Why and how to track employee training progress
Instructional Design

Why and how to track employee training progress

Training has amazing benefits for employee motivation, retention, and performance – but you already know that. This, plus safety and compliance training requirements, is probably why you invest so much time and other resources into upskilling your teams.

But is it working?

To answer this question, you need to track employee training. You need to know how many employees are completing their courses, engaging with materials, and learning skills that can be implemented on the job. This sounds like a tricky undertaking, but we’ve got you covered.

In this post, we won’t just describe how to track employee training. We’ll also tell you exactly which metrics you need to track. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Why you need to track employee training progress

Before you start writing down numbers, let’s talk about why it’s important to track employee training. If you’re just delivering training, and then forgetting about it, you’re only doing half of the work.

Tracking training helps:

1. Deliver better learning & development programs

With the right training metrics, you’ll be able to find out where employees get stuck with their training, which materials are ineffective, and which courses fail to engage them.

Getting this information, you can then re-design your courses and improve the overall learning experience you’re offering. For example, if you find out that most employees drop out of a course, you could update the content with more interesting and fresh ideas or add some videos to make it more interactive.

2. Develop and retain your people

This brings us to the next reason. When employees aren’t learning, they’re not reaching their potential. This is bad for their personal development – and bad for business, too.

Employees who don’t grow their skills and don’t update their knowledge slowly get less connected to their field of work. That means they become less engaged with it. And unengaged employees aren’t something you want for your company.

3. Build the case for your L&D initiatives

You might want to update your existing training programs so that employees stay engaged. Or, you might want to roll out new courses to further develop employees’ skills. But to do so, you want approval from upper management. And upper management wants proof that training is working.

That’s where tracking training comes in handy. You can gather training metrics (e.g. how many employees got certified, how employees’ performance has increased after taking a course, etc.) and build reports that show the effectiveness of training.

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How to choose the best employee training tracker

Now you know that tracking training is important, so the next step is to determine how to do that. It might sound as easy as 1, 2, 3, track! – in theory. In practice, though? It takes time and adjustments.

So, how can you make it easier? Here are 3 types of employee training tracker tools to consider that’ll ensure your employees are blazing down their learning paths and reaching their training goals.

1. Use an LMS to track employee training

There are loads of tools out there for tracking training for employees. But none of them compares to the potential of an LMS. If you’re not sure what an LMS is, or how it’s used, here’s a simple definition.

An LMS is an employee training software for delivering eLearning courses. It has features for administration, user management, documentation, tracking, and reporting, too.

What a relief, right? If you’re using an LMS to deliver training, you also get training tracking software for free. You can train and track all in one place, at the same time, without the hassle of paper reports and daunting spreadsheets.

Plus, with a powerful LMS and the right eLearning courses (something to consider if you’re not already training online) you can track employee training automatically – from auto-generated reports to notifications and email reminders, it’s all there. You can probably see why we put an LMS at the top of our list!

2. Leverage tracking software

If you’re looking to gather simple training metrics, like how much time it takes employees to complete a course, a tracking tool can help.

Use tracking tools not to monitor employees, but to collect information that will show you how effective your training is. Some tracking software tools also have features for generating automated reports.

These tools are a more sophisticated alternative to tracking employee training in spreadsheets, especially if your training is classroom-based. But, if your employees learn online through a different training tool, you might have to transfer data from one platform to another which is a time-consuming and error-prone process.

In that case, you may want to refer back to option #1 — an LMS, which is a less manual solution and lets you keep all data in one place, including your training content, reports, etc.

3. Create a training tracker Excel template

If you like to kick it old school (or don’t have the budget for dedicated training software), you can always track employee training in Excel. To make your life a little easier, though, you might want to create a training tracker Excel or Google Sheet template.

This template should include rows and columns to record information like your list of courses, assessment scores, and employee details.

Every time an employee completes a course, update the relevant employee training log with the name of the course they completed and the assessment score they achieved. If they need to repeat the course? Log that, too! Just be careful not to miss any data during this manual process.

What are the most important metrics for tracking training?

So, now you know how to track employee training, and why it’s so important. But what metrics should you use?

One of the benefits of online training for employees is that you get to track all of the important metrics on your LMS, especially those that are hard or even impossible to gather manually. Yup. An LMS can be great employee training tracking software – one convenient place for delivering and tracking training at the same time!

Let’s have a look at the top metrics for your employee training records:

How to track employee training with an LMS - TalentLMS

Completion rates

This metric is especially important for training that’s required for legal or performance reasons, like compliance training and onboarding. Take note of courses as employees complete them, so that you know which training they should tackle next.

You can do this by setting up alerts on your employee training system, or by listing certificates in an employee training log. If your training is classroom-based, simply keep an attendance point-tracking spreadsheet.

Course progress

Completion is important, but it’s not everything. You also need to keep an eye on the rate at which employees progress through their training. Of course, employees learn at their own pace, but when you track employee training progress online, you could discover some useful insights.

For example, when employees take a long time to finish a course, they might need some extra support. This could be in the form of coaching and additional materials. Or, when employees struggle to get past a certain module in a course, there might be a problem with the difficulty level of that module.

Assessment scores

Completing a course doesn’t necessarily tell you what employees have learned. Think about it. Employees can watch every video, attend every workshop, and tick all of the training boxes without having acquired a single new skill. This is a scary truth, but there’s a solution!

Incorporate assessments and tests into your courses, so that you can monitor skills and knowledge improvement. These don’t have to be hand-graded, either. With the right LMS, you can save time (and reduce the possibility of mistakes) by taking advantage of automated grading. You can incorporate interactive quizzes with automated feedback, and make your life (as well as your learners’) much easier.

Number of employees who need retraining

When employees complete their courses but don’t achieve the assessment scores or on-the-job performance objectives they should, it’s time for retraining. So, keep a training tracking database of who needs to repeat courses, and by when.

You might also want employees to retake a course after a certain period of time so that they refresh their memory. This could be useful, for example, in case of a cybersecurity course. You could assign this course to employees upon their hiring and then keep a spreadsheet or automated reminder to ask them to take the course again after six months.

Perceptions of the learning experience

While training requirements and performance results are all critical metrics, don’t forget that employees need to enjoy the learning experience, too. The more engaging and relevant employees find training to be, the more likely they are to invest time and effort in their courses. And, of course, the more likely they are to learn!

You can measure employee perceptions of training by giving them a quick post-training evaluation survey via your LMS. Ask them questions about the content, user experience, facilitators, and any other aspects of training that might need to be improved.

Next steps

Many training managers know how to track employee training progress, but you know how to do it well! And you don’t even need a separate employee training tracker to stay on top of your training.

With the right LMS software, you can have your courses, LMS reports, surveys, and other tracking tools all in one place. And if you’re worried about your budget, opt for a free LMS so you can try it out and decide whether it’s the best training solution for your teams.

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