5 Ways for HR to Maximize Learning & Development for ROI

In today’s fast-paced corporate landscape, learning and development programs (L&D) can be the driving force behind your organization’s success. But how do you maximize efficiency, reach your ROI goals, and have an L&D strategy that is compatible with your organization?

This exclusive industry webinar will equip HR professionals and employers with the essential knowledge and skills to take their L&D initiatives to the next level. Watch now and gain valuable insights, real-world examples, and proven methodologies to develop and execute an effective L&D strategy that delivers measurable results.

You will learn:

  • How to identify your strategic L&D goals
  • Understanding the link between L&D and ROI
  • How to design a learning centric approach
  • How to evaluate and measure your L&D impact
  • How to enhance your L&D programs effectiveness

Don’t miss out – hit play now!

To view full transcript, please click here

Jeffrey Smith [00:00:00] Hello, everyone, and welcome to the webinar five ways for HR to maximize your learning and development for ROI brought to you by Lighthouse Labs. And please note that we will be conducting a Q&A session at the end of the presentation. So if you do have any questions for our speakers today, please enter them in the Q&A tab at the bottom middle of your screen. And if you have any technical issues or would like to interact with a few of our people we have online today, please use the chat button for a live chat during the entire presentation. That is also at the bottom middle of the screen right beside the Q&A button. Now, I'm Jeffrey Smith of Canadian HR Reporter and I'm your host for this webinar. Now in today's fast paced corporate landscape learning and development programs can be the driving force behind an organization's success. But how do you maximize efficiency reach your ROI goals and have a learning and development strategy that works with your organization? Well, I'm pleased to introduce the speakers for this webinar. Abu Batasi and Sareena Motwane will provide today's participants with essential knowledge and skills to take their learning and development initiatives to the next level. Now Abu Batasi is the Director of Enterprise Training with Lighthouse Labs with more than 15 years of experience solving complex problems with his clients and partners, and a passion for working with business leaders to determine the right learning and development approach to address their business challenges. Abu has an MBA from Queen's University and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto. Sareena Motwane is the Program Manager for Digital Talent development at Telus. She's a dedicated advocate for learning development and fostering inclusive environments with five years of experience working in tech talent specifically within Junior Digital Talent Development. Sareena has championed initiatives for team member growth, emphasizing the importance of skill development aligned with personal and professional aspirations. Now I'll turn things over to Abu and Sareena to get things started. 

Abu Batasi [00:01:45] Thank you very much for that. Well, how's everybody doing? I hope everybody's doing great. Heading into December here, ready to finish off the year strong. My name is Abu Batasi, my pronouns are he, him, and we are very excited to share a few things with you guys, here today. This is really a culmination of a lot of work that my team has been doing over the past year, we've been working with a lot of L&D professionals, a lot of HR professionals about finding the right strategy to make sure that learning and development can match ROI, as best as it can to reach larger strategic goals. And so this is something that we're really excited to share with you guys. This is a bunch of learning that we've had with our own clients, we've gone to a lot of conferences over the course of this year, really been doing a lot of listening and a lot of speaking around this. And so it's something we're very excited to share with you guys today. So as I mentioned, five ways to maximize your L&D for ROI, the secret to growing L&D into your company's driver of innovation. It's going to be ourselves, our friends at Telus, we have a terrific example that we really wanted to bring to life here with you guys today about what it is that we're going to be speaking about. So I'm going to take you guys through an example. Speaking in a little bit more generalities, and then we're going to it gets fun is we're going to talk about a real life example that Sareena is going to be able to take us through. So very quickly, before we get started to get to good to add this additional context, who is Lighthouse Labs? If I only had 10 seconds with you guys, what I would say is that Lighthouse Labs is a skills development accelerator for the digital age. So what does that mean? That means that since 2013, Lighthouse Labs has graduated 40,000 students in critical digital skills areas, areas like web development areas like data analytics, and areas like cybersecurity. And in the course of doing that, we've partnered with a bunch of corporate hiring partners to find strategic roles and help fill those strategic roles with the students and now have some of these critical skill sets. And in the course of doing that, we also continue to partner with some of these enterprise companies to build what we're calling internal academies, which is an internal investment that companies are making to make sure learning and development and corporate training is happening and it's laddering up to larger organizational goals, as well. And so, through that we have amazing partners, one of which is joining us today in Telus we have a Toyota we have BMO and we have a number of others.  

