That most organizations simply don’t have a mechanism in place for measuring the ROI of informal and social learning in the workplace is more than just a matter of being “behind the times.”
It’s that some teams are missing a critical opportunity to harness all the invaluable knowledge hidden just below the surface — and just out of reach of many learning strategies.
But now, organizations are coming to terms with the fact that people learn more of what they need to be effective at their job through informal, on-the-job and coaching channels than they do through more formal means. But when it comes to executing a learning strategy, many companies are still looking at their learning strategies upside-down.
The vast majority of learning occurs in the classroom and via eLearning courses, which only accounts for about 10 percent of an organization’s actual learning. Even within that 10 percent, retention of information delivered through those formal channels is too low — most learners forget up to 90 percent of the material within days.
What opportunities are companies missing to help people retain more of what they’re learning and discover new knowledge through other, more informal channels?
In a recent webinar (“Measuring the ROI of Informal Learning”) co-hosted by David Wentworth of Brandon Hall Group and Docebo’s own Alessio Artuffo, we discussed the implications of neglecting to measure informal learning, and how to better align formal learning metrics with performance.By applying the 70:20:10 learning framework to the eLearning context, companies could provide the opportunity to retain knowledge through social and informal reinforcement, while at the same time implementing a measurable eLearning strategy.
Overall, organizations aren’t so great at measuring learning. After the basics like completion rates and smile sheets, measurement gets a little more complex. Since it can be difficult to understand how a learning program impacts the organization (or calculate ROI), companies simply don’t do it.
In fact, just half of organizations surveyed by Brandon Hall Group measure more than 75% of their learning programs at Kirkpatrick Level 1 (learner reaction – “Did you feel that the training was worth your time? Did you like the venue and the presentation style?”), while best practices recommend 100%. Even less is measured when we look beyond formal learning and try to find how often social and collaborative learning is quantified.
By implementing a sound overall measurement strategy as an extension of a results-focused learning strategy before you try measuring informal learning, you can begin to explore what unique measurements informal learning offers. Measurement becomes clear once the link to performance as an outcome is established.
In fact, according to Brandon Hall Group, measuring informal learning, for the most part, is not that different than measuring more traditional types of learning.
In a new report, the research firm recommends that companies reexamine their learning strategy through the 70:20:10 lens. Are learners being provided with opportunities to engage in informal, collaborative and experiential learning? If not, it’s time to consider incorporating some new learning environments.
Basic questions to help gauge formal learning:
- How many people participated in the program?
- Did the participants enjoy the material, presenter, and/or venue?
- How did they perform on the assessment afterwards?
- Are people better at their jobs after participating in the learning program?
- Are learners getting to competency or optimal productivity faster?
Informal-specific metrics to consider:
- Which learners are participating the most?
- Who do people most often turn to for information?
- What content is getting shared the most?
Allowing learners to rate and comment on content not only gives you instant Level 1 feedback, it helps you shape content in the future.Get more insight into how your organization can incorporate informal learning in a meaningful (and measurable) way. Stream our recent webinar, “Measuring the ROI of Informal Learning” now.