I have to admit that keeping training records is one of those things that I have always done without question. This reader was given the task of coming up with a justification.
Sharlyn, good afternoon. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a couple of your recent SHRM Conference sessions, and I’m a big admirer of your book, “Manager Onboarding.” I’ve observed that you respond to reader queries, and I’m hoping you can help.
I’ve been asked a few times in the last couple of years why the training and development staff tracks and keeps employee attendance data for customer service training, seminars, leadership training, and other events. My standard responses regarding compliance, responsibility, consistency, return-on-investment, performance records, and so on don’t appear to be persuasive. Delegating this tracking to departments also goes against what I’ve heard about best practises in training programme management.
Is HR tracking training out-of-date? Is there a better way to do things? Do you have any suggestions or could you point me in the correct direction? Thank you for taking the time to read this.
I’m grateful this reader shared their storey with me. My first impression is that their “normal replies” concerning keeping training records are correct. But I wanted to hear from someone else, so I contacted Hawley Kane, Saba Software’s chief of learning and development. They provide cloud-based people management services such as enterprise learning, performance management, and collaboration.
Let’s start with the training records, Hawley. What are the top five reasons why businesses keep track of training attendance?
[Kane] Every company wants to get the most out of its learning and development (L&D) budget, but they can’t tell what’s working unless they have statistics to back it up. All learning activities should be tracked in terms of how they promote performance and business results by training and development teams. Here’s a brief rundown of what’s going on and why:
Completion and adoption rates of learning. Attendance tracking is the most basic measure, yet it is still crucial! Business executives need to know how many of their workers – and, more importantly, who – are enrolled in accessible training, such as compliance courses, upskilling seminars, and leadership development programmes. Now, although keeping track of attendance is a fine place to start, firms must go deeper into the data to demonstrate the genuine benefit of their training programmes.
Impact of employee engagement Because highly engaged workers may enhance performance, creativity, and productivity while lowering attrition and hiring-related expenses, employee engagement is a critical statistic that matters to your organization’s leadership. Tracking the retention rate of individuals who participate in voluntary learning programmes vs everyone else is one approach to assess how L&D affects employee engagement. It can help you figure out how beneficial employees think this optional training is and whether it has anything to do with employee retention.
Employee performance is linked. I’m going to mention this a lot because it’s something we all need to hear: Employees must engage in learning and training that is relevant to the organization’s goals. In order to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of your learning initiatives, you must track L&D to illustrate the link between learning and performance. Are your top performers taking part in L&D initiatives on their own time? Which ones are they? As a consequence, are they – and their individual departments – achieving their objectives faster and more effectively?
For future success, create a tailored learning culture. Employees prefer to study at work, at their own speed, and when they need it, according to a recent LinkedIn Learning research. Organizations may gain the data they need to be ahead of the curve and allow a tailored learning experience that produces results by measuring how, when, and why workers participate in learning activities. Skills can become obsolete in a matter of months in this age of digital disruption. As a result, it’s vital that a company’s personnel be ready for digital transformation.
Providing direction for employee-driven career advancement. Tracking an employee’s training and learning activities reveals their interests as well as the skill gaps they’re filling (particularly if the training is done voluntarily). HR executives and managers may provide feedback, mentoring, and propose chances for position changes when they become available when they know an employee’s planned career path and can see the training they’re completing to go from where they are to where they want to be.
Now that we understand WHY HR departments track training, let’s look at HOW they should track it. Is technology capable of assisting in this regard?