What do we measure?
I’ve just finished reading an article about testing your marketing messages. The example used was of testing the effectiveness of one headline against another. Its common marketing wisdom and we know that overall, those that follow the dictum have great marketing success than those of us who randomly dump words on the page and hope we hit the target.
The point of this article is that these days there are loads of clear and easy-to-use tools that will deliver feedback from the market to tell you whether you are reaching your target audience, whether the message is clear, and whether its on the mark. More and more people – even those who don’t have massive marketing budgets to spend – are coming round to the logic of testing your marketing message. It just makes sense. Understand where there’s room for improvement and then make the changes. Couldn’t be clearer.
Strange then, that the same logic doesn’t always apply when people consider training. So often companies make an educated guess at what training is required. Yes, sometimes its fairly obvious. But sometimes, its just what the MD thinks would be a good idea, or what a current management guru is talking about, or even the latest training brochure lands on the desk.
Surely, its just as sensible to assess skills gaps before deciding what training to apply? It would seem logical to measure performance first and then decide on action. Hopefully, just like the measurement of marketing messages, quantifying strengths and development needs is becoming accepted as the logical starting point for actions. 360-degree feedback is a pretty good starting point.