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From micro-learning and informative, how-to videos to self-directed learning features, as the landscape of learning management systems (LMS) evolves, the objective for most organisations using the technology remains the same: to improve user engagement and increase skills to ultimately boost revenue.

According to the ATD 2016 State of the Industry report, the average company invests approximately $1,252 per employee on training and development. The report also states that the average employee receives an estimated 33.5 hours of training annually.

Sure, you can train and teach your team members all you want, as many companies often do. But wouldn’t it be even better to have peace of mind that all of your training efforts are working and helping your company reach specific business goals?

One way to track and measure the effectiveness of your LMS training programmes is by automatically generating reports based on Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. KPIs are a deeper measure of specific aspects of your training and help put valuable, actionable data within easy reach, and ideally increasing the impact of your training efforts.  

There are various types of KPIs to track when it comes to training programmes. For example, some KPIs focus on factors directly related to training, such as how many employees completed it or how many are behind schedule. Others focus more on how a training programme impacts business results, like a comparison of revenue, or the quality of work before and after a program was implemented. Use data from other connected programs like performance management tools, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and project management software to help augment the information you gather from your LMS to get a better picture of an employee’s performance. Websites like TechnologyAdvice.com provide useful recommendations on project management tools and CRM software that will share data with your LMS.

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Totara Learn: Performance KPIs

An LMS can make it easy to track training KPIs as they capture data automatically and make it simple to generate reports.  

Keep in mind, the importance and relevance of KPIs can vary from one industry to the next, and often from one organisation to another. For this reason, when determining which KPIs to track within your company, it is crucial to do your homework before forging ahead. Take time with company leaders to ensure that everyone has a clear interpretation of the business goals, as well as what challenges are most important to address.

If you want to better understand the ROI related to your organisation’s training and development programs, here are several KPIs we suggest you track and measure:

1. Engagement with curriculum

Track your users’ activities and analyse how they engaged with the training programme. Evaluate aspects including the total hours of trainings, training hours for individual users, as well as the number of training programmes organised. This data can help you evaluate and understand user performance, particularly elements such as pass/fail statistics, average time to completion and average test scores.  

If a user fails a course assessment, for example, it can be an indicator that they are unable to comprehend the information and that you may need to modify the training content accordingly.

Alternatively, users that finish a training programme faster than normal may not be finding the material interesting or useful, which can lead to disengagement. In this scenario, you may want to consider crafting a more interactive, stimulating course.

Don’t forget to factor in post-training analysis and feedback, too. Did your learners find the training programme engaging and relevant to their specific jobs? Did they acquire the intended knowledge, skills and confidence? Would they recommend the training to their colleagues? It is also essential to track if your employees are applying their newly acquired knowledge on the job.

2. Job proficiency over time

Are your employees improving after participating in your training modules? What impact has the training had on their daily goals? Based on your training objectives, see if those goals have been achieved.

Job competence KPIs often cover areas like:

  • The quality of work. For example, how often does an employee’s work have to be redone?
  • Individual efficiency
  • Performance in job-related tasks

This KPI can help you better identify employees that are eligible for promotion, as well as determine which departments are more successful in their training and enhancement activities.

You can also run a job role competency rate report to track the training progress of team members individually or as part of a department. It’s a smart way to identify employees who are fully competent on a job role – especially if your organisation cross-trains people on multiple job roles and you need to identify someone you can transfer to a different department to cover for someone.

3. Departmental/team competence

Track this KPI to identify the percentage of employees in one or more departments that are fully qualified in their job role. You can run it for one department to confirm that everyone department-wide is competent, or run it across multiple departments to compare the rate company-wide. This KPI can be especially helpful when training managers with responsibilities across an entire facility or work site.

4. Indicators of performance quality

While this can be somewhat challenging to pin down regarding measurable numbers, performance quality can be one of the most powerful indicators that make a case for an LMS training investment.

Potential ways to capture quality enhancements could be seen in:

  • a reduction in the number of customer complaints
  • increases in customer satisfaction  
  • increased referrals from existing customers
  • lower rate of order cancellations
  • a decrease in product returns

The bottom line

Measurement is a puzzle we are all trying to solve. The key to tracking KPIs is to use caution when choosing which types of KPIs for your ROI metrics. Remember, you must be able to illustrate any gaps in employee knowledge that your training content can specifically address.

Given how a successful training programme can dramatically impact a company on multiple levels, it is critical for organisations today to support long-term learning strategies with a solid approach to monitoring progress towards goals, as well as a clear focus on analysing the right KPIs.

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