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How Training KPI Drives Performance

May 19, 2008
The measurement of how well members of the training class are doing is done through training KPI or training key performance indicators. This is a set of standardized processes that identify not only the areas of opportunity of each trainee, but also the training needs of each individual or as a group. This way, significant improvement is achievable in terms of training materials, curriculum, location, and many more.

With standardized training KPIs, one will be able to measure minimum skills required or MSR for hiring--which Human Resources will have to infuse in the hiring process--and minimum skills validation or verification (MSV). The minimum skills validation will be based heavily on what is expected from the students. This will also be used in congruence to what is desired and what is currently available from the pool of resources or manpower. Simply put, key performance indicators are numerical representations of targets. To drive performance on production, one must be data driven to ensure that all actions are backed up by statistical observation, not on assumption.

In training, one needs to assess how well a group or a class learned. This may be done in several ways. Some trainers conduct a pre-assessment test prior to the learning experience and then another after the entire curriculum is done. This is to measure how the student improved in terms of product knowledge. Some trainers do it after every module to make the findings more accurate and to validate the learning capacity of an individual while the information is still fresh in one's mind.

Being data driven in training empowers a company to set standards that are all aligned with organizational goals. The numbers--say, test results--are all indications of what has possibly gone wrong or right in the training process. If majority of the students failed, it is very likely that there is a gap in the training methodology or with the trainer's approach. If majority of the students passed the certification, it is also likely that the people who failed need to be re-assessed in terms of skills. Perhaps there are similarities in the gap between the non-passers, such as absences in classes, during which their failing areas were discussed.

To identify which key performance indicators to use, one should have a clear set of objectives and direction. A company should have a procedure that measures all required results, so this will be the basis in developing a standard measurement or evaluation, also known as minimum skills validation. Once the goals and performance expectations are set, training needs analysis may be conducted to identify key areas of concern for the development of a curriculum that will address then current issues in the operations team.

If the currently productivity level is low because the employees do not know what to do, the training team may increase the weight or bearing of that particular aspect of the job to identify who among the current roster of trainees will be hired.

This is done to ensure that action plans are really targeting what is missing in the training process. The weigh of attendance during training certification may also be increased if the main issue is attrition. In general, training KPI can be very flexible as long as each metric addresses the current issues at hand.
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