Abu Batasi [00:04:29] Okay, so before I get started here, just a little bit of a lay of the land as to what we're seeing, frankly, when we're when we're out talking to folks just give you guys one example at the beginning of the year. This year, we in Toronto, there was a conference where it was I believe, the first learning and development specific conference, it wasn't there's a larger HR conference attached to it. And then there was a there was a very specific track for learning and development. And I sat in on that track and it was a real moment where a lot of L&D leaders were walking in or talking in the room saying how much more added importance L&D was having at the organizational level. And it was a real moment, I think COVID was has obviously inadvertently been a catalyst to that. It forced organizations to use learning as a way to maintain productivity, or enhance productivity, especially as the world has changed. And the way people work has changed. So it's definitely got a seat at the strategic, let's say, the strategic table. And now the idea is to enhance that and continue to do strategic continue to be regarded as strategic inside of the organization. So we almost want to go from a world where you see at the top here, something that might sound familiar to folks who are in HR and L&D, which is maybe some random executive saying something along the lines of well, training is all well and good. But how much is this really going to cost? And really, what comes across there is a sense that this is tactical, this is a cost center, this is a box that I have to check. This is taking my people out of the field to do something, there's kind of almost like a, a trade off, and you really think of it as transactional tactical thing. And really where we want to get to is a world that sounds more familiar to what we see at the bottom here, which is somebody saying something along the lines of our organization has been experiencing some kind of a particular problem over the past year. And here's a way that we can actually go about solving it. So when those types of answers are coming from the world of HR, and coming from the world of L&D. It's regarded as so much more strategic. And in fact, that's what we see over and over again, is companies that take their corporate training and their talent development seriously, it can become a weapon for them to be able to use and apply strategically across the organization. So we want to do is take a lot of the really great strategic importance has been placed in this area over the past few years. And we want to make sure that we set ourselves up to be able to continue that by having conversations that look exactly like the quote at the bottom there. Another way to say everything I just said is that learning, we no longer want to regard that in an organization as some kind of a retention measurement. We want it to now look and feel like it's key and realizing business strategy. So this is a very important thing we want to get across today. There's another added thing that we're going to get to as well, we're going to cover these five best ways to maximize ROI for L&D. We're also going to get into this idea of it's a mix of different things as you go to actually solve for your talent development. And Sareena has got an amazing example around that that we'll get to in a minute. And we'll cover sort of the L&D portion of it. And then we'll keep that in the back of our minds as we go through this presentation as well. 

Abu Batasi [00:07:48] Okay, so as far as I can see, this is a really good framework. And this is a framework that we have developed with clients. It's a framework that we've seen other folks do a version of. It's this idea of when we are starting to think about how are we going to maximize our ROI for our L&D initiatives, let's think about it from the context of these five pillars. These five pillars allow us to really get a holistic view as to what problem we're looking to solve the best way to go ahead and solve that problem. And the best way to go ahead and use learning to be able to apply how we're going to solve that problem. So it's these five strategic goals here. I'm going to pause on each of these. We're going to share these slides afterwards as well. So we'll be able to be able to go into more detail on each of these as we go. The first one here. This is really what I would call like our Northstar. It's our organization's priorities whenever we're identifying our own strategic goals. For talent development, and learning and development, your organization's priorities are is the best place for you to start, you really call that like your Northstar. Some companies will have organization priorities that they have one or two and those one or two priorities are relevant to every single department and every single line of business inside the organization. Some people's organization's priorities, they will tell to their shareholders every year, these are the five these are the three things we want to focus on for the next 12 months, that's going to be the main priority. And the main tests are whether we're making progress or not, that'll oftentimes even whittle down into department wide priorities. So you know, the sales team might have three things that they're really looking to accomplish for the year, the marketing team, the