Track key metrics to reap real training benefits
Choosing the right training metrics is the key to creating real value from training. Consider your business’ list of quantitative business-performance indicators. For example, if you are a retailer pursuing better customer service and sales growth, you could get managers to provide real-time staff coaching and to role-model best-practice customer-engagement techniques.
Rather than just measuring the managers’ time allocation or employee assessment data, you should measure the impact of its programs through hard business metrics, such as sales and conversion rates in critical categories or departments.
Consider a scenario where you’re a manufacturer trying to improve operations by teaching plant supervisors lean-manufacturing and coaching skills. Rather than only tracking how many managers have been trained, instead of track metrics such as downtime, the overall effectiveness of equipment, or even fill rates.
No matter what industry your business is in or what size it is, you must continually review and revise the links between skills, performance and training programs.
To determine which metrics should be improved, assess your current performance against industry benchmarks or your own goals, and ensure you’ve identified the skills that are tied to different areas of performance.
The next step is to conduct an analysis of individual groups of employees to identify the most important specific skills they require and which performance-enhancing skills they currently lack.
To get a clear read on the impact of a training program, it’s crucial to take into account the influence of external factors during the evaluation period, such as the opening of new retail competitors in local markets, and extraordinary internal factors, such as a scheduled plant shutdown for preventative maintenance.
It’s also crucial to make appropriate comparisons within peer groups defined by pre-existing performance bands or market types.