Team Event – “Going for Growth”

We’ve been able to join the resources of our partner organisations & to develop a team development activity that we’ve called “Going for Growth”.

Putting together the teambuilding experience of Alex & Gill Gallon, together with the members of our design, planting and growing teams at Potash Nursery we are now able to offer a tailor-made team event.

The latest event was staged last week when we had three teams of salespeople, each with an opportunity to work on three tasks:

Task 1         – come up with a design for a small plant border, selecting from a variety of plants within the Nursery (with a prize for best design)

Task 2         – learn how to pot on a tomato plant, pepper and strawberry (take the best one home with you to keep)

Task 3         – work together to plant out a row of carrots and a row of onions. Each team worked on a diffferent way of planting (we will be able to monitor which team was most successful later in the year)

We are looking to offer this unique approach to other teams and organisations wishing to “go for growth”.

Some images from the event:


My Level 7 Diploma in Management Consultancy


Finally got my thesis assessed and approved with my certificate arriving in the post over the weekend.

What does it mean, well, firstly it has been a hard slog, but I’ve been able to accredit what I’ve been helping organsiations do for the last 15 years or so.

The units that were assessed via evidence from clients during live projects were:

Consultant-client relationships

Manage relationships with clients

Develop a common understanding with a consultancy client of their problems/opportunities

Appraise with a consultancy client options to address their problems/opportunities

Plan the implementation of solutions with a consultancy client

Facilitate the implementation of solutions with a consultancy client

Professional, ethical and quality standards in consultancy work

Develop, maintain and review personal networks

Develop working relationships with colleagues and stakeholders

Work productively with colleagues and stakeholers.

It’s also been an interesting journey with my Invesotrs in People clients as during my demonstration of competence, I’ve worked with two of these clients to provide evidence for the thesis. In that same timeframe, they have been recognised as Investor in People organisations enabling us to take another another meaningful output from my accreditation.

I’m looking forward to widening the offer to potential clients as more want to share the Investors in People experience.

Training & Development Metrics – “the ROI Dashboard”

This article presents some views and some background for those internal Learning & Development specialists seraching for the “holy grail” in terms of their own functions ROI on learning & development.

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Who are the “experts” in learning & development metrics? Who are the valuable contributors in the search for “ultimate evaluation” in learning & development functions?

I offer on my list:

Donald Kirkpatrick – Four level model of training evlauation Dr Jac Fitzenz – The ROI of Human Capital Dr Jack Phillips – The ROI Institute Dr Laurie McBassi – Human Capital Analytics Robert O Brinkerhoff – The success case evaluation method Jay Cross – The power of informal learning/e-learning R.A. Guzzo & B.A. Gannett – Inhibitors to effective task performance

What really matters to the organisation though? I would offer:

1. The efficiency of learning function itself 2. The organisation’s key performance indicators, its benchmarking & its capacity 3. Return on investment 4. Psychological capital

I’d like to look at each of these in turn and in doing so begin to offer some thoughts on what the L & D’s Return on Investment “Dashboard” might contain.

1. Learning function efficiency.

Here the choices are numerous and what suits one organisation, may not suit another. On offer as potential metrics are:

a) Training days per member of staff b) Training days per member of part time staff c) Training days per casual staff member d) Equality of opportunity/test of fairness across items a, b & c above e) Off-the-job training days f) Training spend as % of salary bill/payroll g) % of staff with personal development plans

Etc. etc. my list has another 12 items on it and it’s still going …………..

2. Key performance indicators, benchmarking & capacity

Here we begin to examine what the organisation’s vision, values and key performance indicators may be saying about the metrics it wishes to the L & D function to consider.

Again, here the choices are numerous and what suits one organisation, may not suit another. On offer as potential metrics are:

a) Revenue per employee b) Profit per employee c) Sales per employee d) Employee satisfaction survey e) Performance management review data – upward movements f) Management feedback g) Achievement of learning and development initiatives contributing to KPIs etc.

Etc. etc. my list has another 5 items on it and it’s still going …………..

3. Return on Investment

For me, this is the move in thinking from evaluating training to valuing learning. Firstly, this requires us to ensure that we have included provision for the type of evaluation in our training budget i.e. planned to evaluate as part of our plan. Secondly, it requires us to now consider some further possible metrics:

a) Time to competence b) Proportion of employees with required competence level c) Customer feedback data d) Employees engagement data e) Number of individuals able to move into key positions f) Organisational, team & indivudual achievement against performance management criteria g) Cost/benefit data for specific learning interventions h) Performance data on targets i.e. absence, retention, internal promotions etc

4. Psychological capital

As my mentors in CIPD would want me to point out, I’m sure, the other area for potential metrics is psychological capital. Let’s have a definition first:

““The sum of positive opinion about the organisation held by people OUTSIDE the organisation”

How the organisation is perceived is divided into 3 types:

? Producer of goods and services – brand image? Utility of product? Social acceptability of product?

? Employer – great place to work?

? Corporate citizen – ecological stance? Contributions to charity? Assistance to region/town

This effectively brings in to play, external benchmarking criteria and the opportunity to extend the metrics into areas such as:

a) Quality Awards b) Business Awards c) Egon Ronay/Michelin etc. d) ISO 9000 e) Brand recognition studies f) Fortune “Best Companies to Work for” Index g) European Commission “Best 100 Employers” h) Investors in People Standard i) Sunday Times Top 100 Companies j) FTSE Index of socially responsible companies k) Christian Aid report on corporate responsibility

What should the metrics be on your L & D dashboard?