Most business leaders would agree that employee development plays a major role in the success of an organization. The question is to what extent this occurs and how that impact is measured. By understanding and answering these questions, business leaders can determine ways to harness that development for future growth and positive change.
A 2005 article by Priya Ganapati in Inc. magazine shows that 84 percent of employers do not use structured employee development programs either to assess or guide employee development. Companies that lack such a development program severely hamper their ability to determine the impact of employee development on an organization's success. Creating a structured development program is the first step in assessing the impact of employee development. The program should include a way to measure employee development, starting with an initial assessment followed by additional assessments at regular intervals to measure progress.
Human Resources Programs
Another key component in assessing employee development is the ability of an organization to tie its human resources activities to its business activities. Human resources departments are the primary means through which employees can undergo formal training programs designed to improve performance. Companies whose human resources departments create development programs specifically designed to improve employee performance in measurable areas of business performance can more easily determine how much success the training program is having. For instance, development of sales training programs can help measure changes in sales success during the first few months of work compared to what an employee is able to do one year later.
Not all assessment of employee success necessarily needs to be quantifiable and objective in nature. Instead, self-assessment by employees and individual assessments by supervisors can play a role in helping to assess employee development. Creating a formal interview or survey process to examine the perceived impact of training can provide an effective way to see whether or not employees see any impact on their own performance. If the overall perception of the employee workforce is positive, this provides some indication that formal training is working.
Assessments by Third Parties
Another way to potentially measure employee development on the success of an organization is to bring in an outside third-party opinion to provide an objective assessment of employee development programs and their impact. Outside management analysts and auditing firms, which can provide a company with an objective analysis of its financial numbers, should also be able to give some idea of the impact of employee development programs at that company.
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.