Workforce Development

Business Value Assessment Frequently Asked Questions

October 1, 2005  • Workforce Strategies Initiative

What are the BVA tools used for?

The BVA tools are designed to assess the value of a specific workforce service, delivered at sufficient scale to affect a company’s operations or financial bottom-line, and one business at a time.

How do I know what outcomes to track?

Use the BVA Handbook and assessment planning worksheets to guide discussion with your business customer about the specific workforce problem your service will help with. The tools will help you identify the types of data you would need to track to determine if a service helped to alleviate a specific workforce problem. Because all data for assessments must be provided by business customers, the business client must be involved in planning, interested in knowing about outcomes, and willing to provide data for assessment.

The scale and timefame of the workforce program should be considered when designing a business value assessment. For example, were enough workers trained to influence the expected business outcome? What other factors influence the expected business outcome (e.g., organization changes, new technology or seasonal work volume)? Will the data collection for the planned assessment conflict with other business events or information-gathering?

When is the best time to conduct a Business Value Assessment?

It is best to design Business Value Assessment prior to delivery of a workforce service. The business’ questions about outcomes may provide information that affects service design and help establish realistic expectations. Baseline data may need to be collected prior to service delivery. Having said this, successful assessments can be conducted after a service is delivered.

What sort of data will I need from my business clients?

Some assessment questions can be addressed with existing human resource, accounting or company performance data (e.g., retention or cost of turnover). Some assessment questions require new data (e.g., changes in skills, supervisor or customer satisfaction). To interpret the results of workforce services, you will also need benchmarks against which to compare your data, such as information about performance of comparable employees or for different time periods.

All of my business clients want our workforce services to improve employee “soft skills.” Can I measure the business value of improvements in soft skills with these tools?

The Excel Tool allows you to track how your workforce services contribute to outcomes that a business customer may feel comfortable using as a proxy for improvements in soft skills. These include retention, attendance, advancement, disciplinary actions, customer satisfaction ratings or supervisor ratings. You may want to do a questionnaire-based study to gather data from managers about how employees exhibit specific soft skills. The Handbook and planning worksheets are designed to help you and your business client outline specific soft skills-related work behaviors and performance indicators, and what data might be used to quantify them.

What is the Excel Tool? How can it help us track our workforce development results with business clients?

The Excel Tool is a package of forms for data entry and tracking and reports that calculate and monetize practical business value outcome indicators such as retention, cost of turnover, productivity, efficiency, and other customizable workforce quality indicators. Click here to view a brief recording that demonstrates the key features and functionalities of the BVA Excel sheet.

When I open the Excel Tool I get a warning about “macros”. What should I do?

Your system settings may disable macros necessary for the proper functioning of the automated features in the Excel Tool. The Excel Tool was configured by an authorized software programmer. You must enable macros in order for all the automated features to work as expected. If this or a similar notice appears when you open the Excel Tool:

Macros in this workbook are disabled because the security level is high. To run the macros, you can either have them signed or change your security level.

  1. On the Tools menu, click “Macros” and then “Security.”
  2. On the Security Level tab, select “Medium.” Each time you open an Excel file with macros, you will be asked if you want to Disable or Enable macros.
  3. Exit and re-open the Excel Tool. Choose “Enable” from the macro security dialog box.

Workforce Development
Business Value Assessment Toolkit
October 1, 2005 • Workforce Strategies Initiative & 1 more