operations team, and on and on, they will have their own department level priorities. Our job in HR and in L&D, and this is one of the advantages that we have in this space is we probably take one of the most holistic views of the organization of any functional group in an organization. So the fact that we can see the organization as a whole, what we should really do is start thinking about okay, what are we As a company looking to solve and what does that look like at the highest of levels in the organization? What does that look like at the department level, sometimes that might require you interfacing with those department leads or line of business leads to be able to get that, but really getting a clear inventory of all the priorities inside the organization is the best place to start. The reason why that is because you want that to inform your L&D vision and key initiatives is what we're calling the next piece. So with those priorities, until what you want to do is say, okay, given that these are all the things that we're looking to solve for, what critical role is learning and development, going to play and solving for those things, that's how you really want to develop your might, you might want to call it a vision or a mission. And that's a great way for you to actually also in a nice, succinct way tell everybody in the organization, what it is that your team is focusing on as a priority. So you want to build a vision with that priority in mind, and you want to develop those key initiatives. And we'll get to that in a minute. But I think you can make sort of the logical jump here that if the organization's priorities are increasing revenue and cutting costs, and doing L&D initiatives that promote increasing revenue and cutting costs will be a key part of how you actually drive that. Once you actually have that finished up, the next thing that you'd want to focus on is what audience makes the most sense for these initiatives. So again, the idea here would be to target specific groups inside of the organization, that would make the most sense as beneficiaries of the learning, you also want to take into context where that audience tends to be in terms of their skill, set their experience, what they could stand to benefit by doing some of this learning and training, and then specifically, how you're going to empower them to do what you need to do as an organization through that learning afterwards. But getting a good sense of what your audience looks like, is a good idea, they're often will oftentimes see companies put their audience into buckets, they'll say, you know, we have an we have an ops team, we have a marketing team, we have a finance team. And that's a good way to start to think about what your audience might look like, then you want to marry that with learning needs. So when you say, Okay, these are the initiatives that we want to do, this is the audience that we want to work with, what are the actual things that we need to go about making sure happen in the learning, and that's really a critical piece to make sure that the ROI discussion is we're in the best position to be able to optimize for ROI if we can marry those learning needs and make sure that they happen in the learning and development that we do. But that's an exercise unto itself once you figure out sort of what the audience is looking like. And then finally, a learning approach, what's the right way to go about making sure that the learning is happening? There are myriad ways we're going to share ways that we think work particularly well, especially within an adult learning context. In the context of people we're learning for the purposes of some sort of a professional development, a really good way to sort of go about doing the learning afterwards. So what I would say is any good strategic approach to L&D should encompass these five things, it's a really good idea to get these into some sort of a deck a planning deck, even make it like a living document where this deck can be reviewed every six months or every year, you can change the audience depending on what it is that you're solving for. But always having something like this. And also getting buy in from other parts of the organization around this is a really good idea to make sure that not only does your strategy makes sense, that is coherent, that they all line up, but it's also something that you can share with people inside the organization as well. So that's the first thing I would say, when you're going down the journey of trying to maximize your ROI for L&D have a really good well considered well thought out plan that has buy in, and that has the whole organization in its purview. That's the best way to approach your, your strategic goals. Okay, so I'm actually going to take a bit of a break here and ask you guys a question before we actually get into this. So there's going to be two questions. We're going to ask you guys over the course of this, this presentation. The one I wanted to start with was about this idea of measuring L&D initiatives. So specifically, what we're gonna throw up on your screen here is when it comes to measuring ROI for L&D initiatives, which aspect you find most challenging and so given everything that I've shared, why don't we take 40 seconds to fill out what you guys should be seeing on your screen right now. 

