5 critical KPIs for employee training and development
You probably have key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business outcomes, but do you have KPIs to determine your workplace training effectiveness? You should. When it comes to employee training, it’s important to look beyond quiz scores and training completion percentages and focus on more precise metrics to determine if your training is making a difference. The following five metrics are essential.
Training doesn’t exist for its own sake. There are stated or implied business goals that go along with that training, such as sales objectives, productivity, customer satisfaction, workplace safety and more.
You should leverage these KPIs as the desired outcome for training and then measure the rest of the learning and development metrics on this list to connect your training to the desired impact. This will help you to determine if the training actually worked and delivered a measurable ROI.
A modern learning management system (LMS) like Axonify can help. As an intuitive frontline training tool, Axonify leverages machine learning to connect the dots and determine if training does or does not impact business results. This allows organizations to get proactive and adjust their training programs to ensure maximum impact.
Less than a third of U.S. employees are actively engaged in the workplace, but studies show that effective training can positively impact their engagement level. It doesn’t matter how effectively you’re measuring knowledge or behavior if people never engage in training. That’s why engagement is one of the most critical KPIs for learning and development and why you should commit to making your employee training more engaging.
One way to assess if an employee is engaged is to examine their approach to the training. How often are people completing training activities? Are they able to make it part of their everyday work, or do they only log in when required? Do they search for additional resources or learning opportunities because they’re interested in expanding their knowledge, closing knowledge gaps and taking on new roles or responsibilities?
There is value in measuring employee engagement differently—in other words, going beyond course completions and focusing on how employees engage with the content. If people are connecting and constantly trying to learn more, it’s a good sign for the organization and employee buy-in.
Knowledge growth is foundational to training success. Did trainees actually learn and retain their knowledge after training so that it can be applied on the job? Measuring knowledge growth is more than just giving people a test before and after training. It requires determining a starting point (baseline) and then continuing to measure what people know through ongoing assessment, such as reinforcement activities that test people’s ability to apply their knowledge.
For instance, if you’re providing leadership training to an employee, you should be able to observe measurable growth in the trainee’s understanding of conflict management, negotiation, time management, communication and other leadership-related skills.
Axonify assigns a knowledge profile to each trainee: Baseline Knowledge and Current Knowledge. So you can measure knowledge growth in real time by reviewing those metrics. You can also see where employees need additional coaching.
It’s not enough for an employee to know the job. They also need confidence in their knowledge so that they can authoritatively do the right thing without hesitation. A knowledgeable, confident employee is able to provide a better customer experience and waste less time second-guessing on the job.
It’s important to note that confidence is a personal concept that must be self-assessed. Nobody can tell you how confident you are, but you can be asked to reflect on how confident you feel in your knowledge on a topic and then leverage that data to provide you with better support. In this way, both your knowledge and confidence grow over time.
With Axonify, participants are asked to input their level of confidence for each response. Employers can track if employees are overconfident or underconfident in any key proficiencies. These learning analytics can help to uncover any discrepancies between confidence and knowledge.
Knowledge is a good start, but it must translate to the right behaviors in order to be meaningful. That’s why continual observation is important to ensure that the training is having the desired impact.
Observation should include evaluations (ensuring that someone can apply their knowledge as part of training before they’re permitted to work independently) as well as ongoing observation (where managers continuously assess performance, feeding that data back into the employee profile so that future training and support focus on areas of improvement based on real-world application).
Axonify also has built-in behavior metrics, so you can log your behavioral observations and tie the results to other relevant training data.
What if your training efforts aren’t working?
If you’ve measured all of the training KPIs above, but you’re not seeing the results you hoped for, this is an excellent opportunity to step back and assess why your workplace learning efforts are falling short.
Common reasons for ineffective training include content that’s too difficult (or just not engaging), training sessions that are too long, material that isn’t directly relevant or information that isn’t reinforced. Look at your training metrics. Solicit feedback. Use focus groups. Set clear training and development goals. Determine what’s not working, and adjust accordingly.
It takes time and effort to develop an effective training program, but the payoff is enormous. Effective training means a more capable workforce, a more engaged team, better employee retention and maximum stakeholder satisfaction.