Without L&D performance metrics, your people are training in the blind. It’s important to track learning evaluation figures for two major reasons. One, it enables HR to understand how individual workers are faring in a program; and two, it lets you know if the program in general is succeeding.
Why L&D Performance Metrics Matter: Individuals
For individuals, there are essentially two benefits that arise from learning and development courses.
Many courses are built around the skills that are needed by the organization. After doing a skills gap analysis, a company will hold two lists: a list of abilities that it needs from its employees, and a list of those workers who are most suited to learn them. By assessing their L&D performance, HR can understand if the individual is picking up skills at the right level. If not, then they might need a different approach to learning, or alternately, HR could find a more qualified student.
Another impetus for L&D courses is to support retention, engagement, and other essential L&D goals. Learning and development opportunities are consistently among the most important reasons for an employee to join and/or stay at a company. When an employee is not showing good performance in a course that is meant to motivate them, it might be time to talk about other directions. This is particularly critical for L&D courses centered on career development. If the worker doesn’t seem to be catching on, then it might be the case that their entire career path needs revision.
Why L&D Performance Metrics Matter: Programs
The grades and other metrics used to evaluate L&D courses are also useful to develop a “big picture” of the program itself. If you see that a large proportion of employees are not meeting the goals that you set as a standard (see below), then something is amiss with the course, and maybe not the students. Detecting lower than expected results can indicate a poor level of training satisfaction due to:
- The physical setting of the course
- The content
- The expert
- The practicality of what the employee is learning in connection with their job or interests
Before choosing and applying performance metrics, make sure to set benchmarks. You might obtain them through historical measures or based on advice from L&D experts. In any case, by knowing what is considered “success,” you can take immediate action when things don’t go according to plan.
Don’t Forget Knowledge Retention
Even when a course is complete, the job of measurement is not finished. There are often issues with how employees apply what they’ve learned in a course, especially over time. Applying knowledge retention KPIs is an important step to take in the weeks and months after an L&D program is done.
4 Essential L&D Performance Metrics
Here are four of the most useful L&D assessment methods. Keep in mind that not all of them will apply in every case. For example, “average time to completion” is only relevant for self-paced courses, while “completion rate” should not apply to compulsory programs.
1. Pass/Fail Rate
This is certainly a “big picture” metric that lets you get a sense of general employee performance. It is useful when looking at a wide range of courses, perhaps as part of a high-level management review of L&D programs.
2. Average Test Score
Not every course carries a testing phase, but for those that do, grades let you drill down on individual performance. This is handy when a pass/fail rate is problematic because you can see how close every employee gets to the expected average. It’s also great for individual employee performance reports. For instance, a high-scoring worker might be a candidate for more advanced training and even a leadership role.
3. Completion Rate
Pass/fail and test scores give you information about those who make it to the end of a course. But there are often those who drop out at some point. Far from being a truant officer, it’s your job to understand why some can’t or won’t finish what they started. In some cases, work interferes with training and the employee opts to take care of their primary tasks. In other situations, you might find that the worker’s satisfaction rate was so low that they preferred to drop out.
4. Average Time to Completion
When a course progresses at the learner’s own pace, it’s a good move to know how long it took them to finish. Shorter than expected times might indicate that there is some unnecessary material in the program that could be cut. Longer than expected times might occur due to workload, overly complicated material, an employee’s personal life, and so on.
Set and Meet Goals with GrowthSpace
As mentioned, there are many ways in which HR can evaluate courses. But what about the most vital test of all – the application of skills to the job?
From its inception, GrowthSpace has understood the importance of measurable L&D when it counts the most, in the eyes of managers and employees. That’s why every course running through the award-winning GrowthSpace platform starts and ends with goals that are set according to an intuitive measurement framework. With the GrowthSpace approach, HR can manage programs according to the needs of all stakeholders, and prove their value at the same time.