Each year it is becoming more and more important for training program managers to prove the value and overall ROI of their company's investment in training.
After all, many managers and executives can be hesitant to release employees for day-long or multi-day training events, fearing short-term losses in productivity or just the sheer costs of training. The best way to demonstrate training program value is with quantifiable and reliable training KPIs, which can demonstrate that:
- Learners are retaining and applying knowledge to their job
- The training program is helping the company achieve overall goals
- Training events are offered in an efficient, cost-effective manner
In this blog, we examine seven KPIs that our research finds provide the best data to demonstrate the value of your training program.
KPI #1 — Knowledge Retention and Practical Application
Pre- and post-testing of learners provides an accurate indicator of training effectiveness. Testing before training provides a baseline of knowledge while also revealing knowledge gaps to help shape curriculum. Post-testing scores should demonstrate improvement in knowledge and show the degree to which participants learned the material and were able to apply it directly to their work functions. This is especially true in knowledge- and skills-based training, such as compliance training or software applications training.
In order to identify how much knowledge students retain over time, consider offering a second post-test several weeks following the training. This can further demonstrate the effectiveness of training.
KPI #2 — Operational Effectiveness Measures
Operational effectiveness pertains to the ability to link training objectives back to strategic business goals. If you are training to improve a particular skill, the effectiveness of that skill could be related back to specific business goals. If your training seeks to address performance gaps, your training KPIs should include operational metrics such as deadlines missed, product errors, accident records, etc. to determine if training helped to increase competencies in key operational areas.
KPI #3 — Employee Performance Measures
If your training seeks to improve employee performance, there are metrics you can gather to track efficiency. Seek input from managers to understand what their employees do and understand how the training may help to improve certain processes and procedures.
Then conduct pre- and post-training assessments to measure the impact on key performance metrics. Involving managers in the assessment can provide the needed buy-in from stakeholders for the training.
KPI #4 — Departmental Performance
Departments as a whole should reflect improvement after training. The easy part of this training KPI is that it requires no additional metrics, but rather borrows the ones that the department already has in place. Using the department’s own KPIs, you can track a rise or fall in their performance. For example, “The sales teams’ win rate increased by 8% following training”.
KPI #5 — Number of Employees Trained
For some organizations, the number of students is a key training indicator, especially if the training is related to regulatory compliance and safety. Likewise, the efficiency by which those employees are trained is another important indicator.
KPI #6 — Time to Training Completion
The time to complete training is an important KPI to measure, both for your purposes of bettering the program and to achieve stakeholder buy-in.
KPI #7 — Learner Satisfaction
Some of the best insights can be gleamed by asking the students themselves for their impressions of the training. Upon conclusion of a training event, ask the learners opinions of the training, what they liked, disliked and what could be improved. This information will help you to continually improve your training and ensure that the content is relevant.
Depending on your particular training program, you may include some or all of these in your KPI reports. When equipped with relevant statistics and measurements, it becomes much easier to demonstrate the value of training to stakeholders in the organization, not to mention raise the collective IQ of your workers to help give your company a competitive advantage.
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