Why tracking employee training is important

Employee training tracking software can help improve operations, compliance, and employee engagement. Learn how to track training for your organization.

December 29, 2020

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Everyone seems to be so busy, even with remote work and work-from-home measures during the pandemic. It's so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day responsibilities that it's hard to remember to do any necessary employee training and development.

Even if you have a licensing requirement as part of your normal duties, or if you just want to improve your skills and learn new ones, it's hard for everyone to follow through with their training.

But ongoing employee training is important to attracting and retaining great talent. A 2016 Gallup Workplace poll found that 59% of Millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them. In other words, they may not even accept a job offer, let alone apply, if they can't get any professional development opportunities.

You may not be able to keep them either. Another survey found that 40% of employees who receive poor job training will leave that job within the first year.

That's a problem since hiring and onboarding are an expensive part of every new employee's career at your organization. And if you have to do it every year because you're not providing any (or enough) training and development, that gets expensive.

According to some estimates, it can cost as much as $2,500 to replace a single frontline staff member. Multiply that by 40% of your new hires each year, and you'll probably get a figure that's a lot less than an entire training and development program.

Let's also not forget the amount of training you have to do for licensing, accreditation, and regulatory compliance. You have to make sure that all your licensed and accredited staffers are keeping up with their training and continuing education so you can maintain your accreditation. 

There are already solutions for an online employee training system, which has become more important lately, but there are still questions about how to track employee training. 

This is where (you guessed it) employee training tracking software can come in handy, even if it is a mouthful to say.

Employee training tracking software lets you, well, track your employees' training efforts. You can see who has completed which modules, how many modules they have left, and how many employees need to complete their training. And it also lets you present it all in an easy-to-understand visual dashboard. You can even keep track of employee testing to make sure everyone is understanding the material.

In this article, we'll help you understand why employee training tracking is important, and how you can improve on the training system you already have in place.

Why employee training tracking is important

Training your employees can have a positive effect on your organization, but that doesn't do anyone any good if you're not keeping track of everyone's accomplishments. Tracking your employee training helps you be more strategic about your training, and it becomes easier to tie your training program into your organization's performance and measure the ROI of your efforts.

Your organizational leaders should also know what training courses your employees have completed and how many hours they've spent on it. In some industries, keeping accurate training records is required by law, but even where it's not, you can still demonstrate the benefits of your employee training system.

Here are a few benefits of using employee training tracking software.

Easier onboarding of new employees

In most organizations, the majority of employee training happens during the onboarding process. Onboarding training should be more than just handing someone a thick binder and hoping they'll find time to read it. It also beats filling a new employee's first week with nothing but training sessions without any context or understanding of how the policies are applied.

Employee training software lets you standardize your training for all new employees, ensuring they're all being presented with the same standard information, like workplace bullying, sexual harassment, and diversity training. Different departments may also require their own training modules, and deliver the content without taking time out of their days every time a new employee is brought on.

Improved safety and compliance

A well-trained employee is a safe(r) employee. You can provide up-to-date safety training for employees, whether they're brand new or 20-year veterans. Having well-trained employees improves the quality of your operations and minimizes any safety risks.

With employee training software, you can upload new safety training content and require everyone to watch or read it. Next, ask everyone to sign it to show that they've been trained, and then keep track of all the signatures to further show that you're staying in compliance.

This also reduces your organization's liability which helps protect you from lawsuits. If an employee tried to sue after a workplace accident, you can show that you provided appropriate training on all safety measures. You can show the employee participated in the training, completed an assessment to demonstrate understanding, and signed their name to signify that.

Improved safety and compliance

A well-trained employee is a safe(r) employee. You can provide up-to-date safety training for employees, whether they're brand new or 20-year veterans. Having well-trained employees improves the quality of your operations and minimizes any safety risks.

With employee training software, you can upload new safety training content and require everyone to watch or read it. Next, ask everyone to sign it to show that they've been trained, and then keep track of all the signatures to further show that you're staying in compliance.

This also reduces your organization's liability which helps protect you from lawsuits. If an employee tried to sue after a workplace accident, you can show that you provided appropriate training on all safety measures. You can show the employee participated in the training, completed an assessment to demonstrate understanding, and signed their name to signify that.

Certifications, licensure, and continuing education

For many industries, keeping up with certifications, licenses, and continuing education is critical to keeping their accreditation.

Employee training tracking software lets you keep the results of all training and continuing education in a central location. You can even set up automatic reminders that notify you and your employees when renewal deadlines are approaching. And if you can serve up the training content right from your own employee training system, you can automatically track the completion as well.

