Effective Ways To Track Employee Training Progress

Effective Ways To Track Employee Training Progress
Imed Bouchrika, Phd by Imed Bouchrika, Phd
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

To adjust to the new normal, more businesses are now focusing on improving the resilience of their biggest asset: their employees. According to several 2021 studies, companies worldwide consider employee training a key goal in the coming years. For instance, findings of the LinkedIn 2021 Workplace Trends Report indicate that employee upskilling and reskilling rank as the top priority for 59% of corporate learning and development (L&D) programs globally.

L&D professionals would also tell you that it’s not enough to implement employee learning courses. Companies must also learn how to track employee training progress over time. In this way, stakeholders can ensure that the L&D programs are making as much impact as possible (Kokoulina, 2020).

This article provides a guide on how to track training progress or the effectiveness of employee training systems. The sections below also discuss the top reasons for tracking employee learning progress and signs your organization needs employee training software.

Why track employee training progress?

Rapidly evolving industries and stiff market competition have been driving the importance of continuous learning for employees, even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The benefits of employee L&D programs have been well-documented over the years.

For instance, according to an article published by Maryville University, “Employee training and development programs are essential to the success of businesses worldwide. Not only do these programs offer opportunities for staff to improve their skills, but also for employers to enhance employee productivity and improve company culture. They also can reduce employee turnover… Voluntary employee turnover, according to the report, costs U.S. businesses more than $630 billion annually. … It’s no surprise that employees who get regular opportunities to learn, develop, and advance are more likely to stay with a company.”

Given the impact of employee upskilling and reskilling on overall business success, proper program planning and implementation are crucial. Evaluating training progress is essential, too. The process allows HR and L&D teams to collect accurate data and address potential issues with the training methods used.

Source: LinkedIn 2021 Workplace Learning Report

Top Reasons for Tracking Employee Training Progress

Below are some of the most important reasons for keeping an eye on how employees move through training programs.

  1. You want to get exact numbers on training program attendance.
  2. You want to find out which courses are popular among employees.
  3. You want to track the pace at which employees learn during training and the speed at which they complete training courses.
  4. You want to collect actual average training scores from employees themselves.
  5. You want to get proof that employees are going through the required training.
  6. You want to determine if the organization’s investment in training programs is paying off, through accurate data on ROI, average scores, and attendance.
  7. You want to properly document the development and outcomes of an employee training program; this is crucial if your organization is just starting to integrate a culture of continuous learning.

As you may notice, most of these reasons involve collecting data about employees undergoing training and the training programs themselves. Learning and development teams must learn how to track employee progress in training to gain baseline data for evaluating training outcomes and determining if these programs are effective.

The data could also come in handy in convincing upper management of the positive ROI of L&D programs and that investing in employee training is important.

Should you use employee training tracking software?

For many companies, an easy way to learn how to track training progress is to use employee training software. These apps often have built-in features for metrics tracking and report generation. These features make it easier to analyze employees’ training progress and the training program’s effectiveness.

Here are some signs that your organization needs to start using employee training software:

  1. Your L&D initiatives involve training hundreds or thousands of employees. It can be difficult to manually track the training progress of a large number of employees. Employee training software can help ensure accurate tracking of training progress, no matter the company size.
  1. You’re creating a non-HR team dedicated to managing training initiatives. With employee training software, trainers can access and manage comprehensive, updated training records. L&D teams can learn how to track employee training records more accurately.
  1. Your L&D programs are a collaborative effort between HR and training teams. With data from employee training software, HR and training professionals can easily update employee profiles with relevant training experience.
  1. Your industry requires specific types of training and has protocols for ensuring training compliance. Proper documentation can come in useful in many cases, such as for complying with OSHA standards for formal safety training for employees. According to Mann (2019), many inspectors check employee safety training records during compliance audits.
  1. You have to comply with GDPR standards and other employee data privacy regulations. Using employee training software, organizations can make sure they comply with data privacy standards, especially since training programs often collect sensitive employee data (Toolbox, n.d.).

That said, not all businesses will be able to make the most of dedicated employee training software. Small and medium businesses with fewer employees may be able to monitor employee training through simpler processes and tools.

Source: Mimeo The State of Learning and Development 2020

Ways to Track Employee Training Progress

If you’re planning to implement training courses for your organization’s employees, you have several options for tracking employees’ training progress. These options are discussed in detail below.

1. Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets work great for trainers who want to learn how to track employee training records in a no-fuss, low-tech environment. All you’d have to do is create a spreadsheet for recording relevant training data, such as employee details, courses available, and assessment scores.

Each time an employee completes training, you can update this training log so it reflects the most up-to-date data. The spreadsheet should also contain details such as employee feedback and survey results, should you use surveys to gather feedback during the course (Simplilearn, 2017).

