About 15 years ago, FranklinCovey embarked on a journey to transform from a company focused on training content to a company focused on training results. That meant becoming a one-stop shop for clients, providing content but also, according to Adam Merrill, executive vice president of innovations, “connecting capability to outcomes.” This strategy has informed recent acquisitions, including the May acquisition of Robert Gregory Partners and the July acquisition of Jhana.
“A lot of learning leaders have to act like a general contractor,” says Rob Cahill, co-founder of Jhana and now managing director of innovations for FranklinCovey. Managing multiple vendors can be time-consuming and difficult, so FranklinCovey’s goal with its All Access Pass is to reduce the number of vendors needed by one organization. The All Access Pass provides unlimited access to FranklinCovey content and, importantly, is “modality-agnostic,” so clients can use whatever platform they need for the results they want. FranklinCovey’s acquisition of Robert Gregory Partners expanded its offerings to include add-on coaching services to the All Access Pass, and its acquisition of Jhana added microlearning for managers to its portfolio.
Cahill founded Jhana six years ago to provide the bite-sized, research-based management content he felt was missing when he became a manager. “The first-level manager is a linchpin,” he says, “and there’s data [showing] that teams of effective managers have 25 percent higher performance and 40 percent lower turnover.” Such a critical position, he feels, requires good preparation and continuous learning. Jhana provides a library of specific, practical articles, videos and worksheets developed by its in-house research and editorial team. Cahill says that Jhana’s learner adoption rates are ten times higher than the industry average.
FranklinCovey serves two audiences: learning leaders and business leaders. According to research by LinkedIn, those audiences tend to look at different types of outcomes to measure training results. While learning leaders measure qualitative feedback from learners and their managers, business leaders look at business impact and ROI. That said, Training Industry research has found that learning leaders are increasingly focused on aligning training with business needs and measuring the impact training has on business results.
Merrill says that since FranklinCovey clients are looking at outcomes through both of these lenses, FranklinCovey measures outcomes in both areas. For example, customer loyalty training for a retail chain not only measures manager and learner feedback but also customer loyalty per store across the chain to see real business impact. For manager training, according to Cahill, organizations should measure not only business outcomes, like increased revenue, but also the impact on learners. For example, has the training increased new managers’ confidence and decreased their stress?
Poorly performing managers are expensive. According to Gallup, “managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores across business units” and, “when companies can increase their number of talented managers and double the rate of engaged employees, they achieve, on average, 147% higher earnings per share than their competition.”
Obviously, having good managers is a significant business outcome, and aligning training with that outcome is important. Grovo research has found that over half of surveyed managers believe faster manager training would help their organizations achieve key business objectives and that effective manager training includes small pieces of information that are reinforced over time.
By acquiring a company like Jhana that provides microlearning for managers and focusing on connecting training to results that matter to both learning leaders and business executives, FranklinCovey is working to support training alignment in a one-stop shop for training organizations.