Learning & Development

How to Create and Implement a Training Scorecard

Summary: Organizations of all sizes need employee training to improve skill sets, increase job knowledge, and boost performance. The most common way of doing so is with a dedicated training program. But, how do you know how these training courses are performing? By implementing a training scorecard.

What is a training scorecard?

A training scorecard is a performance management tool used to display how training initiatives are impacting business goals. It highlights the metrics, KPIs, objectives, and goals that are being scored before or after training is delivered.

Think of it as a snapshot of how your training program is performing in direct relationship to your company goals while holding training accountable. So each training objective should be tied to a company goal and shown how it supports and helps achieve these goals.

Plus, a training scorecard is meant to be fluid. As an organization shifts its goals, the scorecard must also change.

Difference between a learning and training scorecard

A training scorecard is similar to its learning counterpart but differs in that metrics, goals, and objectives are being scored upon. The learning scorecard will be judged on which learning materials and topics are being presented to meet business goals. While training scorecards focus on the outcomes of training programs and how they affect an organization's development.

Why is a training scorecard important?

A scorecard for training provides your organization with a detailed view of how training and development initiatives are completing company goals. Without a learning scorecard, it's harder to judge the value that training programs have on the improvement of employee skills and knowledge gained.

Plus they help answer common questions from employees, managers, and stakeholders, such as:

Employees - Why are we taking this training? How will this course help me on the job? What is the point of our new learning and development push?

Managers - Is this worth the budget we allocated to training? How will training our employees help with more sales? What is the goal of training and development?

Stakeholders - How will employee training increase my ROI? How do your training and development impact your customers?

If you’ve received some of the following questions, then you know you need to implement a training scorecard.

But what goes into a training scorecard?

Components of a training scorecard framework

Learning and Growth: This section of your training scorecard is a look at your company culture. What do your employees know? Are they up on the latest industry trends? If you have a central place for training like a learning management system, is it effective? Do your employees have the technology to do their jobs effectively?

Internal Business Process: This portion of the training scorecard looks at how your company is running both internally and externally interacting with your customers. Basically, how is your process? Can it be faster or more efficient? Are there areas that are wasting time converting sales? How quickly can your business implement changes? If new ideas are brought to the table, can they be executed?

Customer: While it’s important to do everything you can to improve your internal process, it’s equally important to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What do they want from your company? Are your current customers happy enough to become repeat customers? Is your sales team converting new leads? What would your customers say about you that would differ from your competition?

Financial: Scorecards were created so businesses would look beyond the financials for business success metrics. However, the goal is to be profitable, so finances must still be part of the equation. Ask yourself some simple questions. Are you making the money you are projected to make? If you have shareholders, are their expectations being met? Do your employees feel fairly compensated compared to their industry peers?

How to build a training scorecard

Once you've identified what needs to go into a training scorecard, it's time to build one that will benefit your organization. Although different companies and industries train their employees in specific ways, this scorecard is meant to act as a template to track, measure, and improve training programs.

Here's the 7-step process to develop a scorecard to measure training effectiveness:

  • Step 1: Draft and refine training objectives
  • Step 2: Add each objective to a strategy map
  • Step 3: Assign training KPIs to objectives
  • Step 4: Modify objectives based on learning styles
  • Step 5: Segment employees into training groups
  • Step 6: Connect objectives to other departments
  • Step 7: Measure and improve training programs

Step #1: Draft and refine training objectives

As the head of training, it’s important to discuss with the other C-suite managers what they hope to gain from training. Basically, what does each department want their employees to learn?

Remember to keep these training objectives high level and each should be tied to an overall goal for the company.

After drafting these training objectives, it’s time to further refine them. Sometimes it’s difficult for each department to pinpoint their training needs. It’s your job to help define these so the end result is beneficial for the department, company, and employees.

By asking these questions to each department, you can better tailor each training objective.

  • What is the current level of competency or skill, knowledge, and values (SKV) of your employees?
  • What is your expected level of SKV for each of your employees to perform their jobs at the level needed?

