Your leaders are demanding value for the money they invest in training. How do you demonstrate beyond doubt that your online training strategy is providing tangible return on investment? In this article, I’ll highlight the essential online training KPIs you should be measuring.
Essential Online Training KPIs You Should be Measuring
Your leadership team will make it very clear during the approval phase of any corporate eLearning project that they expect tangible results. These are measured in terms of ROI —and they need to demonstrate far more than just a “tick-box” success. Number of colleagues trained, number of hours of online training, number of online training courses — these just aren’t quantifiable in financial terms. So, how do you demonstrate that your online training program is delivering value for money? What Key Performance Indicators do you need to put in place from day one to support your business case? Be realistic and measure the right things accurately and consistently.
Baseline Rules For All KPIs
There are a few guidelines that you need to follow when deciding on your online training KPIs. They all need to share the following traits:
- Be measurable and quantifiable
- Be based on the key skills demanded of employees
- Support organizational and employee goals
Following these three principles will root your online training KPIs in the company strategy and values. As such, they can be easily explained in terms of impact and importance.
Standard KPIs All Companies Should Be Tracking
As part of the basic functionality of any tool, you’ll need to be able to easily access the following:
- Training hours per employee
- Cost of online training
- Online training cost as a percentage of payroll
- Average online assessment score
Whilst not a demonstration of ROI in themselves, these online training KPIs will enable you to build up a picture of the overall online training environment.
Essential Online Training KPI Categories
All online training KPIs should be specific to your company and will vary greatly between industries. However, in general, all organizations should be tracking the following type of online training KPIs:
- Bottom Line Indicators
What’s the biggest success factor in your organization? Is it number of sales? New product design? New corporate learners enrolled? Make sure your online training KPIs address the financial benefits derived from skills, compliance, and branding eLearning. It’s also important to clarify how the online training initiatives tie into these bottom-line indicators. For example, your customer service online training course will help improve customer satisfaction ratings, thereby, increasing repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising, which directly relate to your profit margin.
- Performance Indicators
How do your staff demonstrate that they have increased performance as a result of an online training course? Look for online training KPIs around issue resolution time, production delays, network outages, or similar. What makes the biggest impact on your business from a performance perspective? Bear in mind that performance indicators are more difficult to quantify. As such, you may need to conduct on-the-job observations or conduct qualitative assessments to measure the performance of remote staff. For example, simulations or branching scenarios to gauge their development, and identify strengths and gaps.
- Quality Indicators
How would online training improve quality for your organization? Online training KPIs here may relate to zero waste, zero accidents, fewer customer complaints, or fewer returns. Your online training program should be targeted around issues impacting quality concerns. Study your training plan and look for links between the online training content and the three categories of indicators outlined. Can you describe how you’re going to pull data to support the benefits to performance, quality, and bottom line? This may be the first time your leadership team has seen an online training course justified in this way. They will like it and come to use these online training KPI categories as a framework for future funding decisions.
So, yes, important as it is to track ROI-related KPIs, you always need to track management KPIs. These support your performance management process and drive your L&D strategy. You should easily be able to track and report on all of the following:
- Course completion rate
- Time to complete the online training course
- Online assessment pass/fail
- Job role competency rate
Applying demographic analysis to each of these online training KPIs will give you important information to target your online training programs. You can use this to identify gaps in skills, or colleagues that are routinely not completing online training. This is the bread-and-butter of your L&D department, so make sure you have reporting designed around these daily statistics.
It All Starts With The Right LMS
One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is an LMS that aligns with your business needs. Namely, an LMS with advanced reporting features that allow you to track online training KPIs relevant to your organization. The LMS allows you not only to monitor individual progress, but also to identify areas for improvement to boost your bottom line. For example, data visualizations help you evaluate the effectiveness of your current compliance online training course. Thus, you can trace high incidents rates back to their source and improve the eLearning course design based on your analytics. When in doubt, meet with the LMS vendor to address your online training KPIs and whether their tool can help you measure them accurately.
We all know that online training KPIs are about finding out how your online training strategy is progressing, and informing the same. In addition, you should be able to project these indicators and relate them to tangible, quantifiable business metrics. This will demonstrate how successfully your online training program has been in improving the bottom line for the business. After all, your business case depends upon demonstrating return on investment. If you want to be considered for future training budget, then you’ll need to describe the business benefits in these terms. Think beyond the obvious and look at the resulting benefits in performance and quality which will accompany your online training program.
Is your online training course putting a strain on your profit margin, or boosting your bottom line? Read the article 9 Things Training Managers Can Do Today To Improve Online Training ROI to identify nine things Training Managers can do to maximize online training ROI.