An HR Manager's Playbook On Learning Analytics: 6 Performance Metrics To Focus On

An HR Manager's Playbook On Learning Analytics 6 Performance Metrics To Focus On
Summary: As learning analytics continues to advance and the amount of learner data that can be tracked grows, it can be difficult for HR managers to know which metrics are the best at measuring performance. Learn about the 6 metrics that HR managers should focus on to improve performance.

Measures Of Performance HR Managers Should Emphasize

Providing quality Learning and Development experiences for your employees is a must in today’s competitive market [1]. Simply providing employee training is not enough anymore. Poor quality training can be just as detrimental to your business and employee retention rates as not having any at all. In fact, 40% of employees with poor training will leave a company within the first year [2].

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What is even more interesting is that the increasing demand for L&D opportunities has created a 14% jump in the average employee training and education spending in the U.S. alone [3]. Unfortunately, 45% of investments in corporate training are ineffective while less than half of the top executives are confident in their L&D investments [4].

Measuring the effectiveness of your employee training programs is one of the best ways you can ensure that your employees are getting the kind of learning experiences you want. In that way, they will improve their skills and increase their productivity. Although quality employee training programs usually include a blend of training delivery methods, most have an online learning component. Learning analytics, Big Data, and machine learning make it easy to track key performance metrics.

Learning analytics is a form of educational technology. It is used for the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learner's behaviors and patterns. Training and development managers can use this data for the purpose of understanding the true value and impact of their L&D programs. Their findings can help them make data-informed decisions to improve learning experiences that are both a company and employee benefit.

However, with learning analytics becoming more and more advanced, many HR managers are left wondering which metrics matter the most and how to use the data to improve employee performance. This is why we have created the following list on the top performance metrics HR managers can track to measure and improve their training programs.

6 Performance Metrics To Focus On

Each of these 6 metrics will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your training plan. The most popular model typically used for evaluating training is the Kirkpatrick model. This evaluation model has 4 levels of measurement which are reaction, learning, behavior, and results. Each of these metrics will help you measure one of the 4 levels of the Kirkpatrick model.

The reaction level is about the learner's initial response and feelings about the program. The learning level is about measuring how much knowledge learners are gaining and retaining. The behavior level is where you measure knowledge application. Results is the fourth and final level which is about the overall impact of the program.

These metrics will help you measure one of the levels of training evaluation, providing you with the key insights you need to not only measure effectiveness but also to make improvements.

1. Completion Rates

Completion rates can give you a lot more information than you would think. For starters, you can see if employees are actually completing any assigned or mandatory training that is needed for compliance purposes.

Low completion rates may be a sign that employees are struggling with certain concepts or low engagement. High completion rates indicate that learners are invested in training and are more likely to retain and apply what they have learned. This metric is a good starting point for determining both the employee’s initial reaction to the program and how much they are learning.

2. Time Spent In Training

Tracking the time spent in training can help you determine how much the learners are engaged in the program. If employees are completing the training too quickly, it could indicate that they are simply clicking through the program and are not engaged.

3. Feedback

A great way to find out how participants feel about the training program is by asking. This can be done in a number of ways but some of the most common methods are surveys, asking employees to rate their satisfaction and ask for comments. This information is incredibly useful when you are trying to pinpoint a particular problem that you can't figure out with quantitative data.

4. Learner Proficiency

Tracking employee scores regarding assessments and simulations is a good way to determine how much information they are learning and retaining. If an employee is completing training quickly but struggles with a simulation, they may not be remembering what they had learned.

5. Retention/Application Rates

Tracking knowledge retention can be easily done by reviewing test and simulation scores. Although you cannot tell how much knowledge is applied on the job with learning analytics, you can track the knowledge they apply during simulations. This can give you some insight into how much they are remembering and what they are likely to apply in real-life scenarios.

6. Progress

Tracking how long it takes employees to complete their training can help you identify if they are struggling, if there is a segment of training that is ineffective or if there is an issue with engagement. This makes it easier to identify and solve any issues there may be with the current training program.


High-quality training programs are essential in today's competitive market. Learning analytics makes it easy to track the performance metrics you need in order to ensure that your training program is effective.

The key metrics every HR manager should consider tracking are:

  • Completion rates
  • Amount of time spent in training
  • Learner feedback
  • Learner proficiency
  • Knowledge retention/application rates
  • Learner progress

Each of these metrics will assist HR mangers in creating thorough analytics reports and help them identify key insights. The insights will help them evaluate the effectiveness of their training programs. These findings can also help them optimize their training content. In that way, they can ensure that their training is meeting goals and is worth the initial investment.

To learn more about tracking performance metrics with learning analytics, check out the eBook The Power Of Learning Analytics: Measuring L&D Outcomes For Business Performance. If you're curious about how to use learning analytics for remote workforce engagement, join the webinar, too!


[1] How Learning Experiences Will Change in 2020: An Interview with Nolan Hout



[4] Measuring What Counts: 10 Learning Analytics to Live By