Better data for performance reviews and promotions

The most successful organizations provide all employees with opportunities for professional development. This ongoing training helps you raise up leaders from within your organization, and gives you tangible metrics to see which ones are working hard to improve their skills and which ones are not as diligent about it.

With an employee training system, supervisors can set development goals for their team members and track the steps employees are taking to achieve those goals. Those results can even be pulled for performance reviews and promotion evaluations.

Increased employee motivation and engagement

Remember when we said that 40% of employees leave after their first year if they receive poor job training? Another study, LinkedIn's 2019 Workforce Learning Report, found that a staggering 94 percent of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it helped them learn.

Training and development opportunities help employees feel like they are learning and growing on the job. This helps them feel valued and instills a sense of trust and loyalty. That in turn increases their motivation and productivity.

How to improve your employee training system

We know why you need to track your employee training efforts. But other than implementing an employee training tracking software system, what else can you do to improve the entire system? Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Digitize everything, store it centrally

Hopefully, your organization has digitized everything else already. But is all the information scattered throughout the organization in different folders and drives? An employee training software solution can provide you with a central repository for all your digital training records. 

With PowerDMS' training management software, which is part of a bigger policy management solution, you can store all your training records in one secure location. You can also map your training to policy requirements and accreditation requirements as proofs of compliance, ensuring that everything is in sync and both your policies and training are current.

Give employees a sense of ownership

Managers shouldn't be the only ones responsible for tracking employee training. Give your employees access to their own training records and let them log some of their own hours, especially for offsite and in-person training. It also gives them a sense of ownership in their own development.

This not only distributes the workload of digitizing everyone's records, it allows them to keep track of their own goals, licensing requirements, and job expectations.

PowerDMS' employee training tracking software lets you set up advanced workflows for supervisors to approve training and verify that it took place. You can even see the full document history to see who has logged hours and when they edited their records.

Set automatic reminders and notifications

You are not responsible for your coworkers' license renewals, they are. But many compliance professionals feel like they're herding cats when it comes time for license renewals and updates. Especially since, if someone misses a deadline and a license expires, it can hurt both the employee and the organization.

With employee training tracking software,  you can set up automated workflows to send reminders to employees, supervisors, and HR managers as appropriate. This lets the employees manage their own license renewals and attend the necessary training, but it also alerts supervisors and HR staff if employees fall behind and need some additional guidance.

Integrate with online learning platforms

Your training tracking software should integrate with your internal online training, such as onboarding and safety training. You want to be able to measure who has watched the necessary videos, read the modules, and taken the assessments. You want to be able to see when they did it, and how long it took them without fast forwarding through parts. And you even want to be able to measure their assessment scores.

PowerDMS offers the ability to host online training courses and track the results in one location. For example, you could set up an annual compliance training course in PowerDMS, assign it to all employees at the same time every year, and then track the results to make sure everyone completed the course by the assigned deadline. You can even send automatic email notifications to remind people to complete the training.

Track as much data as relevant

If you want to succeed at any venture, you need to measure your efforts and your results. That's true for training and development too. Every training record should contain things like course title, completion date, status, performance outcome, etc. However, there may be other data points to track as well. 

What policy or compliance standard does this relate to? Are there prerequisites or follow-ups to complete? Where did it happen? Was it mandatory or voluntary?

PowerDMS' training software can track all of these data points and more. You can even track and store feedback surveys, quizzes, and assessments as a way to measure an instructor's or module's performance.  This can help you see where content needs improvement or places where content may be unclear or missing important information.

Give leadership visibility into training

By keeping all your training data in one place, you can show the effectiveness of your employee training system. You can aggregate all the data points and display them in a visual dashboard that graphs performance results, completion rates, compliance rates, and approaching deadlines.

This is especially helpful if specific issues arise. For example, if there are increased incidents of sexual harassment or safety violations, your organization's leaders can quickly see if there's a need to improve or refresh that particular training.

It can also help you identify individual training issues. For example, if a particular employee continues to mess up the cover sheet on their TPS Report, you can see the last time they completed their week-long TPS training. If you see that they completed the training within the last few months, you could put them on a performance improvement plan or make them take the training all over again.

Get started with training tracking software

Employee training tracking software can do a lot for an organization, regardless of the size. Not only does it help with licensing and accreditation, it ensures that the same content is being shared with all employees of all levels.  It also helps to improve employee satisfaction and loyalty, and it increases employee retention and skills.

PowerDMS creates a living connection between training, policy, and accreditation management, which keeps your organization functioning within all legal and regulatory parameters.

But in the end, employee training tracking software such as PowerDMS can save your organization time and energy, improve your training, and ensure compliance.

To learn more about how PowerDMS' software can help you with your employee training, visit the PowerDMS website or request a free demo of our training management system.

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