Why And How to Track Employee Training Progress to Determine Growth

A good business has many assets. Other than their products or services, there may be physical assets such as buildings and equipment and intangible assets such as a loyal customer base. However, for many organizations, their most valued asset is their employees. You just can’t beat good staff.

There are two things every company should focus on with their staff. The first of those is employee retention. Of course, many reasons for staff leaving are unavoidable, but what about the ones that aren’t? That segues nicely into the second thing you should be focusing on; staff training and development. 

Having programs that offer your staff extra training and career development is not just good for your staff retention levels, it’s good for your business as a whole. That doesn’t mean you should just send staff on every course available. It’s important to choose the right courses and to ensure those courses contribute to career development and business growth. How do you do that and how do you track employee training to meet your goals?


Why should you track employee training? 

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Staff training not only improves your employees’ skill sets, it contributes to your organization as a whole and can improve the customer experience too. If you are helping your staff develop more skills such as learning how to safely backup data and offering the potential to advance their careers, then they will be happier in their roles and less likely to seek alternative employment.

Having well-administered training and development programs gives you an overview of your staff’s capabilities as a whole. It can help you identify individuals for promotions or to assign particular tasks that may require the new skills they have learned. If you track employee training closely, you can also:

  • Develop your employees. By tracking your employee’s training, you can easily see who is reaching their potential and who can go on even further. With new technology and systems constantly being updated, training your staff is not just about advancing their careers, but ensuring they are up to date with new developments such as the use of call screening in your business or data protection

Also, when you track employee training, you can help maintain and improve engagement with your business and its values. This can help improve their efficiency and that of your business. 

  • Improve your learning programs. When you track employee training, you can improve the programs you deliver. By identifying and tracking relevant metrics, you can see which learning initiatives work and which don’t, allowing you to evolve those programs so that they perform better in the future. 

Of course, most of your programs will be guided by the skill sets you need in your organization, new skills to work with emerging technology, and operational changes. But, some learning opportunities need to be geared towards new staff. 

  • Evidence of the need for learning. It might be the case that you need to convince C-suite executives that there is a tangible need for training programs. When you track employee training, you can provide decision makers with evidence that such training has had a positive impact on staff performance as well as business performance. 

By showing results, such as external certification or metrics related to your development programs, you can show that investing in career-related learning is worthwhile and that the organization will see a return on that investment. 

  • Identify knowledge gaps. As you track the effectiveness of your learning programs, you can identify knowledge gaps, both in terms of individual staff but also in terms of your current programs. As mentioned, it’s also about highlighting the need for training in new systems. For example, you may have recently implemented a new IP phone system and want all staff to learn how to use it. 

As you move forward with developing programs, you should never allow them to become static. Business needs and the technologies that help are constantly evolving and your training programs should reflect that. You should be constantly looking to fill new learning needs. 


How to track employee training 

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You know you need to show that any training or development programs are having the desired results, but how do you achieve that? It’s not merely a case of measuring how many staff pass a course or receive external certification. As discussed above, you need to track employee training, so you need systems in place that can measure and report on progress.

1. Software

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Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

The most obvious – and efficient – way to track employee training is to use learning management software (LMS). The LMS market is expected to grow to $22.4 billion by 2023, so there are a lot of options for you to consider. LMS is a great option for providing specialized training that may have strict compliance requirements. 

LMS can also be perfect for organizations with large numbers of employees and/or staff based at multiple locations. A major advantage of using an LMS is that you can create online courses specially tailored towards you and your employees’ needs. You can also create exams to match those courses and track learning progress. Some solutions also help you schedule online classes or webinars

A good LMS will not only track your staff’s progress in real time, it will measure any metrics you set, and provide you with insightful reports and analytics, to show you how well programs and individuals are performing. It will also maintain records on each staff member, showing historical training as well as any identified learning needs (including needed new skills). 

2. Manual tracking

Smaller organizations may find that a LMS is not a practical or cost-effective solution when it comes to tracking employee training. In such cases, using a spreadsheet solution such as Google Sheets or Excel can still be an efficient way of tracking progress and effectiveness. While more prone to human error, if done correctly, it will work well for you. 

The disadvantage of choosing the manual option is that it can make things more complicated for you. You need to identify learning needs, develop the courses (or outsource them), and then record every step within that program and the progress made by employees. Just as a business may use a release of liability template, there are templates you can use in learning and development programs. 

3. Regular assessments

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Whichever method you choose to track employee training, carrying out regular assessments should be part of your plan. It can help give a before and after snapshot of an individual’s capabilities and can help identify areas of your programs that may need tweaking. It can also help you see if staff are quick learners or need extra help. 

Assessments come as standard with many of the best LMS systems. They will provide you with standardized quizzes and tests that are hosted in the cloud. This means that your employees can access them any time that suits them and from any device. 

4. Observe your staff in action 

Of course, the drawback with tests and quizzes is that they are a snapshot of one moment in time and may not give an accurate reflection of development. That means that workplace observation can be an essential way to track employee training and how effective it has been. By seeing if there are tangible improvements in the way they work, or if they have adapted to new technology well, you can measure training effectiveness. 

For example, your business may have chosen to recently implement Teams Voice and you have rolled out training on how to use it effectively. By using metrics and analytics, as well as monitoring staff in action, you can see how well they have absorbed training in that area. 


The takeaway

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Free to use image sourced from Pixabay 

Developing good training and development programs not only benefits your employees, it can improve your operational efficiency and help lead to business growth. By teaching new skills like the development of online payment systems, you can nurture them and ensure they remain engaged with your organization. 

In order to meet your goals, you need to be able to track employee training to be sure that your programs are effective and that your staff are making progress, both in terms of meeting learning goals and the effectiveness of the programs themselves. With good training programs, you can vastly improve employee satisfaction and staff retention levels. 

<strong>John Allen - Director, SEO, 8x8</strong>
John Allen – Director, SEO, 8×8

John Allen is a driven marketing professional with over 14 years of experience, an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs across SEM, SEO, paid media, mobile, social, and email, with an eye to new customer acquisition and increasing revenue

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