As a manager or executive, you may be familiar with using key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the success of your organization. Typically, KPIs are used to measure the achievement of an operational goal or progress towards a strategic objective. Whatever KPIs you use, choosing the right ones rely upon having a good understanding of what is important to your organization and evaluating what the data is telling you about your performance measurements.
At first you might think that end state, financial performance measurements are the most important. After all, if you aren’t making money, the organization will not thrive. I’d like to argue that point. There are other performance measurements equally important to the success of the organization and that directly contribute to KPIs and financial impact—these are customer and employee training performance, or Learning Performance Indicators (LPIs).
Too often, executives take a siloed approach to tracking KPIs and interrelated performance measurements data. However, KPIs should be aligned and have contributory dependencies and measurements of those areas—specifically learning. But how do you do that?
Why Learning Performance Indicators?
If you’re in a service or solutions-based industry, you should implement Learning Performance Indicators to encourage and support an awareness of knowledge among internal employees on how to build and align services to meet your customer’s KPIs. LPIs should translate into concrete skills employees bring to their job in relationship to how it helps to achieve your customer’s KPIs. For your customer base, the proper identification and promotion of LPI’s assures not only a measurable model of knowledge transfer and certification (i.e., expertise, credibility). It also provides and supports both employee and customer satisfaction and loyalty—critical, but many times, direct factors to achieving financial and market success.
For example, if one of our Fortune 500 clients is implementing a system-wide training initiative and a main objective is to minimize costs (financial KPI), then MicroTek’s LPIs should help that customer achieve reducing training costs in enterprise-wide rollouts and balancing requirements in order to achieve a successful learning experience. Those activities drive satisfaction and loyalty.
LPIs are externally focused and rely on your organization’s knowledge base, ability to establish a team of subject-matter experts or knowledge and skills relevant to driving the value of your company’s products and services. KPIs are internally focused and are related to your company’s operational performance and relationship to the bottom line.
While KPIs support bottom-line commitments, LPI’s support top-line growth. Intentionally designing and blending both KPI and LPI measurement models together will ensure you adequately feed the knowledge engine while maintaining profitable cash flow to run your company. You’ll bring much more value to customers by concentrating your efforts on developing LPIs.
In the LPI chain, MicroTek tries to help customers understand what LPI requirements are needed to meet KPIs and how to drive LPIs so they’re not assumption-based knowledge transfer but targeted information delivery with measurable results. In order to establish successful LPIs, here are a few points you need to understand:
- Acknowledge that employees must meet a measurable level of expertise about your products and services in order to understand how they can effectively support customer KPIs.
- Understand that knowledge gain is time bound. Customers have requirements that have to be delivered within a certain timeframe to ensure go-to-market readiness. However, just because they have a certain window of activity doesn’t mean that your employees have the time to fill it. Acknowledge that you need to bridge your employees job responsibilities with what they need to learn.
- Develop and source content by the appropriate expertise. By sourcing a subject matter expert, you’ll have the ability to access information that’s relevant and disseminate it among your employees.
- Understand your learner’s requirements. Know what type of learning modality is best for knowledge transfer (classroom, online, mentor, video tutorial, virtual, etc.). Consider groups of learners rather than individual learners. Understand the extent of the group demographics and the scope of the learner base (how many, what locations, what departments). Never underestimate the power of visual, synchronous training in lieu of a pendulum swing to an all-virtual platform, as the results can be negative.
- Always focus on the learner’s experience, and ensure your LPIs start and end with that objective and measurement.
Essentially, all KPIs can be woven together by putting an LPI between them. That means learning what is required to meet your customer’s KPIs and then preparing employees to support that. This whole concept is premised on effective and efficient training. Training is a not only a golden opportunity to provide your employees and customers with the knowledge and expertise to deliver success, it has a native relationship to all KPIs and of course your company’s bottom-line.