Abu Batasi [00:15:07] Okay, perfect. Okay, thank you, everybody. So moving into the next one, once you have identified what the strategic initiatives are, what you want to do is an exercise that actually creates the linkage with all of the individual parts that take you from point A to point B, to understanding what that link between what the L&D should look like and what the ROI should look like as well. And this is a framework that we've put together, we've we did this after working with a number of clients. After thinking about how people go about doing a similar exercise in other worlds, we wanted to bring it into the world of HR and L&D. And so we came up with what we're calling a strategic solution map, this is something that we're actually gonna be able to share with you guys, as well. We have a live link that Joshua on our team Oh, sorry, I forgot to introduce Josh, Josh was in the chat here from the lighthouse labs team, and he's going to be able to help us as you guys are putting questions up in the chat as we go. Hey, Josh. So he's also provided here a little link that you guys can take a look at. This is some live example of some representative points that you can put along this particular exercise. And we'll I'll get into it in more detail in a minute here. But the idea is that you want to come up with some sort of a map that helps you understand how to go from point A to point B. So the first part, the first four, that we have here are really asking the question, what are you trying to solve for? And I'll get into each of these in a minute. But what you really want to start with is what I was mentioning earlier, what are those organization's priorities, key objectives, goals, areas or focus, one of the things I'll add there, as well as when you are honing in on the section, try to make it time bound and measurable, the more time bound and measurable you can make it the more you can attach it to ROI. So if they're saying, you know, we want to increase sales by 10%, in the next 18 months, that's great. That gives you really specific goals that you want to hit. And then you can find out the role that L&D can play in helping to hit a goal like that. If it's related to operations or productivity, same thing, we want to be, you know, 10%, we want to increase throughput by 10%. Over the next six months, perfect, try to make it time down and try to make it measurable. The example at the bottom, here's one that I'll carry through as we go through this section here. The next thing you want to do, obviously, when it comes to priorities, this is the story with every single organization, obviously, you have a bunch of priorities that you want to hit, what's getting in the way of you hitting those priorities, and what we really want to do is get a sense of the nature of those problems, and how they're manifesting themselves. And so what we do is we put them into these three separate buckets here, we start with the problems. And what we're really saying there is, well what are is a set of conditions that someone is attempting to solve or solve for based on some level of acute pain, and that pain maps back specifically to those organization's priorities. So I can achieve x because of some specific problem that we're experiencing. And that's really one of the things that you need to start with is saying, Okay, what is the thing that's rising to the level of a problem inside of my organization, the example here for that we're going to use is something like unexpected downtimes are preventing us from experiencing our priority of increasing operational efficiency by 10%, then you want to move on to the resulting pain that comes from that. So that's really some sort of an unpleasant, uncomfortable, distressing feeling that's being sort of felt inside of the organization. That could sound like it's increased production costs. That could even be qualitative feedback, like employee frustration, or decreased in morale that we're experiencing, because we're not able to overcome this problem, what you really want to do is get a sense of what that pain looks like. And then to the extent you can do this, this is probably the thing also that map's back closely to the ROI conversation is can we measure that pain, so quantifiable metrics that actually capture the severity of that pain that's being felt inside of the organization, right? So when our example of that might be something like, Hey, because we've been experiencing these unexpected downtimes, that's increased our excess labor expenses by 15%. The closer you can quantify all these things, the closer you can time bound all of these things, the better you will be able to get to really get a nature of what the problems are that you're looking to solve. What I would recommend at this point is you don't have all the answers to all these you really shouldn't in your roles inside HR. This is when we have really strong stakeholders that we interface with to get a flavor of what their world looks Like get a sense of what it is that we're looking to solve for, when we're actually going to build a plan that looks like this, you can maybe start them off and directionally where you think things can go. But doing a plan like this, especially with key stakeholders really brings it to life. Then what you want to do based on that is find what the right L&D solution is going to look like for you, based on what it is that you're trying to get done. So in our case here, what we want to really focus on is these five aspects, they don't have to go in this particular order, I would say they're all kind of have a piece, but I'll go into them one by one. The first thing is, when you're starting to think about the solutions to solve for those pains, think about who should be the recipient. We talked about this earlier with respect to the audience. What who are the students inside the organization? What is the audience look like? What are their current functions? What are their current skills levels, it's a very important thing to ask yourself, especially when you're trying to figure out what the skills gaps will look like, what is their current experience that we need to sort of factor in here as we go. So in our example, here, that could very well be the people on the floor, people like plant workers, people, like general managers could be the best recipients in our example, then you want to focus on things like what on the job tasks, map back to the actual learning that we want to do. And that's some sort of tangible output or result that you're expecting that these participants these students are wanting, needing to be producing as a result as a result of this engagement in this L&D. And so in this case, that might be something like, we want them to be able to help build or interpret dashboards, to better understand what's happening on the plant floor at any given time, then when you ideally want to do is wrap it up into some type of a strategic solution. And that strategic solution should encompass with it things like the student details and the auditor job tasks, but it really should be your formation of, okay, given what we're trying to solve for, given the intensity of the pains that we're feeling, given the audience's that we think make the most sense for this, this is what we think the solution will look like that we want to sort of present. And that should include some detail that gets people to understand what it is that you're trying to drive from a learning and development perspective. So it's a comprehensive solution that aligns with the problems and pains that could be in this case, some kind of a four week course, that you want to put together that that gives them some introductory concepts in something like data analytics, for example. You want to then focus on if we were to do that, what skills are we in fact developing? When we do that that's going to include technical, soft, specialized skills, that some sort of an issue that an individual will develop after they actually go ahead and complete their training? What all is that going to be? In our case here, let's say that that is data analysis skills, to help them predict maintenance events that might be happening in the future. But that's really where you want to get down to what is it that our learners are expected to demonstrate in terms of learning and skills, once the actual training is finished? And then finally, to complete the exercise, this is the mirror image of the previous slide, where we're saying, if there were if there were certain pains that were being measured, and we can understand the intensity of those pains, on the flip side, now, where are we to solve this? What can we stand to gain by solving this? So it's the qualitative and quantitative economic benefits that you can realize when you actually go ahead and adopt that strategic solution. And for example, in our case here, giving people that sort of skill set, you might be able to find yourself saying something like, well, we're anticipating, or I'll get to this in a minute, when you actually do measure the impact of it, you can say with certainty, we did help reduce downtime incidents by 25%. Right. So the closer you can get to a number on these things, the better it will get one thing I'll add here, because we've done this exercise is the number of clients. These things are, especially if you're dealing with them at a very high level, there's never really just one solution that's going to solve a problem in its totality. In all likelihood, what will happen is just learning and development, in conjunction with a few other things will help you solve the problem. And with learning and development playing a key role in it. So you didn't want to over promise either and say that, Oh, once we do this training, this problem goes away that that's not how it tends to work. What you want to do is talk about how this can contribute to you helping to solve for that problem. Okay, that makes sense. I'm going to use this as an opportunity to pause for this second question here. It goes back to the previous slide. But this is something that we've seen typically fall into one of five buckets so we'd love to get a flavor for what you guys think about this. But the question that you're about to see is what business challenge is your organization currently facing? That could be addressed in part by L&D 

