Shifting to Virtual Training? Don’t Forget Your Measurement Strategy!

Written by John Heffernon, Consultant, Talent Solutions, Explorance.

It is not hyperbole to say that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing our world and our lives. One of the key elements being impacted is how work gets done. Employees across a variety of industries see large scale changes in how they do their jobs. As the what and especially where change for the workforce, one thing is certain – training continues to be important to getting good work done.

As a result, the learning function is adapting rapidly to the current environment to help employees across the globe. Explorance reached out to our enterprise learning clients to understand how COVID-19 is impacting their L&D strategy and how they measure the effectiveness and impact of their programs. Our passion is ensuring that L&D organizations everywhere can gather the feedback they need to optimize the value training programs provide. We are sharing what we’ve heard from our clients as they adjust to a new training landscape and offering some tips to ensure a smooth transition for your measurement strategy.

How are L&D functions maintaining the status quo?

Not surprisingly, more than 80% of learning functions we’ve heard from are converting mission-critical instructor-based training to virtual training, while 62% are canceling all instructor-led events. It goes without saying the rise of virtual training is happening fast and furiously. Less than 20% of L&D appears to be maintaining the status quo and continuing with their current training/measurement plans. If you are more akin to the majority of your peers, this is a good time to ensure you have a virtual training measurement plan.

The biggest learning measurement needs of L&D right now are survey and reporting adjustments that account for the massive influx of virtual learning (according to 73% of learning functions) and long-term strategic planning (36%). Based on these results, we have three tips to help you manage the transition you’re facing now and keep an eye on what’s next.

  1. Adjust measurement plans to align with new delivery methods. Our validated evaluation templates are tailored according to learning methodology and make it easy to gather the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to understand if newly transitioned virtual classes are providing learners with the learning experience they need.
  2. Consider the impact on your reporting plan. Monitor and compare changes in core KPIs like Scrap and NPS to gauge whether newly updated programs are producing the same results as they did before the move to virtual and use an adjusted design or delivery tactics as needed. Class-level instructor reporting will become critical for delivery personnel who are adjusting to delivery in the virtual environment and course designers must be able to modify content as evaluation data is received quickly. Metrics That Matter benchmarks are available to compare your programs to others delivered in an online facilitated, virtual classroom, and self-paced web-based mode.
  3. Long term planning is not on everyone’s mind yet. As the dust settles, be ready to debrief and think about lessons learned. As one of our clients put it, “right now learning leaders are in reaction mode and are prioritizing efficient conversion.” This conversion process from ILT to VLT or other modalities is going to take time and use up resources. It can make it hard to balance the heavy conversion work for courses themselves with the conversion of measurement strategy. After the immediate work is completed, pause, and consider how L&D’s success criteria may need to be updated given the conversion process. Changing success criteria naturally, lead to further modification of learning measurement plans and KPIs reported back to stakeholders.

Are you looking for tips on how to transition your in-person events to a virtual format? Watch our webinar, Keep Calm and Go Virtual: Moving Your Live Training Online.

Organizations that are moving forward with virtual training that is more strategic in nature are not only faced with adapting the content and delivery; they are asking many employees to apply new skills in atypical work environments. The dramatic shift of many jobs to remote work adds another dimension to the post-training support strategy, extending the measurement plan also to include learner engagement. Explorance’s Bluepulse engagement network is gaining traction as a lightweight, easy to use way to check in on learners after training and provide additional resources or coaching between program sessions.

We are offering our customers an opportunity to get started with Bluepulse free of charge. Contact us to learn more.

Supporting our customers is always Explorance’s first priority, and we stand ready to help L&D organizations handle the challenges they are facing in the new work environment. As always, our team of measurement experts is available to help reduce the burden this rapid change is having on you and your team. Let us know how we can help!


BluepulseCorporateCOVID-19Employee insight solutionsL&D effectivenessMetrics That Matter

Measure the effectiveness of your L&D programs.

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