“What do you think is a good incentive to help people think through theories that show evidence in practices or outcomes?” asks Dr. Ellen Weber of the Brain Based Business blog, commenting on my earlier post on talent management. From my experience (as a participant) in the talent management initiatives of some well-managed organizations, this is how I think the process can be formalized:
- Participants in a talent development course, say a 6-sigma course, are first asked to formally note down their understanding of the subject matter, say Quality Management and 6-Sigma concepts before attending the course.
- Before the course starts, they are to note down their expectations from the course and how they plan to translate it into results. For key courses / audiences, this could be quantified – say, in the number of hours or dollars they expect to save by using the inputs from the course.
- At the completion of the course, participants are to again note their key learnings from the course as also any additions / changes to the benefits they can think of having completed the course.
- These objectives can then be formally tracked at the completion of set timeframes, say 1 week, 1 month and 1 quarter from the completion of the course – how many objectives were practically achieved? Of the objectives that couldn’t be achieved, analyze the reasons for further process improvements.
- In the annual / periodic performance appraisals, track against each performance objective how much the courses attended earlier contributed. If possible, attach dollar values to the value added attributable to the courses.
Thus you have metrics to measure the benefits derived from each course as also a ranking of the attendees who were the best at putting the theories into practice – something which can be further incentivized in the form of recognition and/or rewards.