Have you ever wondered if your employee training is paying off? If you are serious about getting the best out of your staff or team, you should. More importantly, you should be more serious about keeping tabs on your team’s training.
Tracking your employee’s training can give you vital actionable information. It can reveal training needs. Training tracking can also tell you if having it affects your operations. It can even tell you among your employees wishes to get better.
In short, you need your employees to undergo training. Furthermore, you need to make changes to ensure that you track their progress.
Luckily, the tweaks do not need to be dramatic.
Keep reading to learn the seven small changes you can make to your training tracking.
1. Make Sure Everything Is Visible
Being in a position to prescribe or suggest training, you need a visualization system or a Learning Management System (LMS). This system needs to show you everything you need to determine as regards training.
Whatever tool you choose, it needs to show you the following:
- Your staff
- The training each staff members has received
- Training received collectively
- When training certifications will expire
- Your staff’s training needs
You may use any tool at your disposal. And, we do mean “any”. Be that as it may, it may be more efficient to use an online tool like a spreadsheet. Visualization tools often come as spreadsheet processors. Microsoft Excel is by far the most popular for certification tracking but offers little to no alerting and notifications along with several other significant downsides that many organizations find on their own after just a short while.
Of course, you can play around with others and see what suits your tastes and needs. We often use Google sheets as an inexpensive alternative to tools like VAIRKKO.
In short, having a visualization tool (whatever it is) beats having to commit things to memory.
And, speaking of visualization and tracking, we are brought to the next change you can make:
2. Make Training Tracking Visible to All
This is one of the reasons we love the benefits of an online visualization tool. It allows you and your staff to view the same information in real-time. This is helpful on several fronts!
For starters, your team can clue you in on any changes they deem necessary. For instance, if you made a mistake, a team member can inform you. Also, if you have included possible seminars, your staff can do their homework on the subject.
From a performance standpoint, the list of benefits goes on. However, there is one more advantage — one that involves your relationship with staff.
Having your training list open to viewing reinforces a sense of trust and community. By having your list open to viewers, you are communicating to your employees that you trust them and their input.
It also reinforces a culture of transparency. If you keep your list hidden, it may cast a cloud of doubt, so to speak.
3. Hold Your Staff Accountable
Every company is different.
Nonetheless, most — if not all — require their staff to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. It can help if Human Resources has added this to the employee rulebook.
Training should be an opportunity for a staff member to hone existing skills. It is also a chance to develop new ones. Both of these tasks contribute to the overall functioning of your company.
With this in mind, make it clear to your team or staff that training is a must. Inform your employees that you hold them responsible for discussing what training they might need and showing up.
After all, it is their duty to perform their tasks well at work. And, as we all know, performance is a function of proper training.
So where does training tracking fit?
This goes back to why it is key to make your training tracking file visible to all. An open-access file maintains accountability. It doesn’t just visualize training needs for you. Depending on what you place, it also shows you the training status of your employees.
Visibility puts everyone in a position where their actions or failures are obvious. If a staff member fails to train for a year, you will know, and they will know that you know.
4. Go Mobile
Mobile solutions to training tracking can bridge the gap between access and distance. Such solutions have been indispensable for distance learning.
Today, the world continues to grapple with the pandemic. So, offering your employees paid access to mobile training or learning apps can be one of the most supportive actions you can take.
Online, there are hundreds and thousands of resources available. With the internet and a paid subscription, any skill is within grasp. Once again, all that is required is your employee’s request and your support. Other than learning resources, some apps can help you track your staff as they learn on the go. These applications can differ from each other, but most have a couple of things in common:
- They allow device users to forward training or class details.
- They can help you check training attendance
In this day and age, you need to leverage mobile technology to track training hours and attendance. You can go with any tool or application such as VAIRKKO.
5. Ask for Support from Upper Management
If you are a CEO, feel free to skip this step.
On the other hand, you may have to get upper management on board with your training tracking.
Granted, upper-level management may not have a lot of involvement in your tracking efforts. Be that as it may, having the backing of your superiors adds gravitas to your project and training. Depending on your company’s organizational structure, management can support you:
- Logistically: Hiring transport for your staff to go to a training seminar.
- Financially: Even mobile LMS can cost a lot of money for all members of staff.
- Strategically: Additional input from those whose opinions have much weight.
Support also presupposes management’s trust in your project. If you lack their support, you might meet some resistance. They may decide against training under the pretense of budget constraints. They may also vote against the use of LMS or other costly tools for the same reason.
Most importantly, management’s resistance to your ideas or project can reach your staff. If this happens, it will only be a matter of time before they follow suit despite your authority.
In short, have the backing of upper management, and your certification tracking will be much easier.
6. Set Clear and Measurable Expectations
As part of any project briefing, you need to establish the outcomes you want to see.
Setting expectations is one of the most important parts of any project undertaking. It is also a cornerstone of proper management. Clearly-set expectations can help direct the efforts of yourself and your staff.
To align your expectations with training tracking, you need to break down the project into its composite parts. For training and certification, you may want to identify the necessary skills.
Identifying vital skills for the project immediately determines training needs. As mentioned earlier, training needs ought to be part of your training tracking.
Another crucial practice in expectation setting is ensuring measurability. As we all know, we can gauge a project’s success or failure based on outcomes. If we have set quantifiable standards, we can objectively measure the effectiveness of our efforts.
Quantifiable expectations or project objectives can also help with training tracking. As managers, we ought to measure more than attendance and training hours. Why?
Training and certifications can require a substantial investment of time and money. So, unless we have infinite time and deep pockets, we need to be sure that a certain seminar or training program for a project is worth it.
The continuum between training and the success of a project is easy to imagine. However, without metrics, the effect training has on outcomes can be difficult to determine. As a result, you will not know if training was worth the investment.
In short, you can treat training hours and training attendance as variables. Your project’s outcome-based metrics are another. From here, you can determine the effectiveness of training and see what areas need to be addressed.
Once again, training tracking proves its importance. It can also help to inform your staff of this.
And, this conveniently brings us to:
7. Get Your Staff or Team on Board
You can have the best LMS available for your team. You may even have the full support of management. You can even be fully transparent in your goals for the project.
None of this will matter if your staff is not personally invested. At the end of the day, training tracking is a way of optimizing performance. We enhance the performance of our staff to ensure the best possible outcomes for any project.
As managers, we need to do more than tell employees we are tracking their training hours. We need to convince them that their sharpened abilities contribute to the team or company’s progress. We need to persuade our staff of the importance of training. Then and only then can we gain their compliance.
There are several ways we can earn support and compliance.
Here are some:
By Incentivizing Training
It does not have to be in the form of money. It may be an additional lunch hour or a week off at the end of the month or even with the use of software based gamification badges and awards.
Whatever the incentive, it has to be something your staff appreciates and deem to be within reach.
On the other hand, it might not take much to motivate your staff members.
Equally important to wages and external rewards is the feeling of being able to contribute. As you track your staff’s training, you can identify who takes training seriously.
After doing this, you can publicly recognize these team members. You can also express your appreciation for their efforts.
This way, your employees or team members can have one more reason to step it up in their training and performance.
Final Word: Sometimes the Smallest Changes Yield the Biggest Results
If you will look back on the list, you will notice that changes to your training tracking are easy to make.
However, do not be deceived. Though simple, these seven actions can go a long way not just in your training tracking. It can also lead to better relationships in the workplace. In addition, these changes can also optimize the performance of your staff.
By following this list, you can help your staff hone their skills and contribute to your project’s progress.