7 Must-Have KPIs To Measure Training Effectiveness For Learning Analytics

7 Must-Have KPIs To Measure Training Effectiveness For Learning Analytics
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Summary: To measure the effectiveness of training, you will need indicators to show the change in performance. Let’s see how KPIs and learning analytics are tied together.

7 KPIs To Measure Training Effectiveness

The value of all L&D endeavors—the extensive use of time, money and resources for employee training—hinges on 3 simple questions:

  • Did learners learn anything of value?
  • Did the training increase their performance on-the-job?
  • Did it contribute toward generating the desired business results?

However, a simple 'yes' or 'no' won’t suffice as an answer. To measure training effectiveness properly, you will need quantitative and qualitative metrics in the form of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

eBook Release: Leveraging Learning Analytics To Maximize Training Effectiveness - Practical Insights And Ideas
eBook Release
Leveraging Learning Analytics To Maximize Training Effectiveness - Practical Insights And Ideas
Learn how to establish the required KPIs, and more—this eBook is a how-to guide on learning analytics.

Learning Analytics and KPIs share a symbiotic relationship, for one evaluates the impact of learning, and the other indicates the change in performance, based on training.

Traditionally, parameters such as the number of people trained, passing scores, cost per employee, hours spent in training were employed. Such KPIs are often antiquated, or too simple to yield valuable information. Training KPIs need to focus on driving business goals and at the same time must "keep up with the times" and changing technology.

1. Time To Proficiency

What if, in that unfortunate race between the tortoise and hare, the hare had not been arrogant and complacent enough to sleep? Who would have won then? Slow and steady might win the race, but the market strives for a fast and furious pace. In employee training, the faster learners learn, the sooner they can produce results. Consequently, time to proficiency becomes an important indicator of training effectiveness.

Instructional Designers focus much on making learning easy and engaging for learners to shorten the learning curve. For implementing learning analytics, you can leverage the reporting abilities of the LMS to check the average, as well as individual time taken by learners to finish their training. You can also form focus groups and assess their performance—both before and after training to see the time taken to reach a certain level of proficiency.

2. Knowledge And Skill Retention

'Forgetfulness, thy name is human!' If there is a common thread among us humans, it is our unequivocal ability to forget information. Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve shows us just how rapidly we forget newly gained information if it is not revisited or used frequently.

To tackle this problem, Instructional Designers constantly try to make learning more engaging, short (bite-sized) and repeat them across regular intervals. How much learners can retain the knowledge and skill they gain in training is a key indicator of how effective the training was. It is usually measured by gauging the difference between pre and post-training assessments.

3. Transfer Of Training

The sole purpose of corporate training hinges on enabling employees to transform knowledge into skill. This is why we strive to align learning with the desired performance of learners and the performance of the organization as a whole. Whether employees are able to translate learned information to their jobs, is an important KPI to measure the effectiveness of training.

Hands-on training after a classroom, digital training (eLearning strategies such as simulations and game-based designs), performance data, and observation are apt to help assess this KPI. Implemented with learning analytics, it can point to the reasons or knowledge gaps interfering with the transfer of knowledge to the job.

4. Impact On Organizational Performance Metrics

Training enables businesses to sell more, increase service efficiencies and productivity, and stay compliant. Simply put, training is the key to enhancing the performance—of individuals and the organization. Measuring this difference between performance metrics, before and after training, is the key to understand its contribution to business ROI.

The impact of training on employee performance and teams/departments also enables learning analytics to help shape the scope for future training and define performance goals.

5. Employee Engagement

"Employees today have increased bargaining power, the job market is highly transparent, and attracting top-skilled workers is a highly competitive activity." This is a frightening, as well as enlightening, insight from Josh Bersin [1]. In such a scenario, an increasing number of organizations are employing analytical tools to measure employee satisfaction, confidence, and commitment, in getting the job done.

Training is an important factor in determining employees' experience and learning analytics improves the chances of its effectiveness. Employee engagement as a KPI within workplace training can't be ignored for it quantifies the quality of employee training, enhances employee retention and reduces turnover rates.

6. Net Promoter Score

Customer Satisfaction is becoming increasingly crucial for a successful business because, with social media, customers have the upper hand and can make or break your organization's image. The Net Promoter Score or NPS allows customers to rate—on a scale of 1 to 10—how likely they are to suggest or recommend your services to friends and peers based on their experience.

The same idea can be applied to measure employee satisfaction by asking them, "how likely are you to recommend this course to a peer?" This can work as an indicator of whether the training rolled out for your employees is effective.

7. Stakeholder Satisfaction

Training evaluation based on learning analytics revolves a lot around data mining and number crunching. However, quantitative data and reports often fail to give a solution to the problems. This is where qualitative evaluation shines. And the best sources of qualitative feedback are your stakeholders.

Stakeholders hold the ultimate seal of approval on the effectiveness of training. They observe whether employees are able to transfer the knowledge/skills to their jobs. They are also responsible for the performance metrics of employees as well as the team as a whole. Knowing all this, it is safe to assume that stakeholder satisfaction is a crucial indicator of effective training programs.

We started by questioning whether employees are learning anything of value and if yes, is it increasing their performance. These 7 KPIs will provide results as well as suggestions for these nagging questions and generate an effective training evaluation strategy. Download the eBook Leveraging Learning Analytics To Maximize Training Effectiveness - Practical Insights And Ideas for an incredible in-depth view of the topic. And for more insights on this, join the webinar and discover how to quickly plan for learning analytics to ensure utilization.


[1] Becoming irresistible: A new model for employee engagement