How to Track Employee Development (and Accelerate It)
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Luckily, online learning platforms make measuring employee development intuitive.
With the increasing prominence of skill-based planning, learning and development (L&D) professionals have found themselves in high demand. Upskilling and reskilling are highly impactful and cost-effective ways to meet your company’s future talent needs.
But employee development can be tricky to track. Simply having a set of courses on offer isn’t enough. L&D leaders need to be able to demonstrate how employee development programs are performing.
But how can the success of these programs be measured? And, perhaps more importantly, how can they be improved?
Read on to learn about four ways to track your employee development program and how to accelerate it.
Completion rates are the most basic metric for tracking employee development. After all, completing a course is a requirement for learning and retaining the material.
But don’t limit your assessment of completion rates to individual courses. It is also important to track how many courses each employee is taking and completing.
How to boost completion rates
Leaders need to set an example. Managers have an outsized impact on their teams’ development and they can inspire more learner engagement by talking about their own learning and course completions. A vast majority (91%) of employees cite their managers as an important factor in being inspired to learn and to experiment at work.
Make it accessible. Each employee learns in their own way. But if the learning materials don’t match their learning style, they either won’t complete the course or won’t retain the information as well. That’s why it’s imperative that L&D makes sure learning content is available in a variety of formats so that it’s accessible to different learning styles.
Make it social. Learning at work can be contagious. In fact, employees who take advantage of LinkedIn Learning’s social features (such as chat software, course recommendations, and online groups) spend more time learning than those who don’t — by a factor of 30.
The time between an employee’s start date and when they’re fully up to speed is generally defined by lower productivity. Demonstrating success for this metric is as simple as demonstrating a reduction in the time it takes new employees to reach full productivity. Comparing this number for employees who participated in a new-hire readiness training versus those who didn’t will clearly demonstrate the program’s effectiveness.
How to accelerate new-hire readiness
Streamline onboarding. Streamlining the onboarding process so it becomes more effective reduces the time to a new hire’s full productivity. One of the best ways to achieve this is with on-demand guided learning paths that focus on the skills and knowledge needed for each specific function within the organization, skipping over any extraneous information that may distract from core learnings.
Create a culture of learning every day. If you limit onboarding to the first few days — the most overwhelming time in any new role — the employee is less likely to retain that information. In fact, about 80% of what a new employee learns in that time is forgotten. Instead, create a culture of daily learning to allow necessary information to be taught and retaught as needed.
Plan for their next step right away. Everyone has career ambitions, and new employees are no different. By establishing a plan to help them achieve their career growth plans from the start, they will be more motivated to learn and continue learning.
Improved efficiency and productivity
Ideally, all employee development programs should have a focus on solving a problem for the business. Use the productivity data already being tracked as a benchmark for employee development program effectiveness.
How to achieve greater improvements in efficiency and productivity
Learn from success. Compare courses taken by employees whose efficiency and productivity have increased notably and those that have had minimal impact. Use those insights to recommend the high-performing courses to other employees in similar functions.
Establish a baseline. When upskilling employees, take a moment to evaluate their baseline competence in the skill being trained. By establishing a baseline before the training begins, you can save significant time by starting at the exact point in the training that is appropriate for each employee.
One-on-one coaching. One often overlooked inefficiency in employee development is the benefit of direct coaching. Even with interactive digital training, a simple mistake or misunderstanding of the material can cause frustration and delays in comprehending the lesson. One-on-one coaching can cut through these challenges and provide direct guidance based on each employee’s specific difficulties.
There is a looming leadership pipeline crisis: 85% of company leaders say they aren’t confident in their company’s leadership pipeline. These same leaders are increasingly looking to L&D to fill the pipeline through reskilling and upskilling employees.
Measuring this metric is simple: How many business-critical roles can be filled by internal candidates thanks to participating in an employee development program?
How to boost leadership pipeline
Personalized learning. Rather than have every employee take a generic set of leadership courses regardless of their professional skills and interests, L&D should offer personalized learning paths. The most efficient and effective way to do this is by partnering with supervisors to tailor a curriculum that will develop skills aligned to employee interests and future leadership needs.
Connect training to advancement. Leaders can motivate their employees to train in the skills most valuable to the company by demonstrating how gaining those skills will benefit their career. Employees are motivated to stay at companies that invest in their skills and career advancement, and a clear line between needed skills and career advancement is a strong motivator.
Create your own leadership development program. Not every third party set of courses will be able to prepare your employees for the future leadership needs your business faces. Instead of cobbling together multiple courses that only partially meet your leadership development needs, consider creating your own internal leadership development program. This approach can address your company’s specific needs without superfluous coursework.
Measure it, improve it: Track employee development with LinkedIn Learning
The LinkedIn Learning platform provides solutions for training, upskilling, reskilling, and leadership development. Explore the product and see how it can benefit your employee development program in measurable ways.