s see what we… keep it going.
Sarah Cirone: There we go.
Patti Phillips: All right, [inaudible 00:17:23] I was reading it wrong. 56% say 87% ROI and you would be correct. Okay. Your BCR would be 1.87, so that’s the BCR. Those of you who picked 1.87 you took the project benefits 430 divided by the cost 230 and that would give you 1.87. That tells for every $1 we invest; we get a dollar 87 cents back in gross benefits. Now those of you who picked 187% you took the 430 divided by the 230 times 100. Basically, you took the benefit cost ratio and multiply it times 100, that is not ROI. That is an error that we’re starting to see that’s out there. People will do that. That is incorrect, and what you’re doing is you’re overstating your gain.
Patti Phillips: ROI is the net benefit, so your 87%. You take project benefits 430,000 minus 230,000 in your numerator and then divide it by the project cost, that’s your net. And what that 87% is telling us is that for every $1 we invest in a program or project; we get the dollar back plus an additional 87 cents or 87% return on the investment. ROI is telling us what we get over and beyond the investment and its standard issue. This is not a metric we made up, it’s the one that’s out there, right? And so, we want to use the common language of those people who are investing in the program. We don’t want to make up new metrics like ROE, which is return on equity. Net income compared to shareholder equity, it’s a standard business metric.
Patti Phillips: Return expectation is not, is one of those metrics that kind of muddies the water and while it’s cute and it’s clever, it means nothing in terms of the business and so when we make up these kinds of metrics, sometimes keeps learning and development on the softer side of things rather than the real business lever that it is. ROI, standard measure has been used for a long time is telling us what we get over and beyond the investment of the program and we can use it across everything. Okay. Like ROE, return on equity it’s a macro measure. You would not use that for programmatic purposes.
Patti Phillips: Here we’re looking at a program as an investment and we want to know what we get in return for that investment, so that’s the ROI that we use. And the good news is that it is becoming standard issue across learning and development. Measurement impact in ROI is becoming the standard, it’s the norm. It’s no longer aspirational. It’s this is where we are. We saw that in 2015 with Chief Learning Officer magazine’s research that found that of all the people responding to their research, to their survey, 71% of the chief learning officers were reporting they were either using ROI or plan to use ROI in the future as a measure to demonstrate results of those major initiatives.
Patti Phillips: ROI is not for every program. It is for those true interventions, those initiatives you’re investing in in your organization to drive change, to drive improvement in output, quality, costs, time, customer satisfaction, job satisfaction, work habits and innovation. The other thing that we’re seeing in terms of the research is more and more the associations that support learning and development are requiring impact in ROI data for their awards programs. They’re recognizing the importance of connecting learning solutions to the business. This was a quote pulled out of a 2017 study from Training magazine, but as you look at Training magazine requirements for awards, the same with ATD, you will see them for many of their awards they’re requiring that connection to the business and ROI.
Patti Phillips: Just last year I was on an awards committee where the focus of the award was… it was leadership development, but the greatest waiting was placed on the measurement strategy and how those programs connected to impact in ROI. I was on that committee judging those programs, so we are seeing it become a standard value, so have made great strides over the decades, and again, not used for everything but it is important, and it is becoming common practice. Now here’s the problem. It is important. It’s becoming common practice. We’ve been talking about impact in ROI for decades. Hundreds of books that we’ve authored including case study books dating back to 1994 describing how organizations evaluate programs to impact in ROI. It’s not a new conversation yet we continue to see stories like this.
Patti Phillips: In one of the handouts that you were provided for this webinar, there’s a case study on page three and it talks about an article that was published in London in the Sunday Telegraph and the article was really exposing the metropolitan police for spending 10 million pounds on a leadership development program, yet crime rate continued to get worse. While impact in ROI is not new, we’ve been doing it for decades and again case studies dating back to the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s showing that it can be done, and it is being done yet we continue to see this.
Patti Phillips: My question to you for your chat box is, why do we keep seeing this? Why is it that organizations continue to spend millions of dollars on these programs like leadership development, yet crime rate and other measures that matter aren’t performing the way they should. What do you think? Why does this keep happening?
Sarah Cirone: Again, you guys can take a couple minutes here and type your answers into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel.
Patti Phillips: Why does this keep happening folks? We spend millions of dollars on leadership or other programs, but the crime rate or other measures that matter continue to decline, meaning get worse.
Sarah Cirone: [Barbara 00:23:58] says no follow through with utilizing what was taught.