Abu Batasi [00:25:43] Okay, I think that is good. Thank you, everybody. Okay, so moving along now that we have a sense of how to create that linkage between L&D and ROI and an exercise that you can do internally to do that, to help you sort of figure out what that is, that's in the that's we're almost building the first two are really concerned with like, what problem we're looking to solve? And what kind of learning are we looking to do? So it's almost in the what is where we're going to focus our energy. And then where I want to get to, from three to five, before turning it to Sareena, is the how, how do you go about actually getting this done. So once you know what it is that you're looking to solve for, what's what do we think is the ideal way for you to help be able to be able to solve some of these things. And so I will get into that in in the subsequent slides here. But the first thing that we would advocate for strongly is designing a learner centric approach. This is really key. Once you know what to build, make sure that you do it with the actual learner in mind, and center, all the learning around that this is something that we've seen over and over again, work like a charm. Whenever you do this, right, and you're deliberate about this. This is the gift that keeps giving if you do it correctly. And so we've kind of whittled it down into these five major areas, project based learning huge, we'll get to that in a minute, become outcomes obsessed, really focus your energy on practical learning, I think that's key, have pure base engagements in mind, and then use company content and context as you go. Okay. So the first one will focus on project based learning, this is something that we do with our clients, we are big advocates for this, it's this idea of making sure that the learning happens, and that it was done in a way that is demonstrable through some sort of a project. So you want you want to do here is you want to encourage participants to engage in some sort of a hands on project that's going to simulate real world challenges. You want them to emphasize learning through experience rather than passive learning. So what we will actually do is we will work with clients to do projects that will bring value to their organizations. In the class, that is the most powerful thing where if you can come up with an example that says, during this class, not only are we going to use our own data, but the capstone project that we're going to do at the end, is the thing that the company can actually use the very next day, you do a menu, there's so much benefit that can be gained by being able to do that, you get it out of the world as some sort of an academic exercise. And it also looks like you are bringing real value immediately to the organization by going through this course. And sometimes when people think about courses like this, they think about having to take their people away from work. In this case, here, if you can do this and have learning happen, but also have the learning happen could bring benefit to the organization immediately. It's can make believers out of a lot of people in this process and making it work. And we've seen examples where if you foster this with the next one that we'll get into a future one that we'll get into, which is like peer based learning. Now they're learning together, they're building projects together, that in and of itself brings a lot of really great learning great energy, great morale inside the organization when you do this, right. So really focus on finding really strong projects that make sure that the learning happens. Becoming outcomes obsessed. This is one that I'll harp on the second one here, but it's really we need to get out of the world of just things like completion rates, completion rates are very, they're like vanity metrics. They're very superficial. They don't really tell us much about whether learning happened. Oftentimes, it can be gamed, these days, we're just watch a video to its completion and, you know, answer A, B, C, D, F, and you're done. It's much more a matter of really focusing on the outcomes and is making sure that we measure success not by completion rates, but by how well participants can apply this newly acquired knowledge and skills in their roles. So when you really want to make you would really want to focus on how to get through in the measurement. Part is how the learning is actually turning up in the actual job, not the fact that the learning itself actually happened. This is very important as well, but you want to define this clear learning objectives right at the outset. So what you're trying to do what the desired result is, for each learning experience as well. Make it practical, that's a, that's a really big one as well deliver cod content that's immediately applicable to their roles and responsibilities, as we mentioned, well we will do is actually customize our content, so that we're speaking the internal corporate language to really drive the point home that we're only using our own data, when we're actually doing it when we're when we're thinking about the learning in the context of data, we're using our own organizational data to really bring the point home, make it as practical and real world as possible, allow the participants to see the relevance of their learning. And then really make sure that you're wanting to move them from theory towards practice to ensure that what they learned can be used immediately. So this is some of the stuff that we were talking about earlier with the capstone project, but really honing in and making it as practical as possible, not having it live in the world of some conceptual frameworks, but living in the world of their job as it exists today. That's another thing to ensure that the learning will, will stick. And then this peer based engagement, really highly recommend this model whenever you can foster it, having them learn from each other, having them learn and, you know, figure out what their relative strengths are relative to other people on their team. Sometimes in some organizations, we've seen that you just build camaraderie inside the organization of people that maybe don't always work together, or pull them together to do something like this. It allows departments to come together. If you structure it the right way to start working and learning from each other as well. Make it collaborative, make participants learn from and with their peers when you do this, if that means like you do learning, but then you do learning as a collective group. And then you break off into little groups during the session and then reconvene as as a team afterwards, that's a great example of that. Also, somewhere in your learning really encouraged, it can be in the live environment or elsewhere. But it really encouraged that group discussion, group projects, as we mentioned, and also group feedback. Very important as well. contextualize the content. We've touched on this earlier. But this idea of like, make sure that all of it speaks the language of your company's products, their services, and their operational processes. Also, another really key one here is highlight those success stories and case studies that demonstrate the application of learning within your unique business environment. We just came off a great example of this yesterday, where are we We're hearing a myriad examples of how students were applying what they learned in their specific jobs and how it was enriching the work that they were already doing. And those are great stories. If you can turn those into success stories, turn those into case studies, it really helps people understand and drive the point home as to what that learning is actually doing inside of your organization. So you as an HR team, as an L&D team can act as evangelist as well, you might want to partner with your marketing counterparts to be able to do this not uncommon for people to you know, shoot a two minute video, for example, talking about what a student was able to learn, after going through some sort of coursework, putting together some of those things, sharing it a town halls, all of that sort of stuff, really important to make sure that we highlight that. Okay, so moving along, that was number three. Now we're gonna get into just going to, I'm just going to cover this off at a higher level, but we're gonna get into this idea of measuring or impact and organizational effectiveness. So this is the measuring part, this is really an important part of it. We're where we're going to put ourselves now. And the whole process is, we originally tried to figure out what it is that we wanted to do to solve for our problems. We aligned on what it is that we wanted to do, we came up with a strategic solution. And we had that solution come, we applied a methodology towards making sure that that solution was delivered in a way that maximize for learner impact. So once we do all that, now you're on the other side of it, you're really in the world of doing that measurement piece, which is so critical when we're doing this. Having this ROI for L&D discussion, the measuring has to happen and there has to be accountability in the measuring and we have to be measuring for the right things. So we'll get into a few of these. One by one as we go here. The first thing you want to do is the learner impact. In one of the conferences that we attended earlier this year, when they were talking about the ROI discussion, what they were saying was the ROI is just as much on the benefit that it brought to the employees themselves as much as it is the benefit that was brought to the employer as well and that makes a lot of sense if we did not feel like our own employees. benefit benefited from learning and can feel the impact and feel like they have upskilled or re skilled in key areas inside the organization. That definitely has an impact on the overall measurement of how that how effective that learning actually was. 

