Training Analytics: How To Measure The Effectiveness Of Your L&D Programs
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6 Training Analytics Metrics To Keep An Eye On

There are a lot of boxes to tick when you’re developing or rolling out training. Is it scalable? Is the topic right? What platform should you use? But there are also boxes to tick after it’s all over, namely evaluating whether training was successful. How can you measure something so seemingly subjective?

Enter training analytics.

Training is an investment in your organization’s success. It improves critical things like employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.

But not all training programs are made equal. If you want to make sure your employee development efforts hit the mark in all these important areas, you need to know whether and how effective your training is.

Why You Need To Measure Training Effectiveness

Knowing how successful your training program helps you make the connections between learning and results. After all, your investment in employee development is only useful when it achieves its purposes. Learning analytics can help you identify areas for improvement and strengthen training ROI.

When you regularly track how training is going, you’ll be aware of where it’s falling short or where you’re losing learner engagement. You’ll be able, for example, to respond with content upgrades, allocate resources more effectively, and improve the learner experience to boost knowledge retention. When you know how the training is performing, you can control outcomes.

So how do you go about collecting and measuring the data that will help you cement your results? The key lies in setting helpful learning objectives upfront.

Before Training: How To Set Learning Objectives

To measure whether training is successful, you need first to know what you’re looking to achieve. You need to start with specific goals in mind.

First, define the purpose of your training. Organizations roll out training for a variety of reasons: Are you looking to change your culture? Upskill employees? Solve a particular problem by educating people on a very targeted solution? Whatever the purpose, you’re investing in something you hope will have a significant impact on your work culture or results. Defining that purpose will give you a sense of the goals to set.

Second, set specific goals. Your training objectives should be detailed and realistic. If they don’t include numbers or other measurable outcomes, you can’t very easily determine whether you’ve hit them. For example, are you looking to teach employees to hold one another accountable to deadlines? One course objective might be something like “by the end of the training, employees will have developed a script for what to say when they see someone is about to miss a deadline.”

Clear, specific learning objectives can help you see whether your training is having the intended impact. So how exactly do you measure those objectives?

6 Metrics To Help You Measure Training Effectiveness

Success sounds subjective and not entirely measurable, but it doesn't have to be something abstract. Tangible metrics will help you see whether you’re hitting your learning objectives—and therefore determine whether your training is successful.

Here are 6 useful metrics that are linked to business goals:

1. Training KPIs

Are there key performance indicators (KPIs) you’re looking to impact with your training? For example, increased sales of a specific product? More loyal customers? Higher levels of productivity or engagement?

When you set actual numbers for these (e.g., a certain percentage of increased sales, a defined number of customers who turn to you for repeat business), measuring them after training is easy. Numbers are never subjective, and hitting KPI goals is a clear indicator that your training is doing its job.

2. Enrollment And User Activity Data

With your LMS built-in features, you can see how employees are engaging with the training. You can see whether and how often they’re logging in and how long it’s taking them to complete their courses. You can also see whether people are finishing an optional course or unenrolling from it.

These numbers give you an idea of how engaging the topic is and whether it’s keeping people going through the training at a regular pace. If learners aren’t progressing as quickly as you anticipated, you know you’ve got room for improvement. Is it difficult to work into schedules? Could you break up lessons or modules into smaller chunks?

If people are dropping out or not finishing their training, ask why. Looking at stopping points can help you find places that aren’t engaging. If people are regularly failing to see courses through to the end, it may be because they don’t see the value in them. This could be a cue to clarify or align organizational goals with what they’re learning.

3. Quiz Results

Tests and quizzes are clear indicators of whether employees are truly learning the training content. Adding quizzes to your training keeps people engaged and boosts learning. Building them into key places in the course also allows you to assess training effectiveness from a learning transfer perspective.

With your LMS, you can track the average participant scores. Consistently high scores are an indicator of successful training. People are learning and retaining the information as intended. If quiz scores fall in certain lessons or around certain topics, you may need to re-evaluate the content there.

4. Performance-Related Data

Another crucial indicator of training effectiveness is whether it shows up in employee performance. Set a learning objective focused on what you expect to see and how you can measure it, then you’ll be able to see how well people are applying the skills they learned back on the job.

Your performance-related KPIs don't have to be strictly numerical. They can also refer to a change in employees' behaviors at work.

For example, say your goal is to decrease the number of missed project deadlines. Note the number of missed deadlines occurring before training, then assign a course about principles of project management or timely communication, and track those same metrics in the weeks and months post-training to see whether the new skills are being transferred to the job. Are employees consistently hitting more deadlines? If so, it’s an indicator that training had an impact.

5. Training Experience

Consider setting metrics on things like learner satisfaction with the training content or their sense of a course's value. When learners don’t have a positive experience with their training, they’re less engaged. And when they’re not engaged, they don’t learn. There’s a huge immediate cost in the time and resources you poured into the training. You’ll also face consequences as your training objectives continue to go unmet.

Determine how people are feeling by measuring the learner experience. Run quick surveys in the course itself or shortly after training to gauge people’s experience. What was their experience navigating the platform or understanding the concepts? Do they feel this particular training was a good use of their time? Did they see the benefits?

If responses are positive, you’ll know you’re on the right track. If you get feedback of a less than optimal experience, see where you can clarify the value or improve your training program.

6. Revenue And Profit

When training is effective, it’ll generally show up in your bottom line. Whether your goal is to improve employee experience at work or to teach new skills, training has an impact on finances. New skills have clear benefits for improving performance at work. A quality learning experience also improves people’s feelings toward their jobs. And happier employees are more engaged, more productive, and more likely to stay with the organization longer.

In the weeks and months following a training program, note whether profits increase or costs decrease. A change for the better indicates your training is working.

Conclusion

The key to ensuring your training serves its purpose is to tie it to actual business results. Set objectives upfront so you’re clear on what you want it to achieve. Then, measure the effectiveness of your training during and after the course to make sure you’re hitting those objectives.

There are many ways to track training metrics, but it doesn't mean you should get lost in spreadsheets. Learning Management Systems can help keep track of all those metrics so you can focus on analyzing the results.

When you know what you’re looking for and how to find it, you greatly improve your odds of training success.

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