Patti Phillips: Yeah, that’s great, Barbara and that goes right back to our true, false quiz, right? They’re not using what they were taught.
Sarah Cirone: Yeah, and we have another response here from [Michelle 00:24:13] that says, lack of true engagement.
Patti Phillips: Yup.
Sarah Cirone: [Jackie 00:24:18] says, organizations overwhelmingly do not use systematic [HTP 00:24:23] thinking and practices.
Patti Phillips: That’s brilliant, Jackie. Yeah, that’s right. What is a continued belief that if we throw enough training, things will change? I can’t see the whole thing, but yeah, but that’s good… I like that thinking. It’s like, I call it pasta testing. You know how you grab the spaghetti out of the boiling pot, throw it up on the cabinet door. If it sticks, it’s good, time to eat. That’s kind of what we do with learning programs, right? We just consistently go to the shiny object or the shiniest object of the day and say that’s going to solve our problem and too often we purchase solutions and look for problems or the solutions to solve.
Patti Phillips: It goes back to the [HPT 00:25:03] way. There’s no systematic process of getting us there. We’re not thinking about what is that problem or opportunity ahead of time and then looking for solutions that are going to help address that. With that in mind, one more question for all of you is, how are you in your organization… how are you connecting programs to the measures that matter? What are you doing to ensure that before you implement a solution, you know there’s some alignment between solution and those measures such as crime rate? What do you guys do? Yeah. I like that one [Heidi 00:25:46]. Not accurately defining. Not defining expectations. This is from the previous question as they write the others.
Sarah Cirone: Research the pros and cons.
Patti Phillips: Yup.
Sarah Cirone: Talk to end users about their needs.
Patti Phillips: Yeah, having that crucial conversation, right? Yeah. What’s the opportunity?
Sarah Cirone: [Theresa 00:26:05] says start with the hard questions and ask the right people.
Patti Phillips: Ah, nice. I like that one.
Sarah Cirone: It’s a good one.
Patti Phillips: Hey [Toby 00:26:13] ensure measuring strategies embedded. What is the, a lot of guerrilla tactics to prevent clients from…
Sarah Cirone: From getting what they ask for.
Patti Phillips: I love it. It’s true though. Yeah. Try to determine if it will produce the results. Yeah, that’s perfect. And actually… that gets to a good point. Yeah. We’re in this mode of innovation and agile and all this… test with your products, right? Test before you buy. What happens is those organizations such as all of you on the chat… what is the problem, get clarity in terms of what is the need for the program or the project. What measures need to improve. Do your homework. We think design thinking for example, is all about curiosity. Well, it starts with problem first.
Patti Phillips: We don’t design just because we can, we design because we should and then we get very curious in terms of what is happening or not happening in the organization that if we changed it could help us improve that measure and that’s when we start identifying solutions and if we’re really innovative and really willing to be that agile organization where we pivot in and out quickly, even though we’re doing it methodically, we’ll test the solutions on a pilot basis before we make a major investments.
Patti Phillips: A lot of things that we can do to make sure our programs are connected to the measures that matter, but it really begins with the why. It really begins with identifying the measures that matter. There’s a good book and I cannot tell you who the author is, but maybe [Melissa 00:27:53] can look it up real quick because I know Melissa’s online with this, but it’s called Trusted Advisor. It’s been around for a long time ago. We in the learning and development space need to be the business partner of the organization. We have HR business partners, we have learning development business partners, but we truly need to be that business partner, that trusted advisor and part of being that trusted advisor is asking the right questions that will help our client identify the measures that matter when maybe they can’t articulate it when we initially ask.
Patti Phillips: In your handout, there’s another case study is about three pages long. It’s a summary of the case study, Hilton Hotels. In Hilton what they do is they had a coaching program, a coaching for business impact program. 25 of their senior executives went through this initiative and before they ever connected with the coach in terms of implementation, they had a matching process to match executives with coach but before they ever made that connection, they identified the measures that they needed to improve.
Patti Phillips: If you have 25 coaches, each one of them may identify a different measure. Although they did give them some parameters and that wasn’t necessarily the case, but the point is they identified the measures and then they went through that coaching initiative and as they went through the coaching initiative and gain new insights about themselves, they identified specific actions they would take to change their leadership behaviors, but it was all aligned with what the measures were that they were trying to improve. Those actions and those behaviors targeted those measures. It’s a good case study. Action planning was used in the case.
