Learning & Development

7 Learning and Development KPIs to Measure Success

The way we work and deliver training has been changing significantly. Most businesses have had to embrace at least a few changes in learning and development in recent times. The chances are that yours has too. 

All of this change is why 2022 is the year to focus on training analytics. Start by taking a look at these seven learning and development KPIs to determine how successful your training efforts have been.

What Are Learning and Development KPIs?

Learning and development metrics are used to determine whether your training initiatives are successful or not. These KPIs for learning give you a meaningful way to quantify what good results are.

What’s the Difference Between L&D Goals and KPIs?

A goal is the final result you want to achieve. Learning and development KPIs are the steps you complete along the way.

For example, your goal might be to reduce safety incidents by half by having staff complete new safety training. One of your KPIs might be to have 100% of your team members pass that training within six months.

How Do You Track Learning KPIs?

The most efficient way to set and track learning and development KPIs is with an LMS product that includes analytics and reporting. This can be enhanced with additional efforts to track the results of the training that are realized after workers have returned to their roles.

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7 Learning and Development KPIs to Measure

Are your team members learning what they need to in order to contribute to company growth and success? What about their own professional development goals? The learning and development KPIs you track should allow you to better answer these questions. Here are seven of the most important ones.

Training Objectives

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1. Retention of New Skills and Knowledge

Here is an unfortunately common scenario: A business struggles to schedule training in a timely manner. Workers are allowed to participate in training as productivity and staffing needs allow for it. When they are sent to training, they receive huge amounts of new information. After they return to work, it might be days, weeks, or even months before they apply that knowledge. Inevitably, they’ve forgotten huge chunks of it.

Retention of skills and knowledge shows the importance of establishing learning and development KPIs that connect training to job performance.

What causes training to fall short in this area?

  • Failure to engage participants
  • Lack of ongoing assessments
  • Overwhelming participants with too much information at once
  • Not providing opportunities to apply new knowledge right away
  • Lack of follow-up

Training teams can improve in this area by making training more timely, employing methods that keep workers engaged, and offering smaller learning modules more often.

2. Business Performance/Productivity Metrics

An effective training strategy should translate into business success. Businesses that offer the right kind of training will see more sales, better customer service ratings, increased productivity, and decreased safety and compliance incidents.

The best way to attract this metric is to start with clear training objectives that tie directly to business outcomes. Then, measurements can be taken in target areas before training, directly after training, and further out into the future.

3. Course Net Promoter Score

A net promoter score (NPS) is traditionally a measure of customer satisfaction. Businesses will poll customers to see how likely they would be to recommend their products or services to friends, family, and associates.

Course net promoter score is basically a twist on the same content. In this case, it’s asking them directly if they would recommend a course of training program to a coworker. The results of this can tell you if a particular training effort is adding value for your employees.

If your course net promoter scores aren’t where they should be, there could be a few different causes for this. Relevance is important. Workers may not see a connection between the training they receive and their role. 

In some cases, the course content simply isn’t interesting enough. If this is a problem, look for ways to make the curriculum more engaging. There are ways to integrate elements into training, such as YouTube videos, presentations, and content from professional course providers.

4. Stakeholder Perception

Some of the most important learning and development KPIs are qualitative, not quantitative. Stakeholder perception is one of those learning and development metrics.

Stakeholders are the managers, team leaders, and department heads who are directly impacted by the effectiveness of training. They also have the ability to see firsthand if workers are able to take what they learn in training and apply that on the job.

Stakeholders also track employee performance metrics. They see the sales numbers, safety stats, and productivity reports. If they are satisfied, this is a good indication of training program success.

5. Training Efficiency

Perhaps in an ideal world, every organization could approach training at a leisurely pace that created the ideal environment for people to learn without the added pressure of urgency. Unfortunately, this just isn’t realistic. In order to stay competitive, businesses must prioritize training efficiency. When workers learn quickly, they can incorporate that knowledge and create the competitive advantages businesses count on. 

Training efficiency, or time to proficiency, measures how quickly workers gain the desired competencies and skills. One way to track this metric is to simply use LMS data to determine how quickly workers are completing training and passing assessments. Additionally, you can collect feedback from focus groups that are created to assess pre- and post-training proficiency.

6. Application of Knowledge

Trainees receive knowledge, but the real measure of success is their ability to take that information and apply it in the form of a practical skill. If they can’t do that, this is a sign of a lack of alignment between training, performance goals, and business needs.

That disconnect may indicate that the employees aren’t being offered training that is truly relevant to them. It could also be that assessments aren’t adequately testing true mastery of the topic. Sometimes, it’s the people who create and deliver the training who simply don’t understand the needs of the employees or company.

There are a few steps that organizations can take to ensure they are meeting this KPI consistently. One way is to implement technologies that make training as realistic as possible. AR and VR simulations can be used to achieve this. Additionally, there may be cases in which hands-on assessments are needed to measure mastery, even when the course was delivered digitally.

LMS learning analytics are valuable here as well. They can provide data and insights that reveal knowledge gaps, information silos, or other roadblocks to turning knowledge into applicable skills.

7. Employee Engagement

Right now, employee retention is a big challenge for most businesses. Workers hold a significant amount of power over their own destinies. The current job market is working very much in their favor. One of the advantages they enjoy is the sheer availability of information about potential employers. It’s easy for job seekers to find employee reviews, salary data, and cultural information about most companies.

In response to this, employers are paying much closer attention to employee engagement metrics. Training is an important part of this. Professional development matters to workers. So does working for an employer who is willing to invest in that. When workers are happy, engagement rates are high, and attrition is low, there’s a good chance that your training strategy is working.

Check out how Upwork used Continu for its hybrid workforce.

Upwork + Continu case study

Are Your Workers Learning Things that Add Value?

Training expenditures exceeded $92 billion in 2021. It’s clear that businesses see the value in providing training. Additionally, employees also agree that workplace learning is important. Companies that offer training are perceived as more desirable to workers who value training and development opportunities. 

The problem is that there is often a disconnect between the training that is being offered and what workers really need to learn to reach their goals. When this happens, worker engagement is diminished. Employees begin to see training as a frustrating disruption that doesn’t benefit them in any way. Worse, it creates more work for them, as they must catch up on their daily tasks if training prevents them from doing that work.

All of this eventually trickles up to managers and stakeholders too. When they don’t see positive results, training is seen as a cost instead of an investment.

By keeping track of these KPIs, you can track satisfaction with your training programs and determine how effective they are according to workers, managers, and stakeholders. The data you gather will also provide insights into the impacts of training and productivity, worker engagement, and even increased revenue. 

Tracking and Meeting KPIs

Now you have the KPIs you should be tracking. The next step is to implement a learning management system that provides you with the analytics and reporting tools to track these important metrics. Continu offers that and more. It is a comprehensive LMS that will allow you to evaluate your training programs and create and implement an entirely new training strategy.

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See Continu in action and how it can help your organization build a culture of learning.

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