How Can Businesses Track Employee Training?
You’ve invested a lot in employee training. Do you know if it’s working?
Employee training is a significant market sector for online education, and for good reason. Businesses frequently turn to online courses to standardize their onboarding process, train their workforce, and ensure compliance practices.
However, instituting a new training course is not the same as making sure employees have actually signed up and taken the lessons. In fact, many employers find that, after investing in a new training course, the learners it was designed for fail to fully engage with the material.
This represents a huge waste for the company, but the reasons behind it are often complex. It’s not simply a matter of employees ignoring the course, and more often a case of poor communication.
By encouraging learners to take a course, employers can boost their completion rates to make sure their employees are completing the right courses. But for businesses who want to get the most from their employee training courses, it’s best to monitory those courses and track how learners engage with the material. Here’s what to look out for.
1. Monitor your course completion rate.
The easiest metric to track is the course completion rate. When your employees sign up for a training program, how often do they actually complete it? Tracking this statistic is pretty straightforward, but understanding the root causes can be less obvious.
To improve course completion rate, have whoever is in charge of your course program (usually someone in the HR department, or otherwise a manager) sit down with the employee to discuss their course progress in a non-confrontational manner.
Was their course mandatory or elective? Did they talk to anyone before signing up to be sure it was relevant to their skill set and expertise? Is the employee moving toward a new career path?
Any number of these questions can lead to an answer that Is by no means problematic. But it’s nonetheless critical to understand why an employee might have left a course unfinished so that you can judge whether the course was a good fit to begin with.
2. Support employees who are trailing behind.
Most LMSs offer student metrics that allow you to see how a learner is progressing through their course, how well they’ve performed on tests, and when the last time they signed in might have been.
When you notice an employee struggling with the course, there are ways to intervene and provide support. For instance, you can automate a reminder if they haven’t signed in for over a week, or you can send a short quiz or some extra materials if their scores on a module are low. Or, if an employee has failed a test two or three times in a row, it can notify a supervisor to work with the employee so that they can assess the problem area and move forward.
3. Engage employees through feedback surveys.
When done well, employee training shouldn’t be just a top-down exercise. Instead, when employees have clear motivations for strengthening their skills, ongoing education can become their own initiative.
To encourage this mindset, businesses should seek out employee feedback to learn about their interests in ongoing education. By engaging the workforce in employee training, business are more likely to provide courses their employees want to take, which in turn will lead to more motivated learners.
4. Offer short assessment tests after training course completion.
Once employees finish a course, it can be helpful to send them an occasional mini test to help refresh their knowledge. If what they learned from their certification course has immediate relevance to their day-to-day job, then this is less necessary. However, it can be especially useful in scenarios where an employee may need to respond in an emergency.
Think of it like a fire drill. If your employees need to have an emergency response plan in place in case of power failure, a data security breach, or even an irate customer, sending them a short review scenario can help keep them prepared.
5. Send recertification reminders.
For businesses that operate in a professional field with a wide range of certifications, knowing who has achieved what is valuable information, especially when it comes to work assignments or considerations for promotion.
However, most certifications don’t last forever. At a certain point, employees need to recertify to demonstrate that their training meets the newest standards. If their certification lapses, it can affect what an employee is permitted to work on, or even result in a compliance violation.
Your LMS and certification tracking software should remind both you and your certified employees when they are due for recertification. If you aren’t using a program that allows for easy recertification reminders, the potential risks to your business may be worth switching to one that does.
Track employee training to provide follow-up and support.
Employees can leave courses unfinished for any number of reasons. It could be they don’t realize the significance of the program, and have put it off in favor of less critical tasks. Or they may be overburdened at work, and need to shift some tasks around to free up time for extra training.
It’s important not to assume a root cause for anyone’s course progress, and to work with them to understand why they may not have advanced as far as you might like.
Because in the end, your employee training processes should be about more than tabulating who’s completed what courses. It should be about a holistic support network that ensures everyone can make it across the finish line.
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