The Business ChallengeThe Training Department of a national managed health care company was concerned that their internal customers did not perceive their slate of trainings to be of value. The received occasional direct feedback to this effect, but were "reading between the lines" on other behaviors - registered participants missing trainings, little management support of attendance, Board Room disagreements about the training budget, etc. They were preparing to launch a new initiative to increase the problem-solving skills of Claims Processors, but before fully committing to the initiative, the department hired ZTA to help them answer the questions:
- Will this Problem Solving Skills training deliver value to our customers?
- If so, how do we communicate about this value to change their perception of our services?
The Zemo Trevathan and Associates SolutionOur first step was set up a pilot study, randomly selecting a group of Claims Processors to receive the new training so that we could statistically compare their subsequent performance to that of a control group (untrained). To know what to measure, we first helped the department catalog a Claims Processing competency list, and from that arrived at two key metrics that translated directly into value in the eye of their customers: error rates and number of claims processed.
The results of the statistical analysis indicated that experienced Claims Processors who went through the Problem Solving Skills Training experienced a 15% increase in productivity (number of claims processed per hour). The training recipients also demonstrated a 1.2% drop in errors. These findings provided a resounding "yes" to the first question (Does this training provide value?).
Next, we worked with them their second question (How do we communicate this value?). Existing data within the groups that they served already established the clear financial value of the productivity rates of Claims Processors. A 15% increase in productivity was easy to translate into a specific dollar value for each group that they trained, and in this case the financial return of the training (via improved performance) was dramatic. It easily justified the time and cost of the training and gave them a very clear ROI message to deliver to their internal customers: "This training will only cost you $ __ and __ days of your staff's time for training, and we can demonstrate that it will return to you $ __ worth of increased productivity (these specific numbers are being held confidential by the company)." Error rates were harder to translate directly into financial value, but all involved agreed that errors created a significant amount of extra work, so the Training Department could easily communicate about this effect as an added bonus: "The training will not only increase productivity, but it also decreases error rates, and all the headaches that come along with that."
Based on our analysis we were also able a few other questions, that they hadn't asked, as well, like "Are they any specific groups that the training particularly benefits (or not)? The data shoed that the greatest improvements in performance from this Problem Solving Skills Training came from the more experienced Claims Processors, and that new Claims Processors actually experienced very little benefit from the training. We suggested that the department could save their customers expense and frustration by only sending more experienced processors to this particular training (which is, interestingly, the opposite of the results of the agricultural products company case study and further shows how different each unique situation is, and why statistical analysis makes a difference).