Is your team charting its course or flying blind?

As the use of formalized performance appraisal processes diminishes and employee-led performance management increases, it’s critical for individual contributors to have access to tools that will help them self-manage their performance processes, in real time. A logical way to achieve this goal is through employee and manager dashboards to easily monitor for exceptions and manage toward continuous improvement. Here are some strategies to set your L&D team on the path to data independence, from metrics selection to goal-setting to scaling the process with the right tools.

Metrics Selection

What metrics are you using to gauge whether you’re meeting learners’ needs and whether training is having the desired impact? It’s critical to choose metrics wisely so that employees have confidence that the process is fair and reflects their degree of individual contribution.

Efficiency metrics provide evidence of output and provide context to other metrics, but they aren’t enough to show that training improved employee performance. Business outcomes matter; however, there are many factors that impact business performance in the real world, and it’s important to determine the degree of responsibility training had in influencing those outcomes. When considering metrics for individual contributor performance, be sure to select metrics that your team has control over, such as delivery quality for facilitators and content relevance for course designers. The right metrics for L&D performance management sit between efficiency and outcomes to provide insight into the effectiveness of learning.

Set and Manage to Goals

Goals should be derived by first collecting adequate data to understand baseline performance and then comparing that performance to internal and external benchmarks. While comparing current performance to internal benchmarks will indicate evolution toward your organizational standards, the external benchmarks enable you to understand how this performance compares to other organizations in your field.

Establish a cadence for review of performance against relevant KPIs. Quarterly reviews works well for performance management, although team members should have access to their data more regularly so that they can make corrections as needed. Instructors should receive class-by-class results and a monthly or quarterly performance summary. Course designers should receive monthly exception reports, unless a course is in pilot or newly updated. Augment automated reports by providing direct access to dashboards and data exploration tools to foster a culture of continuous improvement through data.

It is in the final step, managing to the goals, where most organizations stumble. Without proper scalability and automation to drive the collection and reporting of data, measurement efforts can quickly die under their own weight.

Make It Sustainable

The right solution will automate the data collection process and provide built-in dashboarding and automated summary reporting. When individuals in these roles are given direct access to the right data in the right format, they can check their progress or dig into exceptions without having to ask a data analyst for help.

Building analytics capability at the front lines of your organization will empower your team to establish the culture of continuous improvement that leads to learning program impact. It also frees up data analysts to focus on telling the broader story of impact and correlating predictive impact data with outcome data from the business instead of spending their time generating reports for each course.

To get started with a performance dashboard, look for a proven approach and technology to scale your organization’s measurement process across all levels. Generate analytics and metrics that allow your team to enter quickly into the journey of continuous improvement while examining how you measure up to other organizations.