Abu Batasi [00:35:16]  

And the way that you can do that we get through this in a minute, but have it not be so anecdotal, I think would be just one of the general lessons that I would share on this slide is really try to make sure that it comes in the form of assessments that you're asking the students to fill out to get a flavor for whether the learning actually happened, we'll get to it in a minute. But don't just have it be a snapshot in time, just once you do the assessment, after the course is done, for example, do it over an extended period of time to make sure that the learning is happening. And ideally, that the learning has a compounding effect as well as you go. So that's the first thing that you want to do is measure from learner impact. Then that second one is I was mentioning the organizational effectiveness piece. So we set out to do this with our learning and development, we went ahead and did the coursework, is it happening is the desired impact actually happening or not. And that's something that you want to obviously, check in with at the organizational level. Oftentimes, here, if you did the audience portion, right, and you had it with a line of business, then you want to check in and make sure that that line of business has been positively impacted by the learning that's been happening for the employees from that, that that line of business or that that department. So at the organization level, you want to have that. And then this idea of structured assessment. So we just came off a meeting recently where they were telling us sort of anecdotally, what a student was saying, Here, a student was saying there, you really don't get a good sense of the effectiveness of it unless you are capturing it in a way that allows you to then derive insights from it. So make sure it's structure, make sure you can track it, make sure that you can use it, and run analytics against it in the future. But make sure that you have it in a way that it's structured when you're doing your assessment. And then finally, we'll get into the ROI calculation, which I'll get to in a little bit more detail in a minute. Before I do that, I just want to throw this back up here, because this is that kind of all important. This is really now with L&D and HR taking on that heightened importance. This is where you when you have that ROI conversation, it's really key to make sure you have that because this is a language that a lot of executives will speak inside the organization, if you can map something back to larger priorities and the impact that you're able to have on that and be able to, you know, apply some sort of measurement levels against it. This is again, HR and L&D taking on that very strategic role inside the organization and not being that kind of retention measure cost, cost center type approach. So this is definitely something to focus our energy on here. As we go very quickly. I'm just going into a rough definition of what we're talking about here. But when we get into the ROI itself, we're talking about what is the return? What is the return on investment from the L&D programs, we compare the cost of those programs to basically what I'll call the economic benefit that it generates or gain and or what we call gains. That's going to be the numerator. Here, what we want to test for is a variety of different economic benefits. There's really common ones that we'll see increasing revenue, decreasing cost, improving employer productivity. What are some other ones are some very kind of common ones. To the extent you can find them and attach them to numbers. That's what you want to try to get done here, as be as specific as you can or on what economic benefits did your particular initiative drive usually go back to that initial exercise as a strategic solution map? When you talk about what you set out to do, that's what you want to plop into this, this calculation here, then obviously, you need to look at the cost of L&D development. One additional thing I'll add here is take a look at the cumulative impact that it will have. So don't necessarily just even look at it from the initial investment that you make. And that's it. Think about it from the initial investment that you make the benefit that it could get you in year one, and then the benefit, it could potentially get you in year two. And year three, think about the long term impacts that your training can have on the organization. It's a really good way to reframe the discussion around this as an investment that you're making and your people it will pay off over time. A lot of people will marry this with a succession planning initiative, for example, where they want to invest in the right people and have those people learn additional skills inside of the organization and then take on more senior role within the organization as well. So the extent to which you can attach it to a longer time horizon the more or color that you bring to this type of analysis as well. And then finally, how do you go ahead and in enhance the L&D program effectiveness. What we're saying here is you want to measure first, you want to show the impact. And then you want to iterate for continual improvement. So I'll just touch on each of these at the bottom here. I talked about this a little bit earlier, but really have a long view towards the measurement to think you obviously should have them while the course is happening, kind of color for how effective the course has been at developing the skills that you're looking to develop, but then measure it for the long term. Do you continue studies afterwards, check in with them after to make sure that that learning has also been applied well in the roles that they're in after the learning has happened. So take a view toward the long term measurement. The second one, I'll also say, just in Job measurement, as well, in some cases, when you will do learning and development, you might find that they've developed a different skill set that's put them into a different part of the organization. And so in a case like that, what you want to test is for that learning that they position them well for that extra set of responsibilities that they have now, or that all new roles that they have now has the actual learning itself, how would we measure it from an in Job perspective? Once again, as I was mentioning earlier, what is find and measure what that impact is on organizational and business goals. And then always have a view towards iterating. and continuous improvement. One of the clients that we're working with right now we have sort of a journey mapped out with them, where the idea is to take a set of students and then have them progress in their learning along a certain area. And that's very well a path that you could sort of set out where you want to say, Okay, we want to do is take a group of students, and really take them on a progression for how we want them learning a specific skill set inside the organization. And so by iterating, like that, by really focusing on continuous improvement, you'll be able to, to make sure that the program continues to be effective continues to address any concerns that might be bubbled up and continues to evolve as you go. And that would be number five, from our list here. So that is my portion of the presentation. That's, again, as I mentioned, at the top, we're speaking sort of in generalities, what we're really happy to share here is a great story that Sareena is going to bring to us from Telus that really merges this approach, but also talks to what I was mentioning at the top of this webinar, as well that use this, in addition to other talent development strategies in your overall approach to solving for the right things inside of your organization. And with that, I'll turn it over to Sareena . 

