The New Metrics of Learning: Ways to Measure Employee Behavior Change

Workplace learning and development programs fail when training does not result in behavioral change. Everyone knows this. Executives, managers, HR, and trainers do not create personnel development programs just to have them lack results.

Annual training costs an average of almost $2,000 per employee!

How do we ensure (and measure) the results of employee training programs?

The Old Metrics: Completion Rates

In the past, training metrics might include:

  • Completion rates,
  • The number of hours spent training,
  • The number of (or % of) employees training,
  • Or even course response rates.

Such figures tell you how many employees are training, and that they’re making it through their courses. Dropout rates, for example, at least tell you that a course is not working. So those key performance indicators (KPIs) measure something useful, correct?

Well, yes and no.

Completing a training step requires absorbing information. In a way, such metrics only measure the ability of trainees to take in new information. These metrics might measure the ability to sit in a chair or even respond to questions.

They do not measure employee behavioral change. They do not measure results.

New Metrics: Action Items

What we loved about those old metrics was how easy they were to measure. The same programs which deliver eLearning courses contain algorithms to track completion rates. Easy peasy!

Measuring what organizations really care about, improved and/or changed behavior, requires more finesse.

Some ideas for new metrics include:

  • Surveying the increased level of certainty in x company need. Do employees feel better able to perform tasks?
  • Measuring increased competency in x action. Does work get completed faster or with fewer errors?
  • Statisizing reduced friction and enhanced creativity in x task. Do employees take greater initiative, engage in company initiatives, or otherwise demonstrate enhanced ownership for company-wide success?

As you can see from this list, determining what to measure and how to measure it is in itself an act of creativity.

However, if you have correctly named what employee change/growth you wish to see, you will likely experience far greater success in both training and the results of that training.

Grow a Learning Organizational Culture

These new metrics of learning have the power to create organizational change. As you can see, when you name and measure useful and applicable KPIs, you inherently make training more relevant.

Empower employees to be good at adaptation, change, and growth. That is, in contrast, to simply validate their ability to click through hours of passively absorbing material.

Furthermore, when you take this empowering approach, you make growth and learning part of corporate culture.

Courses that Matter, Metrics that Work

Courses that embrace organizational change make action part of the learning process. Each step of the material should build on earlier knowledge. Then, with new knowledge gained comes plenty of guided application of that knowledge. This is as opposed to leaving action up to employees, hoping they will decipher how to apply new material to real life.

Ideally, such learning materials ask learners to apply what they learn as they go.

Application is the metric worth tracking.

At Arist, we meet learners where they are. We make materials accessible through our text-based learning platform. Additionally, we make adapting those courses for your organizational needs quick and simple.

Book a demo with our team to take a test run.