Straight thru the maze

Every organization wants to ensure that every department of their business is doing its part to move the business forward. A department not pulling its own weight not only hinders the company’s growth but may even be costing the company resources that can be invested elsewhere within the business. You may have heard the saying, “You can’t manage if you don’t measure”. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) is a type of performance measurement companies can use for many of their departments performance, including the training department.

Keeping an eye on your training departments KPI’s will help your company determine the value of your training department and if any improvements can be made. There are a number of indicators that department managers should keep an eye on.

So What Indicators Should Be Tracked?
Number of New Hires
Track the dates and numbers of new hires being trained. This will help you see trends and fluctuations in your hiring throughout the year and from year to year. Knowing the trends can help you prepare your training budget in advance for an upcoming hiring blitz during the year or the following year.

New hire performance in training
Every job is different but that there are certain tasks that are more important than others. In a sales position, for example, it is important to track the number of prospects, calls, and closes your new hires do while in training. Track each new hire’s performance in training (ie: test scores, number of calls made, number of widgets they put together, etc.), this will help you see group performance. With several months of information, you’ll start to see a trend which will enable you to set benchmarks for trainees and trainers in the future. Once you know the facts, you can then tweak your training to increase overall performance. If you have multiple trainers, this will also enable you to see if performance is affected by who is managing and training the class.

New hire performance right out of training
Track your new hires performance weekly until they are proficient with their roles. Again, each job has different different tasks that are more important to track than others. Track the tasks that are most important for their roles. The amount of time you should track will depend highly on the skill level required for the job and how long the learning curve is for their specific job type. This can vary from a few weeks to a few months. Tracking this will enable you to set goals for new hires and will help their managers manage better, especially if their team is performance driven.

Time it takes new hires to hit acceptable levels of performance
Set an acceptable and realistic goal for your new hires to strive for with a set deadline. Again, with several months of information you’ll start to see a general trend which will help you determine at what point future new hire employees should attain acceptable performance levels. You can then tweak and adjust your training program to try to accelerate their learning and shorten their learning curve.

Employee turnover
Track the number of employees that end up leaving the company during training and after training as well as the reasons why they left the company. Tracking turnover rates can also help you ensure you hire enough people in the beginning so you have enough quality employees that actually end up on the work floor. This may help you see a trend which may identify training issues, HR issues with a specific manager or group, lack of support from their supervisor, etc.

End of year overall performance
If you have tracked all the above indicators over several months or more, you should be able to have an overall picture of your training department’s performance. The big picture will enable you to see your teams accomplishments, lessons learned, as well as plan new goals and forecast for the following year.

Anonymous training surveys by managers and new hires
Send out a training survey to both the managers and new hires that just got out of training. While there should be a good number of positive reviews about each person in your training team and your training program as a whole, it is important to note the negative comments and issues that may become evident from the surveys. These surveys should be viewed from an objective point of view and should help you make the changes required to make your entire training better. For example, it will show what is great about your training program or what isn’t so great. Also, one comment about a specific trainer isn’t a big deal, but there could be an issue you were previously unaware of if you notice similar comments from multiple people. Take measures to rectify the problems as soon as possible so it is corrected by the next training class, don’t wait until the end of the year.

The facts that you uncover will also help you set benchmarks for each training class and your trainers. Some companies also offer their training department a performance bonus at the end of the year. By having these KPI’s in place, your organization’s leaders will find it a helpful tool to compensate the team based on performance.

While the training department may not be accountable or credited for most of new hire performance out of training, keeping track of these indicators can ensure accountability both inside the training department (training managers and trainers) and outside the training department (managers and employees). This will help determine not only responsibility for performance challenges, but also which key people need to be involved in making sure the employees perform at the required level. The KPI’s can help create a picture of what is happening within your organization so you can manage better in a proactively manner.

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Agile Corporate Training LLC is a consulting firm focusing on organizational training and development, helping equip your organization with the tools to create meaningful change. We specialize in productivity and performance development, providing effective, measurable, agile training solutions to quickly put your business staff on course.  Our main focus is in your business success.

Contact us for more information on this topic and how we can help your organization. We also offer complimentary consultation for your training and development needs.  Give us a call to discuss your needs.  We’re here to help.