Sareena Motwane [00:42:58] Thank you. So I hope everyone's been able to get some something out of what I was saying because there's a lot of great content out there. So hi, everyone. My name is Sareena and my pronouns are she her, and I am a Program Manager for Digital Talent at Telus. I'm here to share our story about how we've have achieved a strong return on investment by fostering a continuous learning culture that aligns with our business objectives. A few years ago, when I first started on the team, I was brought on as a talent partner and onboarding prime to hire an onboard tech talent for the digital team. I was hiring for anything from product owners to conduct practitioners, analysts and developers. A few months and I started noticing a trend, I took a step back and took a look at who we were hiring across the whole team. And it hit me. Next slide, please. We were hiring no juniors. And we're only focused on hiring intermediate and senior devs. And basically the same type of person with the same background and same experience. We would hire them, they would stick with us for a while and then leave to go somewhere else. Our diversity numbers, retention, numbers, and tenure all worked great. And all of this was taking place in a very hot talent market. There was an increased cost of hiring with the amount of interviews that needed to take place. It impacted the time to productivity with the amount of team members who were pulled away from their day to day work, which affected engagement in their own roles. And overall it was taking six months to a year to onboard new hires that were well versed in their industry. I knew I needed to do something to fix that. I worked with a colleague and we put together the junior developer program, having our own in house farm team type program allowed us to address these business impacting measurements. Next slide please. We knew we could reduce the cost of hiring, the cost and time of onboarding for juniors and increase retention and engagement for all team member levels. tackling these issues meant it would decrease team member churn rates and resource costs over time, the more people felt like they were being invested in. We partnered with reputable technical training content providers, and boot camp providers such as Lighthouse labs, and started bringing in more junior developers who were from different backgrounds and have different life and career experiences. We worked with leaders and experts on the team to identify which technical and soft skills were needed. We brought team members and managers from each squad that was looking for a new hire, so that there was fairness and consistency with the hiring process, as well as for them to be able to give real timely feedback to reduce hiring and interviewing time. We hired them as a cohort in a round robin style interview process to be able to compare the candidates fairly, but also cut down the number of interviews and biases as we debriefed each candidate as a hiring team. Once they got onto the team, that's when the real investment started, we developed a curriculum which gave them additional on the job training, which is curated and delivered by our internal team members. It started from basics on the front end, all the way to the hardest part of the backend courses that were delivered through their first year on the team. They were on boarded as a cohort, which gave them the support of having others go through the same thing. At the same time. This gave them someone to turn to when they needed peer to peer support, and team members they automatically knew when they joined. Investing in team members learning and development goes beyond just the technical skills. from an ROI perspective, we need to needed to ensure that not only were these team members productive from the start, but we also needed to make sure it was positively impacting our business goals of retention and turn. We provided additional support in the form of technical mentorship, and one on one coaching for each team member. This helped them get settled into their teams, and provided a safe space to ask questions and guidance on how to approach conversations with their managers. They were able to gain the confidence they needed to succeed in the new environment, and roll as well as the comfort to be able to bring their whole selves to work. Many of these folks came from a completely different background and working history, seeing the support that was given to them, and that others were going through the same thing gave them a better sense of belonging to the team, which in turn enable more engagement and a better community for the team members. It helped increase loyalty to the company and team as they were able to become comfortable, faster and settling easier, especially in a remote first environment. Each course was curated in a way that was built on what knowledge they already had. Some of what they gain from Lighthouse labs, or such bootcamp and of course, was tweaked and curated consistently based on a constant feedback loop with the new hires instructors and leaders. We constantly made sure it was working for each stakeholder involved, making sure that the needs of the business was taken care of the technical courses were taught from the Telus lens, we made sure that the team members had a sandbox to try out what was asked of them in order to be able to tackle tickets and deploy code faster, with fewer mistakes in the environment and the live environment. We encouraged them to bring in live cases they had problems with to be able to tackle issues and bugs more efficiently from subject matter experts. This helped them give back and become on boarded with their teams and deliver their business expectations and just over half the time. Overall, they started feeling more confident and a part of the business at a much faster pace, progressing through the develop different development levels of slide. While giving junior team members this level of support, it gave intermediate and senior team members much more responsibility. Outside of just coding for the team. It gave them many more mentorship and teaching opportunities, which increased their own learning and development. It made them into well rounded employees for our company, driving them into better leaders. They were given more opportunities to grow outside of their technical development, which gave them more loyalty to the team and company as they became more and more engaged with the program. Feeling like the business cared and wanting to keep them and wanted to keep them invested as keeps her keep investing in them as humans, not just employees proved our theory about how investing in learning and development was instrumental in the return of investment it, we have had a much higher retention rate and longer tenures, which is during downturn and has resulted in lower hiring and onboarding expenditures. We have been able to apply this programmatic type approach to multiple disciplines by using the same framework and adapting it to different content structures. Now, next slide, please. One final point to be mindful of is being agile when creating such training programs, as the needs of the business change, you will need to leave room for reassessing and iterating that design and execution of the program so that you can show stakeholders and leaders what and how you've adjusted. So the investment continuous figure out what's the need to have, versus the next to have, we've been able to take the success of the program, design and apply it to rescale and upskill. Team members who want to make career changes. We've seen huge success and retention and engagement when we reinvest in staff as it's helping keep, in some cases, upwards of 10 to 15 years of knowledge in house and apply it to other areas of the business. Our aim is to build the workforce of the future, as technology constantly changes. It's about creating a digital mindset, and a good foundation for team members by creating a culture of learning programs and solutions like this are helping us move from 100 year old telco to a global powerhouse technology solutions provider now and into the future. If you want to know about what we did and how we did it, please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. And thank you so much. 


Abu Batasi [00:51:40] Well, thank you. That was amazing. Thank you very much. I'm going to turn it over quickly just in keeping with what Sareena was mentioning, especially around the idea of being able to find strategic talent that you could what you described as juniors, I wanted to turn our attention to another initiative, I have Topaz from our team who's going to join us and share something that we are working on that we're very excited to share with you guys as well. 

