Tracking Employee Training - Measuring Training Effectiveness With KPIs
By Albert J Lilly

Tracking employee training and measuring training effectiveness is a key objective of any training and development department. Naturally, you want to ensure your investment in training of new hires and current employees delivers the expected results. One of the ways to assess the effectiveness of employee training is by establishing quality Key Performance Indicators (KPI). When created and tracked properly, they serve as a benchmark to measure and improve progress towards a set of broader based goals or objectives. Many organizations find it hard to come up with good KPI's, if any at all. In order to move beyond a "tick the box" training strategy and drive real results from the efforts, you must create quality KPI's based on a number of moving parts. While you can report on goals, competencies and proficiencies within your talent, performance or training management system, it is the synchronization of all these moving parts and linking this all back to the original training plans that is often a challenge.

Quality KPI's for tracking employee training effectiveness should be: a) measurable and quantifiable b) competency based c) linked to proficiency and d) mapped to organizational and employee goals. Let's use a customer support and service scenario as an example in creating quality KPI's to measure the effectiveness of your related training programs.

Measurable and Quantifiable

Some key metrics to measure and quantify are likely very tactical in nature: a) call service levels b) call abandon rates and c) call resolution times. Let's say you aim ensure 100% of all calls are answered on the first ring, 0 calls are abandoned and 100% of calls are resolved in under 5 minutes. Aggressive metrics you have here, but definitely measurable and quantifiable.

Competency Based

To hit your target metrics as defined above, perhaps a support agent must be knowledgeable and competent in a) the use of the phone queue system and b) product knowledge for whatever widget or service they are supporting. The training you create, deliver and track would obviously be based upon around these competency areas to ensure mastery of the subject matter.

Linked to Proficiency

So you have created and delivered training by competency levels. You track employee training and see that by assessment results, most all are deemed "competent". Does this mean that in the actual application of their knowledge they are proficient? This is often a missing component in many training programs and requires "offline", on-the-job performance measurement. Creating a scoring system whereby agents are graded by supervisors in live situations and linking this feedback to the agent's training transcript helps ensure that the training investments and activities working towards delivering the intended results.

Mapped to Organizational and Employee Goals

Organizationally, from the customer support perspective, you may have a goal of 100% customer satisfaction and 0 complaints, as measured in your quarterly customer survey. Each employee has a set of goals that roll up into the bigger picture. If customer satisfaction is determined by how quickly a customer's call is answered and how fast their problem is resolved, then we've correctly identified the right metrics that drive these results, understood what competencies "move the needle" on our metrics and ensured our competencies become "proficiencies" through on-the-job performance measurement.

Sound easy? For organizations with many moving parts or highly complex operational processes, measuring the effectiveness of training is made possible with the use of a performance or training management system. When configured properly, training management systems fully automate the processes and procedures of creating, delivering and managing training that can then be linked to employee roles, competencies and proficiencies for reporting and measurement. Leveraging technology also enables training professionals and departments to get more strategic and let their systems manage the time intensive tactical requirements of the job. Of course technology does only as good of a job as it was set up to do, so the process of configuring a system to manage training effectiveness is a job in-and-of-itself that becomes well worth it and pays dividends over the long-haul.

Albert Lilly
VP Marketing
Cobent Limited


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