The author discusses why using metrics is the
best means to measure the outcomes from training programmes.
The only way to measure if employee training
programmes function effectively in an organisation is to use metrics. Only by tracking, collecting, and
analysing employee data will an organisation truly understand whether employees
are learning in the most efficient
and effective way for them.
Many organisations spend considerable time and money
putting together specialised training programmes, however the employees and the
business may not be taking full advantage of those investments. To truly
understand and then improve learning efficiency,
and how learning positively
impacts revenue and employee retention, your organisation needs to expand its
use of metrics.
is a win for both learners and employers
Skillsoft’s Mind the Gap
research found 55 per cent of employees in Australia and New Zealand are
concerned about not receiving enough learning,
training, and development from their organisation to remain employable and
skilled in the future. In addition, 63 per cent of respondents believe learning, development, and training opportunities are important
when considering a new job role.
Organisations need to invest in their employees to
train them for their current roles and reskill, and upskill staff for future
responsibilities. Providing more learning opportunities
benefits both individual employees and the organisation as a whole.
Change how you measure learner engagement
Many organisations find it difficult to measure
effectiveness of their training programmes, and there is no industry standard
for determining learner engagement. To measure efficiency and engagement, learning and development (L&D) professionals
tend to use a mix of quantitative and qualitative data. For example, the number
of courses learners complete, employee feedback in learning surveys, time employees spend learning per month etc. However, many L&D
professionals do not yet measure learner engagement based on online usage
increasing variety of metrics now
available to L&D professionals, many may be confused as to how much they
could be tracking to understand their employees’ learning efficiency better. It may help organisations to look at metrics across four different
categories—compliance, efficacy, emerging learning technologies,
and business impact:
1. Measuring compliance
For organisations that operate in highly-regulated
environments, including financial services, healthcare, or pharmaceuticals,
much of the learning provided to
employees is compulsory.
With this in mind, measuring and tracking course
completion status, the total amount of time employees spent taking the course,
and their course scores all play a vital role in the organisation’s ability to
demonstrate regulatory compliance. To continue performing their current jobs,
employees must pass compulsory courses and gain the required course
2. Understanding course efficacy and improvement
Courses that are aligned with newer E-learning standards like xAPI provide a wider
and more nuanced set of metrics, as
they focus on tracking experiences across different learning environments. This includes mobile, gamified, collaborative, offline,
and simulated learning.
By measuring more learning data,
organisations can gain more understanding into how effective that course is as
well as if employees are interacting well with it. Using these details, it is
easier for organisations to understand how their employees learn and how
L&D can create better training materials going forward so they are more
3. Measure the use of emerging learning methods
Training now rarely takes place in a traditional,
in-person classroom setting. Many organisations are now making the most of
different methods to deliver more engaging training programmes not just using E-learning, and micro-learning via
laptops and mobile devices, but also virtual reality (VR).
By using VR, employees can practice a process in the
virtual world immediately before performing those actions in the real world so
that the time from learning a new
skill to becoming productive can reduce. Analysing the metrics provided through VR learning can be really useful to the
organisation by improving training as well as increasing employee efficiency
and overall performance in typical work situations.
4. Understand how employee training impacts the organisation
For organisations to truly make the most of their
employee training programmes, they need to understand how it impacts the
business. This means L&D professionals must analyse broader metrics and work closely with their
colleagues across the organisation. For example, to prove that a specific sales
training initiative directly led to the sales teams closing more deals, L&D
needs to be able to combine the learning metrics with sales metrics held in the company’s CRM
For maximum impact, before introducing new training
programmes to employees, L&D must invest time working in collaboration with
other departments to truly understand the learning objectives.
The output here is creating a comprehensive list of goals for a new training
program, from both a learning and
an overall business perspective. Learning investment
can help organisations improve talent attraction, employee retention, customer
satisfaction, as well as help grow revenue—but key to success is focussed,
measurable investment. By creating these goals, L&D professionals can then
choose which metrics they’ll need
to track employees’ progress towards realising those targets.
It’s important to understand how learning and talent metrics must function in combination with
other business metrics. After all,
organisations must prioritise both learning and
business needs. Working closely with other departments will help L&D
develop both the best learning content,
as well as the most targeted audience for that training. Then, by taking
a metrics-driven approach, L&D can
clearly demonstrate how investment in learning is
meeting the business objectives of the wider organisation.
Hughes is the Regional Vice President at the helm of the SumTotal Systems Asia
Pacific business. A local in Singapore, he has over 15 years’ experience in the
regional and international technology industry. His depth of industry knowledge
and insights are a result of years working with multinational organisations and
their business leaders to understand their challenges and work collaboratively
to enable them to drive successful outcomes. He thrives in the competitive and
diverse emerging markets.
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