Topaz Glazer [00:52:07] Thank you, Abu. This has been a great talk. Thank you everybody for joining today. So as Abu mentioned, my name is Topaz. I'm the Director of Projects and Services at Lighthouse Labs. And I want to talk to you a little bit about our largest workforce development initiative that we launched late last year called ICT boost. And the reason why I wanted to bring it up and when Abu told me about the session and wants to tell you a little bit about our initiative is because, as he eluded the objective of ICT boosts is really to support the sector growth and address challenges by sector employers and by job seekers, particularly around talent and around workforce development. So on the talent side, we seek to really support communities that have systematically faced barriers to employment and help essentially bridge whatever backgrounds they come from and make sure that they have access to meaningful careers in tech. And then on the employer side, we support employers through better solutions around recruitment, onboarding, retention and growth of talent. So all of our programs are fully funded. And ICT boost is funded by the Sectoral board for solutions programs. So that's why we're we are able to offer a lot of really great solutions both for employers, and job seekers are all fully funded since we launched this initiative. We are proud to say that we have partnered with 12 training institutions 20 industry associations, over 200 community partners, as well as all to launch over 40 programs and initiatives. Again, all fully funded. And we have supported over 1500 sector employers as well as 2500 participants, I'm particularly proud to say that 85 of our partners 85% of our participants identify as members of equity deserving group. So what I wanted to talk just for a quick minute about is our employer side and tell you a little bit about the programming that we have available. So a were able to ICT booths make sessions like this a reality. So a lot of educational sessions you may have seen us in many of the different HR conferences we've been to, I think over 15 of them. Over the last little while in support. A lot of community groups are putting together a lot of amazing programming for HR professionals. We also have an EDIB training session through partners like tap network for those who are members but it's also open for non members as well as even today we are supporting an event called rethinking disabilities in Toronto in person, so lots of training lots of VIP trainings. I also lastly wanted to let you know the two ICT booths we are able to offer wage subsidies to employers so for those who are hiring, we do have both partially and fully partial and full wage subsidies to help offset the onboarding cost of new talent for the first three months on the job. We'll include some information about all of this in the follow up email. But yeah, that's it for me. And thank you all. 

Abu Batasi [00:55:14] Thank you so much Topaz. And yeah, as she eluded, you will have more information to share with you guys on that as well. Well, thank you so much, everyone, for your time. I'll very quickly get into this and leave a couple more minutes for Q&A. Everything we discussed today, one of the things that we would love to extend to you guys is, and I think we alluded to it earlier, we're speaking sort of in as a general framework. But the real value is actually when we have a deeper discussion as to what it means for you and your organization. So in that vein, we're putting we've put together this discovery workshop, where the idea would be that we would meet with you one on one on one basis. This is complimentary as folks who've come to this HRD webinar, we would go through a process here with you where we go through a similar exercise to help you build and validate what a plan would look like, based on the unique needs inside of your organization. And so it's something that we'd love to continue the conversation with you all on after this, this workshop itself, you're after this webinar itself, and feel free to reach out to us. We'll give you more ways to do that with this as we go. And with that, 

Jeffrey Smith [00:56:27]  

Thanks very much Abu, Sareena and Topaz for that informative presentation. And now just shortly before we wrap things up, we're gonna open things up for a short Q&A, and answer a few questions that have come in during the presentation. I guess first of all, what evidence have you used to prove that it's actually a gap in knowledge and skills that is causing a problem? 

Abu Batasi [00:56:53] That it's that it's sorry, can you repeat the first part of that? 

Jeffrey Smith [00:56:57] What evidence have you used to prove that this is a gap in knowledge and skills that is causing the problem? 

Abu Batasi [00:57:05] I think in a case like that, what you would do is do things like skills assessments and marry those back to the larger outcomes that you're looking to solve for. The best way to do that is to try to figure out what skill set your teams have, and then figure out if, in fact, a learning approach is the right approach, it might not come to pass that every single organization or problem that you have, can be solved with a very specific or just in solitude, a learning and development strategy. So ideally, what you want to do is take a look at the nature of the problem, map it back by doing things like skills, gap assessments, and taking inventory of where your teams are at. And then doing the exercise to ensure that actually, if we are to shore up that skills gap that will connect back to the problem. But a similar exercise to the one that we showed, would probably also tell you the story as to whether your strategic solution from an L&D perspective makes sense for the problem you're looking to solve. 

Jeffrey Smith [00:58:04] Right? Okay. And then how do you generally measure how or if skills are applied. 

Abu Batasi [00:58:12] So with that, we mentioned it earlier. But doing assessments is probably the best way to make sure that the learning is happening throughout. You can do measurements while the learning is happening. I highly recommend that you also do things like assessments and surveys, after the learning has finished to make sure that it continues to be applicable inside the organization. And then as I mentioned earlier, make it structured make it structured in a way where you can gather that data, you can see if that data changes over time, if you do if you do that over time, you can apply analysis to it to make sure that there if there are any patterns or insights that you can get from that feedback, you can actually derive that as well. But I would say assessments are the key way to make sure that that is happening. 

Sareena Motwane [00:59:00] I would I would definitely sorry, I will. Thanks, as always saying the assessments and making sure those that you are doing those check ins through the actual learning process, because that's the only way that you're really going to find out whether it's working at the time and whether if folks are understanding it and it is applicable. That will also give you a bit of a runway if you do need to tweak it or change it. And to change your approach and just structure whatever it is. It's better to find out during rather than after the fact as well. 

Jeffrey Smith [00:59:37] Great. Well, that's great answers. Thank you very much for those who submitted questions and thank you to everyone who listened in but we have reached the end of our time today. So we will wrap things up. Thanks very much to Abu Batasi of Lighthouse Labs and Sareena Motwane of Telus for sharing your time and knowledge for this presentation. And again, thanks everyone who took the time out of their busy days. Join us for this discussion that's it and have a great rest of the day.