Patti Phillips: In fact, we’ve uploaded the entire case study for you in your handouts. It’s called nation’s hotel for the book, but it was the fact that Hilton Hotels, so take a look at that, how they applied? It’s all about asking the question upfront, why do you need this? What are we trying to accomplish? And if we can do that, we have then positioned ourselves to better connect to the business and ensure we have the right solution in place. It’s just that shift getting away from kind of a traditional activity-based process where training’s all input focused and training’s a cost not an investment.
Patti Phillips: We’re moving away from that traditional look and emerging to a new paradigm where we’re looking at value drivers. We are agile and flexible, meaning we are more willing to test a product before investing in that product. We don’t just test the pasta and roll it all out to everyone. We’re willing to pilot test and compare results to one group from one group to that of another. Using that control group, experimental design as our isolation technique, but more importantly to test the product to see if it’s actually going to solve our problems.
Patti Phillips: We’re into learning analytics still with learning analytics. A lot of the conversations sadly is dealing with the level zero, level one, level two data and where learning analytics has been going from a measurement evaluation standpoint it’s impact in ROI but when we talk about the technology that enables those robust analytics, we’ve got to get to a point where the technology and learning talks to the technology in business and in HR. We work in all three spaces and we’re not quite there. We’re so close, but we’re not quite there.
Patti Phillips: In fact, we work with some organizations where their people analytics, their HR analytics is very well connected to the business and then their learning measurement people are part of that function too. They’re not necessarily reporting to HR, they’re still reporting to the chief learning officer, but they’re embedded in the people analytics function so that one they have somebody to talk to about process and methodology, but the other thing is if the HR analytics is connected to the business data, we need to be there also. We are seeing some good things happen and the whole thing is let’s get away from looking at learning as a fun activity. Let’s look at it as a business driver because that’s really what it is.
Patti Phillips: We talk a little bit about design already, but in the end that’s what it is. It’s all about design thinking and we talk loosely about design thinking all the time. Design thinking is not new. It’s been around for decades if not centuries, likely centuries, because if you think architects and artists, they design but they have a vision of what they’re trying to accomplish. That is what design thinking is all about. Is a problem-solving approach to handling problems and it requires us to be a little more curious than we are? We in our industry are fixers. Don’t you find yourself; you just want to solve the problem. We are problem solvers. We need to step out of that role a little bit and not try to fix things, not try to solve the problem but to design a solution that’s going to get us what we’re really trying to go for.
Patti Phillips: Design thinking requires that framework of balance. You have your needs and the feasibility of doing it, so here’s the business needs. Here is the potential solution. Now, what solution is most feasible given what we’re up against? And given the risk and consequences of implementing a certain solution. We always look for ways to take on challenges by applying empathy. What are people going to think about it? But also design thinking requires this culture that fosters experimentation. Again, getting back to that, let’s test this product and see if it’s going to solve our problem before we invest in it. There’s a process to it. When we’re designing, there’s a process. There’s a toolkit.
Patti Phillips: We talk about agile; a lot of people talk about agile very loosely. It is very methodical. We’ve got a process, we have standards, we have this storytelling element to it so we can explain the findings of our research, describe how our program really was the reason these measures have improved and then two, this new competitive logic of business strategy. Thinking black box thinking, reflecting on data, taking a step back, what worked, what didn’t and how can we improve? And then also it means that we’re going to solve some pretty big problems sometimes as well as mitigate the risk associated with solving problems and taking advantage of opportunity.
Patti Phillips: Again, just a review of the different design principles and again, design thinking principles. They’re all different ones depending on what you use. These are the ones that we’ve adapted our model to. Here’s how our model sort of aligns with the design thinking principles. Another handout that you all have is our application guide. It’s the cliff notes of our books and it takes you through our steps in the design thinking approach. We always say start with why first. Before you ever invest start with why. That’s going to make sure that we align our programs with the business so, much the Hilton way, okay, versus what happened in Scotland Yard.
Patti Phillips: We’re going to make sure that we put steps in place to select the right solution. There’s too many processes in terms of methodology as well as technology. They can help us better make decisions around the solutions that we need. Now there’s so many choices out there. We need a process to get us to the solution and then we’re going to expect success, so we designed for results, setting those clear specific objectives and the indicators that tell us we’re achieving the objectives and then we’re going to make it matter, design it to get that positive reaction from people. It is relevant to them.
