Employee Training Programs: 5 Tips On Setting The Right KPIs And Goals

Employee Training Programs: 5 Tips On Setting The Right KPIs And Goals
Summary: KPIs and goals are essential tools you can use to boost employee engagement, keep everyone on the same page, and track the results of your training program. But, how do you know you have set the right ones? These 5 tips will teach you how to set the most effective KPIs and goals.

Measuring The Effectiveness Of Employee Training Programs

Very few professionals would dispute the importance of training programs and their impact on the success of a business. Having training programs in place to ensure your employees are skilled, have the proper certifications and understand company procedures is great; but, how do you know if they are effective? How do you track progress? Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and goals are tools organizations can use to measure the effectiveness of their training programs. Key Performance Indicators are defined as measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is accomplishing the needed benchmarks in order to meet a larger goal. Goals are defined as ideas of the future or desired results that your organization aims to achieve. In simpler terms, your goal is the desired result and your KPIs track whether or not you will reach it.

KPIs and goals give companies a way to

  • Measure progress.
  • Make needed adjustments.
  • Solve problems.
  • Identify opportunities.

KPIs and goals assist L&D professionals to demonstrate the overall ROI of their company’s investment in training. They also play a big role in Performance Management. KPIs boost employee morale, encourage personal growth and support business objectives.

The Definitive Guide To Onboarding Programs
Learn how to improve new hire retention rates, speed up the rate of competency and increase productivity.

5 Tips On Setting The Right KPIs

KPIs and goals play a key role in tracking and managing your training programs. Therefore, it is important to make sure you are setting the right ones. Here are 5 ways you can ensure you are setting the most effective KPIs and goals:

1. Set KPIs That Support An Organization's Goals

Each level of an organization has its own set of goals and KPIs to support them. With large companies that have many departments that work together, this can get quite confusing. For L&D departments, it is important to take into consideration the goals and KPIs of the departments they are training new hires for. An easy way to keep things on track is to make sure that each KPI and goal, whether it is set by a department or an individual employee, supports the organization's larger goals.

2. Use The SMART Technique

Setting SMART goals is the first step to setting excellent KPIs.

  • Specific
    Be sure that your goal is specific, clear and focuses on one idea. The clearer the goal, the easier it will be to set measures.
  • Measurable
    There needs to be a way to measure or quantify the goal. The actual measurements will be your KPIs. If you cannot measure your goal, it will be difficult to set KPIs.
  • Achievable
    Goals should be a challenge, but they should be realistic enough that employees can attain them. Setting unrealistic goals is discouraging and negatively impacts morale.
  • Relevant
    This goes back to the first tip about setting individual and team goals that align with those of the organization. When creating a new goal, you should always think about how it supports your organization's overarching goals.
  • Time-bound
    Setting a deadline for a goal to be achieved helps define the specifics of what needs to happen to get there.

Because SMART goals encourage you to think about time and measurement, your Key Performance Indicators start to stand out and become more obvious as you define them. This cuts down on the amount of time and effort you spend on developing KPIs.

3. Track KPIs With Your Learning Management System

Training managers often use an LMS to track metrics and set KPIs for a training program, but they can also be used to help determine what individual employees might need to focus on. Employees do not have access to all the insights and benefits an LMS provides. Managers can use information, such as completion rates, average test scores and pass/fail rates to assist employees in goal setting that aligns with the department and the organization's overall goals.

4. Take An Inclusive Approach

Involving employees in setting their own goals and KPIs helps build a sense of responsibility and satisfaction. When employees help develop their goals and Key Performance Indicators, they are taking ownership of them, which can motivate them to work harder. This process also helps them better understand their role and contributions to the company’s success. Feeling like their contributions matter and are recognized makes them more rewarding.

5. Measure Both Hard And Soft Metrics

It is important to not only focus on hard metrics when setting KPIs. It is a common misconception that you should not use soft metrics because they cannot be measured. Hard metrics are things that can be quantified and tangibly measured. Soft metrics have more to do with ideas and attitudes. Hard metrics come in handy when it comes to training objectives, like completed compliance training and test scores because they are all quantifiable. Soft metrics can be used to set KPIs for other important factors of performance measurement, such as customer satisfaction. Overall, it is best to use a mix of soft and hard metrics when setting KPIs because they both measure factors that contribute to success.


The right KPIs and goals will help you define what you need to do to be successful and track your progress along the way. Each of these 5 tips will help you set more effective goals and KPIs.

Key Takeaways

  • All KPIs and goals should support the organization's larger goals
    Individual employees’ goals look very different depending on a number of factors, but they should all support the organization's larger goals in one way or another.
  • Set SMART goals
    Setting goals that encourage you to think about time and measurement will help you quickly determine and set the right KPIs.
  • Use LMS insights
    Training managers can use insights from their LMS to help employees set more effective goals and KPIs.
  • Take an inclusive approach
    When employees are involved in the creation of their KPIs and goals they are more motivated to achieve them.
  • Use both hard and soft metrics
    Hard and soft metrics are both important and measurable.

Overall, setting the right goals and KPIs can help you track progress and identify adjustments that need to be made. This process allows you to maximize the effectiveness of your training program and share your results.

How do you set the right KPIs and goals in regards to your employee training programs? Download the eBook The Definitive Guide To Onboarding Programs to read how to do so and make long-lasting changes to your internal processes too.