Training Objectives

Download Free Training Objectives How to Guide

Step #2: Add each objective to a strategy map

A strategy map is a diagram that shows your company’s strategy on a single page. This visual will show all employees how their job and their personal development help achieve the overall company goals. It should be divided into four sections mentioned above, financial, customer, internal business process, and learning & growth.

So to begin, take each of your training and development objectives and place these under the learning and growth section of your strategy map. Also, make sure you coordinate with the other department heads so that your objectives are compatible with those of the other three sections.

Remember you don’t want to overcomplicate this process, so don’t use more than 20 or so objectives.

Step #3: Assign training KPIs to objectives

To effectively judge the value of your training programs, assign a key metric to each objective or group of objectives. This will be your primary means of measuring training success while basing the numbers on a benchmark.

These training activities need a numerical value that can be connected to the completion of each objective. Once training KPIs are correctly assigned, they can be tallied on the training scorecard.

Step #4: Modify objectives based on learning styles

Each employee learns differently. Some employees may have more knowledge of a subject than their peers. And some employees may pick up a new skill faster than others.

So it’s crucial to cater your training programs to different employee learning styles.

It’s also important to survey employees to find out what they hope to gain from this new training initiative:

  • Are they looking to advance within the company?
  • Do they want to build out a certain skill set?
  • Do they see themselves moving departments in the future? 

Basically, how is this training fulfilling their learning needs?

Step #5: Segment employees into training groups

In order to simplify your training process, define a system for analyzing employee skill gaps prior to training. You could use a simple point system to apply to each employee. Score them on their current skill set.

Once you compare apples to apples you can begin to put each employee into the proper training program.

By segmenting employees into different groups, they'll be able to learn in a fashion that's effective and engaging. Without groups or segments, some employees won't retain what they've learned or struggle to keep up with highly-skilled coworkers.

Another benefit of learning groups is it encourages collaborative learning while creating a social and engaging learning environment.

Step #6: Connect objectives to other departments

One of the most important parts of creating a training scorecard is ensuring that objectives complement other departments. By isolating your objectives to individual departments, you'll cause a rift within your organization's learning process.

Blending these learning strategies into other departments ensures a seamless and streamlined learning experience for all employees.

Also, an employee who's learned aspects from another relevant department will get a better understanding of the organization as a whole.

For example, your marketing team is enrolled in the same product training as both support and sales, giving all participants the same understanding of the product. Now they can efficiently market, sell, and support the company's product or service while being on the same page.

Step #7: Measure and improve training programs

Since 80% of organizations using balanced scorecards reported improvements in operating performance (BSC Designer), this is a great tool to analyze your level of success in your training initiatives.

So how do you take your strategy map and test that your training programs are working? There are several ways you can analyze your results:

Color code your objectives

A very simple solution is to color-code your training objectives red, yellow, or green based on how you see these objectives being carried out.  This is an easy way for the organization to see which objectives need to be worked on and where others are excelling.

Add measures to map

For example, your objective is to train developers on a new software program. Your measure may be for every employee to be certified by year-end in this new program. Then add the completion rates, names of attendees, or who still needs training to your map.

Create subheads

If you have a more complex company structure or you need more detail, you can add subheads under each of the four categories. For example, under the training scorecard, you could have: train employees, new software rollout, and new employee assessment.

Then each of these subheads would have objectives underneath that would solve that particular subhead.

Company goals listed

Since the objectives you listed are meant to support your company goals, you can add these goals directly to your strategy map. Place these goals at the top of your map. This will provide a double-check to make sure you are solving these goals.

Finally, after parsing through data, use these analytics to further improve your training programs. Simple tweaks to training materials, delivery methods, and scheduling can provide significantly better results the next time training is given.

The power of training scorecards

Now that you've realized how powerful training scorecards can be for your organization, it's time to implement one. By using the steps above, you'll be able to create a scorecard to measure employee training and how it affects business goals.

Luckily, Continu's learning platform comes with useful features and solutions to create, share, connect, and measure your entire organization's training efforts. Our LMS allows admins to do the following:

  • Create entire online training courses
  • Consolidate all learning materials into one place
  • Track employee training process
  • Generate detailed reports on learning processes
  • Integrate with all your favorite business tools
  • And much more!

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