According to an article by CMOE — Top 10 Challenges Faced by Learning & Development Professionals, challenge number 5 is tracking an employee’s corporate training applications. Basically, to check if employees are applying what they learn. Tracking the effectiveness of training programs is difficult. It’s not college where students write papers and partake in projects based on everything learnt and specialized in. Corporate scenarios are different. Corporates train employees to improve specific aspects of their professional selves to benefit the organization, and tracking its success is important.
However, as many L&D would agree, tracking an ’employee’s learning’ by studying their ability to apply corporate training in real-world situations is tough. Also, assessing if those training programs are making any difference to the bottom line of the organization is not straightforward either. In most cases, the only thing an L&D can do is carry out post training assessments, and that just does not cut it.
So, how should an L&D work to assess the actual success or application of their training program?
It is simple:
Ensure you build your training programs to succeed in the first place. This way, employees will apply their training, putting it to good use, resulting in a successful training initiative.
How do you start tracking corporate training application?
1. Ensure that over 80% of your training initiatives directly improve an employee’s job function
You want to ensure that employees apply their training? Then provide training aimed at directly improving an aspect of their job. This is primary.
If the training is relevant in the first place, it is almost certain that everything learnt is put to good use. This principle is the foundation of all corporate training activities.
Certainly, not all training relates to a specific job function like compliance training, safety, and general guideline training. Hence it is difficult to track the training outcome on those fronts. But, they are equally important and so you cannot avoid them.
However, all other training content and activities must fall within the spectrum of either solving, improving, or redoing an important aspect of an employee’s job function. This is a good way to ensure that the training provided is relevant and put to good use.
2. Try and structure your training around key indicators of a job function
Now, if your training is designed to fall within the spectrum of either solving, improving, or redoing an important aspect of an employee’s job function, measuring the outcome or success of your training is simpler.
Example: Sales training solves a sales employee’s prospecting problem; improve their initial approach; and restructures their negotiation process.
Results: If the employee generates a stronger pipeline of prospective/interested contacts, it is a sign that training solves their prospecting problem.
If the rate of follow-up meetings post the initial discussion increases, it is evident that the approach exercise worked.
And, if more prospects close after a round or two or negotiations, it indicates an improvement in negotiations.
try to create training programs with measurable outcomes in the first place. This way, you will realize that it makes more sense to plan and organize such training activities.
3. Make training outcomes a part of the appraisal process
This is slowly becoming a crucial way to ensure employees apply their training on the job.
Ecolab as an organization trains their engineers and controllers in multiple technologies. A report shows their employee’s understanding of a technology which directly affects their appraisal process.
Based on these reports, Ecolab offers the employee a percentage increase in their annual pay structure. As a result of this system, Ecolab employees are known to actively pursue training in multiple areas while also applying it in hopes of improving their appraisal chances.
As an organization, investing in training is not cheap. Licensing an LMS, building custom eLearning courses, and setting up other allied technicalities demands a fair deal of resources.
It is only fair to ensure that they put these resources to good use. And, if appraisals are a way to do so, then so be it!
4. Get a complete buy-in from the all levels of management
Get the top-level management to support the initiatives as much as possible. In a way, team leaders and managers play an important role in enforcing training and development.
If your managers have not yet bought the idea of training, it is quite difficult for L&D to ensure that the training provided is put to good use.
However, the process of getting managers to support training functions is equally difficult, we have broken down the difficulties faced by the L&D at each of the levels in these three articles: top-level management, mid-level managers, and lower-level challenges.
A complete buy-in from the management will most certainly seal the deal for your training activities. It ensures employees put the training to good use at ground level.
It is important to understand that tracking arbitrary training activities is difficult. This way, you ensure that training is structured; has a strong need; and is measurable in the first place. This sets a clear range of outputs to look for post training and also makes training easy to track.
‘Abara LMS’ is an ideal tracking and monitoring tool currently used by over 20 corporate and their 10,000+ learners.
We have worked hard to design Abara in a way that training outcomes are easier to track. By leveraging concepts such as learning path, ILT, and social learning, Abara tries to make your training as relevant and engaging as possible. We want your learners to retain and implement the training to its fullest!