What Should I look for in a training tracker?
There is not one solution that will fit every organization or industry in terms of training management - however there are a few things that each system should have in order to provide a full range of functionality for optimal tracking.
The first step to deciding on a system is to determine what exactly will be tracked within the system. Whether this is onboarding training, continuing education, in-house training or some sort of mixture, each comes with it’s own sort of complexities.
How often will training need to be repeated?
Are there different types of trainings required for various employees or departments?
Who will be managing the tracking - someone in human resources, a manager, the employee themselves?
How will training be administered - through a third party, online, offsite?
How you answer these questions will allow you to determine what solution for managing training is the best for your organization. Below is a list of training tracking solutions with pros, cons, and a “best for” proposal. While this list is not all inclusive - these are some of the primary systems that are in practice today.
- Central location to store information
- Information can be accessed by those with the power
- No learning curve compared to technological solutions
- Takes up a lot of valuable office space
- Easy to become disorganized
- Requires special attention from employees to be reminded to bring in proper training paperwork for verification
- Extremely manual implementation and upkeep
The filing cabinet solution is best for companies that are extremely small in size and do not have many trainings to track. This solution may be best for organizations that do not have recurring trainings or certifications to continue monitoring and updating.
- Easy adoption with minimal technological prowess
- Does not take up any space within a building
- Many users can access at once
- Can be highly organized
- Manages many employees/departments/positions, etc.
- Can’t be managed at the employee level
- Minimal capabilities for automation
- Manual in terms of inputting information
- Requires clear guidance for interacting with system to maintain organization
The excel templates solution is best for small businesses that do not have the funds to adopt software solutions. Excel is a powerful, cost effective tool that allows for great organization is properly maintained. If a company or organization has few certifications or the ability to automate a notification process for expired training - this solution can become even more efficient and effective.
- Automated processes through compliance rules
- Developed specifically for the purpose of training management
- Self-service for employees
- Integration with online, offline, and in-house training programs
- Highly organized
- Bulk editing capabilities
- Typically have mobile and desktop solutions
- Can be more expensive
- Some level of learning curve depending on the solution
- Higher degree of implementation
Software solutions are best for companies and organizations that have more than ten employees and track multiple different types of trainings, and certifications. This solution, while not free, can be cost effective depending on the provider but ultimately worth the cost when training is a valued part of the organization.
After evaluating these three different solutions - now is the time to talk about what specifically to look for when adopting a solution that is going to cost the organization some time and money to implement. Essentially, what to look for when adopting a software solution to track training.
Automatic alerts will allow an employees, managers, and HR team members to receive updates on upcoming expirations of trainings, licenses, certifications, and more. The system will have a way for employees to receive alerts well in advance to re-certify or test before the expiration of anything vital.
Anywhere access is important in the age of mobile, from capturing certifications in a photo and uploading proof to the system to accessing data at any time, in any place - a mobile solution is necessary.
Allowing staff to have access to their own records to modify is important as you most likely rely on them to turn in information about their own training. While they can import what is needed to show proof - ultimately backend approval is needed by an administrator to sign off on the uploaded training.
The adopted system should have the ability to set powerful compliance rules to monitor and hold accountable employees across the organization. These rules will set the stage for automatic alerts, and ensuring proper adherence for promotion paths, positions, scheduling and more where certain training is supposed to be held.
Additional features that are nice to find within training tracker software is the ability to create roadmaps for certifications - this is especially useful when there are multiple steps staff members need to take before they ultimately reach the final “certification”; employee onboarding is a perfect example here. Bulk editing features are also nice in when working with large groups of employees on the same training dates or certifications.
Another feature that is especially helpful to look for in this type of tool is a way to divide out locations, teams, departments, etc. so information can be accessed by the employees that need it - but additionally, if there are different requirements across the organization, these can be easily divided out and compliance rules can be set accordingly.
Keep these features in mind when you are searching for the best tracking solution for your company. These are important questions to ask about functionality and what is important to ensure you implement the best solution that can grow with your business.