Patti Phillips: Design it so they do acquire the requisite knowledge, skill, information, and insight and we’re going to make it stick. This is the key, and you all noted this earlier in our conversation. It’s got to stick. People have to use what they learn because if they don’t, you will not get impact and you will not get ROI. It is impossible. Measures may improve, crime rate may go down, but if people aren’t using what they’re learning from your program, it has nothing to do with you. We want to design it so that it sticks. You want to include that learning transfer strategy that we all know so well.
Patti Phillips: Include that as part of the process and build measurement evaluation into it so we can clearly connect what our programs are doing and what the measures are doing and we’re going to make it credible. Measuring results and calculating ROI, but do it in a very credible, methodical, prosper… a credible and methodical way, and then tell a story. Tell the story in such a way that it is compelling your stakeholders to do exactly what you want them to do. Because communication is just like learning and development. We communicate for a reason. There is an opportunity out there and we want to communicate our story, so those stakeholders just follow our lead. They do exactly what we want them to do and then we’re going to optimize results. Use that black box thinking, step out, reflect on what worked, what didn’t work, make change.
Patti Phillips: That’s how we put it together and then this is just a quick review of the process. I want to stop here real quick before I get into this though, if I can’t [inaudible 00:37:27] does anyone have any questions so far? We’re about to look at the steps and what we mean by the steps and share with the model, but I just wanted to see if there’s any questions before I move on.
Sarah Cirone: Hey, we did have a question come in earlier, Michelle was asking, what do you do when you ask business advice, and an advisor is unwilling or they’re not capable to provide support that you need to work as a business partner?
Patti Phillips: Right. That’s a great question and it’s a big question too. I think one of the things that we all need to get better at. I’m not saying this is what’s happening, Michelle, but just a thought is asking better questions to better enable them to get us the information. Now, it could be you’re working with the wrong person. That’s always a thought that… but sometimes I think that we can’t get what we want to out of people because we’re not asking the right questions or not asking them in a way that it resonates with them.
Patti Phillips: What we’ll do is take our framework of data and you’ll see it in just a moment. We kind of flip it and walk them through this process to get where we want. Let me show you this, Michelle. See if this helps you. I’ll show it to you in just a minute if that’s okay. I think it gets a lot… It gets down to asking good questions. Now again, the person may be the wrong person and maybe they’re the kind of person they’re saying, “Michelle, we don’t want you to touch our data. We’re going to tell you nothing about our data.” That’s a little problematic, so what you have to do then is rely on participants to help you and that’s one of our shortcut strategies anyway, is let participants do the work for you. Tell the participants what you need and let them go get it because they are there with the measures, so they have access to it.
Patti Phillips: I’ll show you this alignment model in just a moment and give you some thoughts in terms of questions that you can ask. Thank you for that, appreciate it. Okay. Let’s start with why. Again, design thinking principle is all about problem solving. That’s what we’re trying to do, and alignment is the key. We want to align with the problem or the opportunity that exists. We want to make sure that we’re clear on what we mean by value and so in terms of value… oops, sorry.
Patti Phillips: In terms of value, what we’re talking about is this value chain that occurs, is people are involved in our programs, projects, and initiatives. You all know the framework of data. We went through it a little bit earlier, but the framework of data… so the original four steps to training evaluation was developed by an I-O psychologist named Raymond Katzell back in the late ’40s, early ’50s. Don Kirkpatrick wrote about them in the 1950s and then Jack added to that framework cost benefit analysis, which gets us to level five but more importantly, Jack operationalized it and put it into practice, which now gives us this usable process that we have neither Katzell nor Kirkpatrick did that, and we liked the framework that we have because it’s so logical.
Patti Phillips: It provides compelling information for pretty much everyone but in particular compelling information for those stakeholders who are funding their programs and that includes your impact in your ROI. Values defined differently based on perspective. Your level zero data, those inputs, and activities, that’s always measured, right? You have to measure that. Now, you don’t always have to be so darn proud of it, but you do have to measure it. Inputs and activities, that’s the count. We get that through our system, through our LMS, but when we roll the program out, results start to occur. We look at all of these in terms of outcomes at some perspective or some level.
Patti Phillips: Reaction data, easy to get to. The challenge with reaction data though is asking the right question. So much of the time we still see those end of program evaluations that are asking questions that don’t mean anything. So, a reaction data, you want to make sure that you’re asking questions that have some predictive validity. Questions around relevance, importance, intent to use. We’ve seen that statistically those measures when created as index have predictability or predictive validity in terms of application and that’s where you want them to go, right? You want them to apply it. These level one data, if you ask the right questions, can be predictive of application.
