BJC HealthCare, which operates 13 hospitals and multiple community health care centers in Missouri and Illinois, serves as an example of business-aligned learning. The company is increasing its learning investment despite lower Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements and a growing number of uninsured patients. It is doing this by ensuring training is relevant and reality-based. For example, twice each year learning staff members participate in job shadowing exercises where they accompany nurses during their 12-hour shifts. This shadowing gives learning team members a deeper understanding of nurses’ daily duties and challenges, so they can design training to help nurses deliver better patient care.
Currently, 21 percent of training staff resources are devoted to live delivery and facilitation (Figure 4). Based on its research, Bersin & Associates expects that figure to decline to between 10 percent and 15 percent during the next several years as organizations continue to shift toward online and informal learning roles. At the same time, it expects that more staff will be devoted to performance consulting/portfolio management and learning measurement and analytics.
The increased focus on measurement and analytics — driven in part by the current fervor around big data — is forcing training groups to sharpen their analysis and reporting capabilities. However, companies have a way to go before such capabilities truly come into focus. Despite the proliferation of learning management and talent management software in the market, companies still struggle to measure the effectiveness, efficiency and alignment of training and HR. Bersin & Associates research shows that 6 percent of HR organizations rate themselves as highly skilled at talent measurement, and 56 percent give themselves poor marks in this area.
Bersin & Associates’ research shows that most companies evolve their measurement systems over time. They typically begin by tracking easy-to-gather metrics, such as course completions and learner satisfaction. Gradually, they expand their efforts, working with managers and key stakeholders to identify the metrics most valuable for decision making.