Though they’re not exactly cutting-edge, spreadsheets are a low-cost solution to tracking employee training. Most spreadsheet programs, like Excel and Google Sheets, also provide a variety of sorting and filtering features. These features make it easier to view which employees have completed training courses.

Additionally, spreadsheet programs don’t take up as many technological resources as dedicated employee training tracking tools would.

2. Learning management software

Learning management software can prove to be valuable tools for implementing and tracking employee training programs. Companies can use the software to deliver training courses, particularly elearning programs. Most LMS are designed as all-in-one platforms, serving as centralized solutions for delivering courses and assigning these to employees.

As such, these apps gather relevant training data in one place for easier access. You’ll be able to view employee training progress in real-time through dashboards. The availability of data gathered by LMS tools also makes it easier for L&D professionals to analyze how each employee is progressing through courses.

Most LMS can also easily generate reports on metrics, such as completion rate and employee attendance. This data tracking feature comes in handy for complying with training standards on documentation.

3. Employee training tracking software

You also have the option to use a dedicated employee training tracking tool. Compared to LMS, employee training tracker software often offer more comprehensive features for monitoring training metrics. For instance, the software can provide detailed per-course statistics on metrics such as average completion time, number of attendees, and start and finish dates (World Manager, n.d.). If your training courses include assessment tests, you can also drill down into scores for each assessment test.

These comprehensive tracking capabilities provide a more accurate picture of how employees fare during training courses. With these numbers, L&D professionals can more easily spot issues and adjust training methods accordingly.

4. Training management systems

Companies can also use specialized training management software to track employee training progress. This software mostly provides advanced administrative features that L&D teams can use before launching training programs. As such, these systems include features for budgeting, resource management, and booking management (Kokoulina, 2020).

Training management systems are typically designed to monitor a wide variety of training courses, from live training and webinars to self-paced, asynchronous learning sessions. This flexibility makes training management systems a good choice for many organizations and enterprises.

Key Metrics to Measure in Employee Training

An LMS or a training management system can track nearly every aspect of employee training programs. For your tracking efforts to be most effective, though, it’s best to focus on some key metrics.

  • Progress rate or time spent – Understandably, you want to keep an eye on how quickly or slowly employees are moving through training programs. This metric typically reveals exactly how much time employees spend on completing a training course. If you notice employees taking too long to complete a course, consider using strategies like gamification to boost motivation.
  • Completion rates – This is one of the most important metrics to look out for. This metric indicates how many employees have taken a certain course and completed it. These numbers can be indicative of factors such as the quality of course content and levels of employee engagement.
  • Repeat training rates – Aside from completion rates, you also want to look at the numbers of employees whose assessment scores don’t meet the training program’s standards. The data may indicate the need to make course content easier for employees to digest.
  • Assessment scores – To get an accurate picture of employees’ training progress, you also want to track the scores they get on courses’ quizzes and tests. Pre-training and post-training tests provide an objective way to quantify employees’ progress (Colman, 2021). Consistently low scores may indicate a need to improve course material or training methods used. An advantage of using LMS and training systems is that these tools offer automated grading, which can help L&D teams save time.
  • Employee feedback – While it’s not strictly a training metric, it’s also important for L&D teams to take employee feedback into consideration. Feedback can be collected through surveys and questionnaires and may concern aspects such as employee satisfaction with the training program itself and perceived skill improvements.

Source: LinkedIn 2021 Workplace Learning Report

What’s the best way to track employee training progress?

The best way to track employees’ learning depends on your organization’s unique needs. If you want to learn how to track employee training progress, you must first understand that the right tracking method is determined by your organization’s size and tech resources. For instance, a simple spreadsheet logging setup may be ideal for smaller businesses with fewer courses and a small employee pool to train.

Meanwhile, large companies that can afford to increase IT spending will probably benefit from LMS platforms and dedicated training management systems. These tools come with advanced features for managing corporate training programs and monitoring a wide variety of training channels. As such, the systems can prove to be beneficial to organizations where employees can use mobile devices to complete training courses.

 

References:

  • Colman, H. (2020, April 29). Employee training metrics: Measure your program’s success. iSpring Solutions
  • Kokoulina, O. (2020, April 28). 5 best ways to track employee training. Explore the eLearning world with us. iSpring Solutions
  • Mann, E. (2019, May 18). OSHA: The importance of safety training documentation. Employers Resource
  • Maryville University. (2021, April 1). Importance of training and development for employees. Maryville Online
  • Simplilearn. (2017). How to improve your company’s training completion rates. Training Industry
  • Toolbox. (2020, July 29). Top 10 employee training tracking software in 2020. Toolbox
  • World Manager. (2021, February 19). How & why to track employee training progress. World Manager

Newsletter & Conference Alerts

Research.com uses the information to contact you about our relevant content. For more information, check out our privacy policy.