Patti Phillips: Now, one caveat around level one data. If you are training a group of people who are brand new hires, let’s say they’re going to work in your call center, they’ve never had a big job. This is their first big person job. They’re coming into a corporation, they’re brand new and wide eyed and they’re so excited to work in the call center and you have them in a program before they ever go to the job. You have them in a program teaching them about that program. If you were to ask them the question at the end of the course, is this program relevant to your job? They would tell you yes because you taught them that content and they’re assuming because you taught it to them, it is relevant to them.
Patti Phillips: That’s where it doesn’t work. That’s where the predictive validity of measures of relevance, importance, and intent to use doesn’t work because they’re assuming this is the right thing because you’re telling them it is, but for most programs where we’re trying to move people forward, they’re already in the job and you’re trying to develop them further. Measure such as relevance, importance, intent to use, amount of new information, and recommend to others have been shown to have predictive validity in terms of application and that’s what we’re really looking for there.
Patti Phillips: Good information gives us perspective from the participant view and can be predictive of use again. That’s where we’re going. We want people to use what we learn and reaction data can give us initial insight. If you find that it’s not relevant to them, you don’t sit there and take it. You say, okay, we need to make a move, right? We need to give them a job aid. Let’s call a few of them and see what the problem is so we can address it. Because what we don’t want to do is retrain them, and what we do want to happen is to have impact in ROI, but your people have to be bought into it first. Reaction data are important. They’re telling us the extent to which people are bought into that program and that content.
Patti Phillips: Learning, not so difficult to measure depending on what it is. Investing in a major simulation, that could be expensive but you would only do that if you need that kind of learning assessment is your program, so not always too difficult. It’s important because we need to know that people have the knowledge, skill, information, and insight that they need to do what we want them to do. We need to know that people are ready. Your level one, level two data or telling us the extent to which people are willing and able to do what we want them to do and in your level three data are important because this is where the rubber meets the road, right.
Patti Phillips: Here we’re assessing the extent to which people are doing it. They’re using the knowledge, skill information routinely, major value here because if you have… Think about your supervisors out in operations in the plants, they’ll tell you, I don’t care what you’re teaching them. I care about what they do on the job. That’s what they care about and that’s what application is saying, is measuring. Here’s what people are doing. They’re doing it. This is frequently as we want them to. They’re doing it effectively.
Patti Phillips: We also capture data around barriers and enablers to application here, the transfer of learning. Your level three is important. This is where you’re checking to see did the learning transfer from what people know to what people do, critical. Because if you don’t get results here, you’re not going to get impact, and then the value in terms of executive or funder perspective. Your impact data are answering that so what question. People are applying knowledge, skill, and information so what? How is that improving output quality, cost, time, customer satisfaction, job satisfaction, work habits, and innovation and how much of that measure, how much of that improvement is due to this program and not the new system I put into place.
Patti Phillips: While there’s debate out there, the debate is not as strong as it was at one time about this step. We have always done this. This is called good research folks. That is all this is. It is nothing special for [L&D 00:46:06]. It is putting good research methodology in the hands of learning development and again you go back to the 1970s and ’80s in some of Jack’s earlier work. He was talking about isolating the effects of the program then.
Patti Phillips: We’ve got to do it. It is the question being asked. ASTD just came out with their evaluation benchmarking report. Came out in December, I think. If you’re member of ATD and you have $199 you can download it. If you’re not a nonmember, it costs more than that. You still download it, but you have to pay. But in that it says one of the barriers… one of the top three barriers to evaluating programs to impact is this issue of isolating the effects of the program. It shouldn’t be a barrier because there’s a way to do it and if we’re agile and if we’re innovative and if we’re using design thinking, we’re experimenting anyway and if you’re experimenting, that means you’re implementing a program for one group and there’s another comparable group out there driving the same measures. You just compare, classic research design.
Patti Phillips: Now there are other ways to do it. If you’re not piloting programs and that’s a whole other workshop and if you’re interested, let us know and we can run that one for you but it’s a critical part of it because someone is going to ask you the question, how much of that program is due to your program? I mean how much of that improvement is due to your program and not something else and you need a way to answer it. And then all you have to do is convert some measures to money, bring in the costs, calculate the ROI, and in one metric you can demonstrate how well your program did to how much you spent on that program.
Patti Phillips: The value chain represents value from multiple perspectives. Level zero data is not about value add, but it’s really about the cost of the program. This really goes into the denominator of your ROI formula. Reaction data, learning data. Look at value from that participant perspective. Application data considers value from the system perspective. How well is the system supporting that transfer of learning? And then your impact in your ROI data is looking at success of our programs or value from that business perspective or that stakeholder who’s investing in your program perspective.
