Every corporate organization worth its salt knows how important continuous employee training and retraining is, to company growth and maintaining sustainable competitive advantages. Market realities are constantly changing, and employees have to be continuously brought up to speed to enable them to produce competitive results for the company.

However, here comes a dilemma. In a college classroom of about 25 – 35 students to 1 professor, with numerous other support staff, it’s not very difficult to keep tabs and track the progress of every one of them. But, when it comes to an organization with thousands of employees, tracking progress becomes a bit trickier. This is why many companies resort to using  training software and several other tactics for not only executing employee training programs but also tracking the progress of every employee.

Would you like to know what these are? Well, in this article, we explore 5 different things that you can do to effectively track and understand the progress of your employees (whether they’re in the hundreds or thousands), relative to training courses.

Use tracking tools

Putting together a roadmap for tracking the progress of your employees under training is one thing. Creating a mechanism for accurate tracking is another. Below, we list a few tools that you will find indispensable in tracking progress metrics for every one of your employees. Not only do they help you to make sense of information from scores of employees who may be undergoing a program at a time, but they also offer some level of automation that goes to make it all even easier.

  • Microsoft Excel

For as long as anyone can remember, one of the best ways of tracking progress is to actually log activity. While companies with substantial budgets may choose to develop fancy platforms, Microsoft Excel (or Google Spreadsheets) would do the job just fine.

Create rows for each employee under training, and then record all data concerning their training activity. Like; the exact training course that they are undertaking, the number of hours, skill, and just about any other information that you deem important to the process.

  • Learning Management System

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a dedicated software developed solely to deliver educational programs (or training programs, as it were), tracking participants’ progress and reporting on the same.

A well-designed LMS like the cloud-based iSpring LMS is the best way to handle and track employee training. Not only is it a platform for delivering the training content and tracking progress, but it also automates many of the mundane, repetitive tasks associated with employee training – grading, data collection and analysis.

  • Training Management System

Like the LMS, the Training Management System (LMS) is also a dedicated software developed for the management of employee training. However, while the LMS is learner-centric and built around video courses, training programs and other types of tools for mass instruction, the TMS is instead built around instructor-led courses and focused on the administrators and office processes that enable these instruction programs.

Create models for performance review

All of the tools above may only be used to track data collected during the training exercise. To really understand how much progress your employees are making, it will serve you well to institute some form of tests for performance reviews.

Just like in a college class, where standardized testing allows school administrators to understand and group their students based on their strengths, performance reviews show you exactly how your employees are faring, concerning the training course. With a standardized performance review procedure, you’ll be able to evaluate everyone on an equal basis with near-exact accuracy.

employee training programs

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Collect reviews from instructors and employees

Another surefire way to track the success of your employee training programs is to collect reviews from their instructors and the employees themselves.

The instructors know best about not only how the program is structured and if there are any changes to be made, but also how the employees are faring with the course. Their inputs and recommendations in this regard are priceless. 

Also, it is equally important to collect reviews from the employees. Regardless of best intentions, some training programs may just not be best suited for your company, or may just require some finetuning. These reviews help you to figure that out. 

Track employee performance on the job

Collected data and personnel reviews are one thing, actual performance on the job is another. In collecting reviews, anyone with a mastery of words can tell you exactly what they think you want to hear, and data can be rigged. The only metric safe from all these is the actual performance of individual employees on the job.

There should be a mechanism for tracking the difference in their output before and after the training program, in order to measure how much impact the program had on their productivity and general workplace behaviors. The more differentiation there is between both periods, the better.

Put your ears to the ground

And finally, put your ears to the ground for informal reports and opinions flying around among your employees. I know what you’re thinking, but no I’m not suggesting an Orwellian 1984-style totalitarian type of leadership. I’m just saying that it’s only smart to listen out for informal reports from supervisors, coworkers, clients and customers.

Sometimes, these tiny pieces of information may be the key to understanding the data that you’ve already collected through formal pathways.

Final words

The bottom line here is that, while no progress-tracking mechanisms are all-around and perfect, it is important to continue to find a combination that works for your firm. Because, the absence of a veritable framework for testing your employee training programs, and how much your workers respond to them, creates a deadly blind spot that could be fatal for your business.