The 70:20:10 Framework is model that captures the three types of learning – experiential, social and formal. FYI ‘formal‘ represents only 10% of how learning happens. Smart companies invest in learning that has a strong possibility of return.
Does your company know how to measure the ROI of building capability and talent?
A cost is simply an expenditure of money, time, or resources. An investment is an expenditure that has a strong possibility of a return. Training is a budgetary cost rarely legitimised or offset with a solid calculation or recognition of the return on investment (ROI).
We are all familiar with evaluation of training courses, right? Every good trainer provides Happy Sheets during progress of multi-day and at the end of their programs. Many organisations insist on them doing so and collating participant responses to a range of questions like:
- Did you enjoy the training?
- Did you like the trainer?
- Do you think it was an appropriate use of your time?
- Do you think the material was relevant to your work?
- How likely would you be to recommend the course to colleagues?
In most cases, sadly, evaluation of impact begins and ends there.
The 70:20:10 Framework shows that the assumption of investing in formal training is not reflective of how to build capability sustainably and highlights the need for work-based coaching. Let’s unpack 70:20:10 a little more…
The 70% is Experiential/Experience – learning and developing through day-today tasks, challenges and practice. This is what people do in their business as usual practice that uses and applies their new knowledge and skills.
The 20% is Social/Exposure – learning and developing with and through others from coaching, exploiting personal networks and other collaborative and co-operative actions.
The 10% is Formal/Education – learning and developing through structured courses and programs, reading and research.
Using coaching to support the 70:20:10 model is a great strategy for improving your overall ROI for training supports measurable results such as:
- Did any new knowledge transfer to the participants, and did it stick?
- Are participants behaving differently and more appropriately as a result of their learning?
- Did business outcomes consequently improve – how do you know?
- Did the value of the business improvement exceed the value of the training investment?
Since the 1950’s the Kirkpatrick Model has been the worldwide standard for evaluating the effectiveness of training. It considers the value of any type of training, formal or informal, across four levels:
Level 1 Reaction evaluates how participants respond to the training;
Level 2 Learning measures if they actually learned the material;
Level 3 Behaviour considers if they are using what they learned on the job; and
Level 4 Results evaluates if the training positively impacted the organisation.
Different kinds of training and development opportunities lead to different positive outcomes for organisations (Level 4), some of which are more obvious than others. For instance:
- Sales and product knowledge training lead to increased revenue and market share.
- Service training can lead to better customer experiences and brand loyalty.
- Innovation training encourages new ways of thinking, potentially leading to new products and services.
- Leadership training can impact in numerous ways, including organisational culture, stakeholder relationships, strategy and decision-making.
It is this latter category, leadership, that can be incredibly difficult to measure. Interestingly, also, is the fact that leadership development techniques are becoming more and more sophisticated than simple attendance at a training program. Consider these examples: immersion programs, coaching and mentoring, secondments, e-learning, peer groups, wisdom circles, action learning programs, and the like. Understanding 70:20:10 as well as Kirkpatrick’s Model, in today’s context, will lead to developing equally sophisticated data gathering and measurement tools to make sure your money is invested wisely…
Usually, return on investment follows a business impact,
a business impact follows application,
application follows learning, and
learning follows satisfaction with the adult learning experience(s).
In considering the evaluation of sophisticated learning methodologies like those used in developing leadership capability, one needs to appreciate that effective measurement is not a one time-thing. Follow-ups conducted on a regular basis, to determine if the development programs need adjustment or if the leader herself/himself needs to adjust their application, behaviour and outcomes will be more insightful. Dynamic workplace contexts, situations and diversity suggest that a reliance for evidence from conducting simple survey-style evaluations might not be helpful.
Another big challenge with proving the return on investment can be the lack of interaction between learning and development staff and business leaders. It is usually out of the hands of trainers and up to the company’s in-house sponsors to embed the learning once the training/learning program is completed but in my experience, few people leaders appreciate this fact. Coaching is the only way to make sure what is learned via training can truly be embedded to benefit the company. That coaching can be undertaken by the people leaders or by an external coach skilled at techniques for making learning ‘stick’ and for changed thinking and behaviour.
AsiaAus Leaders understands how to evaluate return on investment properly, offers you the confidence that we monitor results over-time, and improves the learning methodologies and protocols. Contact us to discuss how AsiaAus Leaders can be a vital partner and investment to your business bottom-line.