Patti Phillips: Value defined different ways and what we want to do is start our programs with the why and the why is around that pay off and that business needs, so value from that stakeholder perspective. Here we’re just flipping the framework and when we’re assessing the why. Start with why, we start here. In the ideal world we are clear on the opportunities for the organization to make money, save money, avoid cost and then we are clear on the specific business measures that need to improve, and from there we start to assess what is happening or not happening that if we changed it can improve the business measures and through this process, performance needs process solutions start to bubble up, and as we look at the solutions we assess, well what is it people need to know to make the solution work and then how best can we deliver it, preference needs and an input needs is just who’s involved in it.
Patti Phillips: In the ideal world, before we ever invest in a solution, we get clear on the why and the why represents the value from the perspective of those people funding the program that is pay off opportunity and the business needs. Now, Michelle, to your question, sometimes we can’t so easily get here. Maybe the person we’re working with doesn’t know what the business need is, they don’t know what the crime rate is or where the crime rate is really bad. Maybe they don’t know. Maybe they’re not giving us the answer but something you can do is, let’s say that you’ve been tasked with delivering crucial conversations. Okay? Now you’ve been tasked… you have this workshop and you’re trying to sort out why? The boss comes to you, Michelle and says, “Michelle, I want crucial conversations, I want [Sharon Lavoie 00:50:19] to facilitate it next Thursday and Friday, I want these people to come, and I want to see a positive ROI.”
Patti Phillips: As soon as Michelle becomes the order taker, not the business partner, but the order taker and says, “Yes, great idea. I’ll do it.” Now, Michelle owns it. She owns the program, and she owns the ROI. What we want to do is change the dynamic a little bit so when the boss comes to Michelle and says, “Okay Michelle, I want crucial conversations. I want Sharon to teach it. I want a positive ROI.” Before we ever say yes, we’re going to just change the dynamic. We’re going to ask a couple of questions and one question would be, okay, great idea, crucial conversations. Vital smarts is good stuff. Everyone should take it. Take the course. What exactly do you want these people to learn? And the boss says, “I want them to learn how to have a crucial conversation.”
Patti Phillips: Michelle says, “Great idea. What exactly do you want them to do differently that they’re not doing now?” And the boss says, “I want them to have a crucial conversation with those people who aren’t showing up for work.” Boss just told Michelle what she needs to know, and she says, “Okay, let me get this straight. You want this crucial conversations workshop and we want these people to learn how to have a crucial conversation so that these people have a crucial conversation with their employees who aren’t showing up for work. So, what you’re telling me is the supervisors have an absenteeism problem.” And the boss says, “Yeah, that’s what I’ve been saying all along.” And then Michelle says, “Okay, so absenteeism is a problem. Can you tell me about how much that absenteeism costs the organization?” Oh yeah. It’s about a thousand dollars an absence.
Patti Phillips: Just by changing the questioning a little bit, that can get us to the impact. Now sometimes they come in with, we need these behaviors to change. The next question is why. May not say it like that but the next question is, okay, if we do that great idea, if we do that, how is that going to influence improvement and output quality, cost, and time. So, you just bump your question up and then say, “Okay, what’s it worth to us? You know, monetary value.” In a very casual conversation without asking too many questions, we can get close to what we need.
Patti Phillips: Now again, a lot of times you’re going to be relying on the participants to give you those answers, but this at least helps you and get your head around what the real problem is and then all we have to do, so start with why is the first step. Then all you have to do from there is just quantify the why to develop the specific measurable objectives. Specific measurable objectives set that expectation. Okay, expectation tells us exactly what it is we’re trying to accomplish and then we design the solution around those objectives.
Patti Phillips: Too much of the time we have very loose objectives, very vague objectives and then we just sort of go with it. Vague objectives are going to give you [inaudible 00:53:18] a vague program but vague results. Specificity defines results and so that’s why our step two in our process is to expect success. Get those data, get those objectives at all levels. What are you really trying to accomplish? What do people really need to know? What behaviors are really going to change and by when and what does that behavior change even look like? What measures are going to improve, by how much and by when and what is that target ROI. Setting the objectives, using those as the design framework, the architectural blueprint, but the objectives become the measures that matter and it’s that specificity that drives results. Okay.
