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Analyzing Training Metrics

Jan 18, 2008
Several business organizations are willing to shell out significant investments on trainings in order to make their employees more efficient. Moreover, management should regularly monitor and assess if these activities are able to achieve their objectives.

Training is commonly defined as the acquisition of knowledge, competencies and skills. It is widely recognized today that for an employee to become more productive, his initial qualifications should be maintained, improved, or updated all throughout his working life through trainings. This contention led to the emergence and popularity of professional development programs launched for various occupations and professions. The concept of training is differentiated from that of exercise since the latter has a clearly defined scope and is particularly designed to improve a trainee's capacity, capability and performance. The former, on the other hand, is an irregular activity that is mostly done for fun or recreation.

Training and development within an organization may be categorized as an on-the-job training or an off-the-job training. The former refers to that training that is done within the normal working venue. This training also involves the use of the actual equipment, tools, or materials. This is often done when the purpose of the activity is to learn vocational tasks. Off-the-job training, on the other hand, takes place away from the normal working venue. This is often the kind of training organized when introducing new concepts or ideas to trainees. Though employees may not be regarded as productive during the course of the training, they would be able to concentrate better as the activity is done away from their normal working environment.

Several studies and industry reviews show that there is an inverse relationship between training and employee turnover. This means that employees are motivated to continue to work for an employer whom they perceive to be concerned about their productivity. Furthermore, a directly proportional relationship exists between employee development and customer satisfaction. Employees that are well-trained are able to address the concerns of their customers better. It is undeniable that many project managers and functional managers do not know the right metrics to be used to assess the performance of their own departments. It is precisely for this reason that companies lose significant profit margins due to waste or defects. However, if the latter could be avoided, the opposite would happen. Similarly, if managers of Human Resource departments who are in charge of trainings and professional development programs will be able to choose the correct performance measures, they would be able to effectively address the training needs of their employees. Through these performance indicators, managers would be able to identify which works and which does not work in their current programs.

When choosing training metrics, it is important to choose those measures that are meaningful to one's company or business. These metrics should be able to bridge the gap between training and accepted organizational goals. Through graphs, charts and summary data used for presentation, it is easier to identify and analyze the strengths and limitations of current training programs. This way, training investments will be justified and will add value to the entire organization.
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