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Training & Development | 5 min

Here’s why you need to be tracking staff training (and how to do it effectively)

Here’s why you need to be tracking staff training (and how to do it effectively)

If your staff training is currently being recorded in a spreadsheet, or worse yet, not at all, then you’re in a similar boat to many of the businesses we speak to!

First of all, it’s okay. This is a judgement free zone. Secondly, don’t panic because we have some tips to help get your training records on track. 

Regardless of what systems you might have (or not have) in place, tracking staff training successfully all starts with understanding the importance of monitoring your people’s professional development, so it can be established as a priority. 

There are three critical reasons you need to monitor your people’s training through a central record, some of which will be more relevant to your own business depending on your industry.

Once you know which of these factors is most important for your organisation, you’ll know exactly what to look for in for in a tool to help you manage your staff training records.

Next, we’ll explore how to put this knowledge into action.

 

Three reasons to track staff training

1. To maximise compliance and minimise risk

If your industry relies on meeting certain professional development requirements such as CPD points to stay compliant, then keeping track of training records is naturally already a priority for you. The problem is, we see many businesses in this position turning to spreadsheets to achieve this.

If you’re in that position yourself, you’ll know that raises a few problems. Firstly, you still need to enter every piece of information manually, so there’s a lot of room for error, not to mention it’s very time consuming. Then you have the issue of spreadsheets being difficult to share and keep updated as a single source of truth, particularly when multiple people may need to enter information. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the information sitting in spreadsheets is static, and there’s no system to alert you to expiring qualifications or overdue training refreshers.

If any of these things are causing havoc in your business, putting in place a central training record keeping system with notifications for expiries will be a gamechanger. When scoping out your solution, be sure to also check for a system that makes it easy to export a compliance report on demand, to take the stress out of audit time.

 

2. To save time on admin, and make time for strategy

So the idea of tracking training sounds great in theory, but one of the main reasons it probably isn’t being done in the first place, is that it’s creating a lot of extra admin work. The simple solution to avoid this and save time is to not rely on a spreadsheet, but rather use an online tool that can automate a lot of the work and minimise the need for repetitive data entry.

Saving time is appealing in its own right, but the real motivation for all of us in saving time on tedious work is to make time for the things that really matter, like strategy. When everyone’s training is being tracked and monitored for you, you’re free to spend more time being proactive about training, and using it as a strategic tool, not simply a way to fulfill compliance needs.

And this brings us to reason number three!

 

3. To track ROI and plan future training requirements

So we know using the right tools to monitor your employee training can help you save time and stay compliant, but the biggest benefit by far is that it can actually help you track the ROI on individual training efforts, and use this knowledge to inform future training plans.

Once you’re tracking training sufficiently, you’ll have the data you need to start getting these insights and making more strategic choices with training. By recording costs, and asking team members to give feedback on the impact of training they’ve undertaken, you can start to paint a picture of which professional development courses or programs are most worthwhile. From here, you’ll be able to continue prioritising these for future team members, while dropping other training that may not be contributing to your bottom line. 

Tracking training effectively will also help you spot gaps in your workforce’s skill set that might need filling in order to achieve your strategic direction. In this way, you’ll have the visibility to invest in the most relevant training, and maintain alignment between your spending and goals.

 

How to track staff training effectively

So now we can see all the the benefits of tracking staff training, let’s deep dive into our best practice tips on how to manage your training records long term.

If you’re already keeping track of your training records in any capacity, then you’re off to a great start. But if this information simply sits in a static spreadsheet or document somewhere, then you’re missing out on the full benefits of having this information to begin with. The real value comes in being able to generate reports, draw meaningful insights and make the data work for you! 

Okay, sounds great, but how can you actually start getting these benefits for your business? 

 

Step 1: Get centralised training records management in place

Before we get into the fun part (a.k.a. Automation and Analytics), the very first thing you will need to break up with manual training records like spreadsheets or paper forms is to use a central training records product that can store these records securely, accessibly and online. This will allow you to connect all your training data with automation and analytics tools, as well as enable staff to self-service entering their own records as soon as training is completed.

Once that’s in place, you’re ready to start using automation and analytics to get the most out of your training records.

 

Step 2: Integrate automation tools

Connecting your training data with automation tools means you can actually make this data work for you. Automations can help you save even more time and stay compliant. Here are a few key features to look for.

Mandatory qualifications 

You’ll want to ensure there’s a layer to your system that’s tracking mandatory qualifications. This way you can instantly see what percentage of requirements like licenses, CPD points or safety tickets are up to date, and which ones might be expiring soon. From here, you can easily send reminders to staff who may need to update a qualification and keep a constantly up-to-date overview on training compliance.

Compliance reporting

Another automation feature to look for is easy compliance reporting. When it comes time for an audit, you’ll have peace of mind not only knowing exactly what is up-to-date, but also being able to quickly download a report proving this at any time. Using an online system also means you can easily handpick which data you want to report on or view, for example, filtering down to a list of all your accountants’ CPD points to see their totals and determine who might need some additional professional development.

Training Action Plan

Using workflows, a Training Action Plan task can be triggered to staff after they complete training, they’ll receive an email asking them to create a plan of action on how they will implement their training. This helps ensure they’re getting the maximum value out of their learning while also providing a helpful tool to measure their performance against in the near future.

Integrations

If your centralised training records system of choice has integrations available, you’ll have almost endless possibilities to create other automations you might need. 

For intelli users, that includes automations like these (just to name a few):

  • Automatically set up a new staff member in your Learning Management System (LMS) when they are created in intelliHR.
  • Automatically create a training record in intelliHR when a user completes a course or module in GO1.
  • Automatically create tasks in Asana for team members to update their qualifications before they expire.
  • Automatically create and send a summary of training completed in your LMS to the Learning and Development Manager each month.

 

Step 3: Apply Analytics

Now having data is one thing, but it isn’t much use if you can’t easily draw insights from it. Gathering lots of data without a way to break it down and understand what it means can be more of a blessing than a curse. Luckily though, with the right tools, you can stop drowning in the data, and easily know what to look for. Here are a few ideas on how you can really leverage your training data to make the best decisions on training in the future.

Continuous feedback

The first thing you’ll need to do to get the most out of your training analytics, is to ask for feedback directly from the participant and their manager. This can be setup as a workflow, so that the team member and their manager automatically receive a request for feedback at a set time after the training record is entered. By asking your people to share feedback on how beneficial a particular training experience was, you’ll be able to make better decisions going forward on what training to invest in.

Training needs

Another training insight you can gain from your general continuous feedback is whether your team has the skills they need to actually fulfill the company goals. You can get these insights by simply adding a question to your standard continuous feedback forms, asking your people if they feel they need to work on any additional skills to achieve their goals. These responses can then be aggregated using Keyword Analysis, allowing you to easily spot key needs (without personally having to read 100s of feedback responses).

Training investment

With these insights combined, you can also start to measure your investment in training, and which initiatives are proving to be most valuable. By understanding what productivity is being driven by certain training, and what skills gaps you need to fill to reach your company goals, you can continue investing in the most worthwhile training moving forward. A training investment analytics tool will allow you to measure all of this visually and in real-time – no number-crunching required.

 

So now you know not only how to replace those manual training records, but how to ensure you can get the maximum value out of this data, by minimising risk and aiding strategic decision making. Have questions about anything you’ve learned today? Our team is here to help show you how it’s done and configure a solution that meets your organisation’s needs. Get in touch.

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