Patti Phillips: We start with the why, we expect success and then we’re going to define that success very specifically and then determine what is a feasible solution given that success and then we’re going to design to make it matter. We start with a why. We set the expectations, we define whatever that solution is, design it to make it matter, to do that we’re going to focus on those objectives that matter. Designing it to make it relevant to the audience and that design includes the facilitation, implementation, make it relevant to the audience and also design it so that they can acquire the knowledge, skill, information that they need and then we’re going to design it to make it stick and this again gets to your transfer of learning. It has to do with data collection, focusing on those application as in the objectives, ensuring your learning transfer strategy is built into it, and then these are just different ways you can collect the data.
Patti Phillips: Start with why, make it feasible. Expect success, make it matter, make it stick, go out and collect your data to see if in fact it is sticking. Are people using the knowledge, skill, and information? Are the business measures improving? And we’re going to collect these data and evaluate the program using a very credible methodology. Is all about process. W. Edwards Deming, founder of total quality management told us if you don’t know what you’re doing and can’t explain it as a process, then you really don’t know what you’re doing. Right? It’s all about process. A process without standards is not a process, Deming also told us. Thinking about your methodology, your process to make the results, your reporting credible. Are you isolating the effects of the program? Are you converting measures to money to get to ROI?
Patti Phillips: Again, this is just our process to get there. What does your evaluation process look like? Again, we start with why. We identify the feasible solutions. We set up our expectations for success with those objectives. We design it to make it matter, so design for positive reaction, learning acquisition, and we’re also designing it with that transfer strategy in mind. How are we going to ensure people are using the knowledge, skill, and information? How are we going to collect the data? How are we going to collect the data to see if in fact business measures are improving and build it all into the process and you’ll see that in that nation’s hotel case study and then we have another case study we’re going to send you.
Patti Phillips: You’ll see how it’s all built in and then on your credibility that’s in your evaluation process, your data analysis, taking a step to isolate the effects of the program. Converting measures to money when you can, and sometimes you’re going to choose not to. Those are your intangibles. Tabulating the fully loaded cost of the program, calculating the ROI, and then communicating the results and using the data. I just want to show you real quick when we’re talking about impact and ROI. We’re about to close it out here, but as I mentioned earlier, not all programs are evaluated to all levels, particularly not impact in ROI.
Patti Phillips: This is a distribution, and this is actually in the application guide that you guys will receive. Typically, what we’re talking about with impact and ROI. If you think Pareto principle 80/20 rule. About 10 to 20% of the programs you put into place are those big interventions and those are the ones that are going to touch the measures that matter, the business measures, quality, cost, and time. That’s what we’re talking about. 10 to 20%, we typically see evaluated to impact. ROI, five to 10% of those to ROI. Now, some organizations, if they go to impact, they go to ROI but here we’re talking about the major investments in your people. There are some things you’re going to do regardless, like your safety training. It’s going to happen.
Patti Phillips: In conclusion, the last little bit… just mention, is the storytelling process. Again, just think about how you can describe the story. There’s a lot of work being done out there. We’ve talked storytelling to death, and we now have to get good at it. Have you present your information, tell your story in a compelling, logical and credible way, and that’s key. What is going to compel your people to follow your lead? When we can get that good, it starts with having good data, right? It starts with having good content and then how do we present that content in a way that makes sense to the audience and then finally do something with it. Too much of the time we have really good evaluation going on, but we do nothing with it. If you’re not using the data, don’t collect it.
Patti Phillips: The idea is leverage the evaluation data to improve programs, projects, initiatives, and the organization that supports learning and that will lead to funding opportunities. It will improve reputation, it will help you build relationships with those supervisors and senior executives you may or may not have relationships with, so that’s the process. This is my pontification. What questions do you guys have? I know we’re done. We’re out of time, but what questions do you all have? Just wanted to pop this up here. We’re giving away a couple of chapters in some of our books that we’ve published in partnership with HRDQ.
Patti Phillips: Melissa is going to ensure that you get a copy of a chapter from the business case for learning and then the bottom line on ROI. Some of you may have this book, it’s in its third edition but it came out a couple of years ago, but there is a chapter in the bottom line on ROI that if you don’t have the book, we should suggest you buy the book but if you don’t have it, she’s going to send you this chapter, it’s on forecasting ROI. It’s not necessarily part of the conversation today. Today we’re just talking about designing for results, keep delivering those results executives want, but forecasting is becoming important especially if we’re going to do what we talked about earlier and that is piloting those programs.
Patti Phillips: Well, sometimes you want to forecast the ROI before you ever go into the pilot. It’s just a really brief high level look at forecasting but if you want that, Melissa’s going to make sure that you get a copy of that and then two, there’s another leadership case study that we’re going to send you, Precision manufacturing. I keep saying Melissa because she’s online, but if you’ll email [Andy 01:00:46], he’s got them ready to go, so he’ll send them to you and there’s his contact. What questions do you have before we end because I know you guys have to get back to work.
Sarah Cirone: Yeah, Patti, so it looks like we can slip in one question here. A question we have is, how do you apply ROI to soft skills.
Patti Phillips: Right, and so that’s what the coaching and the leadership is all about. Something we often… and sometimes we get it confused to… not us, but the industry gets it confused. Soft skills is nothing more than a solution that’s driving hard data. You’re going to apply it the exact same way as you would any other type program. The difference, and I think that’s where the confusion is. We often say soft skills, but if you look at sales training for example, that’s a soft skill program, but a lot of people wouldn’t say that, but it is because they’re learning how to communicate. They’re learning how to collaborate too. A lot of the leadership and coaching is sales training.
Patti Phillips: What the confusion gets to be really the measures you’re connecting to. The measures that soft skills drive are measures that put quality, cost, and time. You’ll see that in the nation’s hotel case study that you have. They’re looking at measures like inventory cost. That’s important measure, it’s easily converted to money. Now they’re looking at turnover, employee turnover. That has become much easier to convert to money than in the past. I think it’s… the short answer is you apply it to soft skills the exact same way you do any other, it’s just that how you collect the data maybe a little bit differently. How you isolate the effects of the program. Maybe you can’t use control group, but you could use estimates.
Patti Phillips: You might use [inaudible 01:02:34] analysis. There are other techniques to isolate the effects of the program. Just always remember those soft programs that you’re running are driving hard measures. We just have to think through what is the best approach. In the application guide you will see different ways again to collect data. I touched on that, but you’ll also see a step around isolation, different ways you can isolate the effects of the program. Control group is the gold standard, but you don’t have to use it. In fact, we don’t use it but about I don’t know, 35, 40% of the time you don’t use it.
Patti Phillips: That’s changing some because we are becoming more innovative, because we are willing to test a product before we buy the product, but there are other ways to do it. The soft skills programs drive some of the highest ROIs that we see.
Sarah Cirone: Great. Thank you so much Patti. It looks like where you have approached the top of the hour here, so we should wrap things up. I just wanted to thank you. This was an amazing presentation, and we appreciate you looking to HRDQ for your training needs. We published researched based experiential learning products that you can deliver in your organization. Check out our online prints of assessments, our up out of your [seat games 01:03:47], our reproducible workshops that you can customize and more either at our website or give our customer service team a call, and if you need help learning a training program or you’d like one of our expert trainers to deliver it for you, we also provide those services.
Sarah Cirone: We look forward to being your soft skills training resource. That’s all the time that we have for today. If you have any other questions, please send them to us and we’ll answer them after the session by email. Thank you so much Patti, for sharing your expertise with us today.
Patti Phillips: Thank you. It was a pleasure. Always a pleasure to work with you and HRDQ and thanks everyone for joining us and please reach out. Andy, myself, Melissa, reach out directly. All you have to do where it says Andy you can put Patti, P-A-T-T-I@roiinstitute.net. Same with Melissa. Reach out to any one of us and let us know what you need, and we probably have it available. Do that, and I did want for those of you who are hanging on just a little bit. I’m going to put these resources out here. Level zero is a resource you guys might want to take advantage of. It’s free.
Patti Phillips: As my brother-in-law likes to say, if it’s free, it’s for me so it’s free. Give you some resources out there and then two, we also have some other opportunities, develop capability in ROI. The level one membership is our bootcamp. Is our one-day workshop, but we acquiesce to the need to put it online. Now it’s online, inexpensive, you get a lot. It’s good. We get a lot of good comments about the boot camp and then of course, for those of you who truly want to master ROI and the ROI methodology, we invite you to join us for our certification. It’s 25 years old. We’re celebrating 25 years this fall in implementing, and it is the most comprehensive program on measurement evaluation, particularly with a focus on ROI. It’s an entire process, not just the educational component, but the actual implementation.
Patti Phillips: Join us for that as well, but if nothing else, hop on that level zero membership and grab the tools and resources that you need.
Sarah Cirone: That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Patti, and thank you everyone for participating in this webinar today. Happy training everyone.
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