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Learning & Development KPIs


I'm trying to develop some Performance Indicators for measuring performance of the Learning & Development Team. Can anyone suggest what we should measure and how we should measure it? I'm particularly interested in any suggestions for measuring 'softer' outcomes, like training's contribution to improved staff performance and/or culture change.
Lindsay Campbell

4 Responses

  1. It depends….
    Hi Lindsay,

    It would be helpful to know more about the context.

    For example, who or what is driving the desire to establish KPIs for the L&D team?

    If it is the training manager the KPIs may focus on training activity (days training per person per year etc).

    If it is the finance director it may be return on investment – what does the training department contribute to the bottom line through its training activities when compared to the total cost of delivering these training activities.

    If it is a team or dept manager in the business who either sends his/her people on course and/or has to pay for them out of his/her share of the training budget then the KPIs he/she will be interested in will vary from 1 training intervention to another. For example, for a sales training course the KPIs will likely include increased sales. For a culture change programme it may include satisfaction or perception measures (from staff surveys) as well as ‘hard’ measures such as increased profit. I am involved in a culture change programme for a well known media/entertainment company and one of the measures of success is the ratio of people attending the continuous improvement workshops vs those that are using the skills, and also the extra profit/savings generated as a result of these individuals facilitating successful continuous improvement projects. Although such workshops seem to be about process improvement tools they are in reality mostly about working in teams and dealing with conflict in a proactive manner.

    In generic terms I’d suggest a score card comprising the following categories – I’ve included a few example measures to give you an idea:

    1 – results: return on investment, new behaviours being demonstrated
    2 – customers: satisfaction levels, % of internal customers who want internal trg vs external trg
    3 – process: learner reactions, training objectives delivered, # complaints about trg admin,
    4 – people: % completion of personal devel plans for L&D staff, skills matrix for L&D staff

    It really will vary from organisation to organisation, and sometimes from intervention to intervention. I hope this helps.



  2. Agreement
    I agree with Martin to a large extent and I think generic training KPI’s are unlikely to be a winner.

    I think you need to set KPI’s for each specific training intervention and decide how you will measure them at the outset and over what period of time and grade your trainers accordingly.

    KPI’s could include:

    Number of delivery days per week – but then again, if you have spare capacity in your team, this may not matter

    Happy Sheet Outcomes – usually you would want these to be good, but a workshop trying to deal with bullies in the workplace may not score too highly (among other examples)

    On the Day Tests – did the learners achieve the objectives on the day? Often a very good measure of a trainer’s skill

    Transfer of behaviour to actual working practice – more difficult, unless there is coaching and encouragement from management to put new skill sets into use, people often fall back into their old routine, irrespective of the training delivered, and if there is coaching etc. how much of the improvement can you attribute to the trainer and how much to the coach?

    Specific Outcomes – such as sales training and an increase in sales – again though how much can be attributed to the training intervention and how much to coaching, support and even renewed enthusiasm for the task at hand?

    And so on…

    KPI’s are definitely an essential, training outcomes need to be measurable to add value but they need to be carefully chosen for each intervention and an aggregate of these scores derived to measure performance (somehow).

  3. There’s more…
    Building on Nik’s response…

    What value or use will the KPIs have?

    For example, take one suggested KPI – number of delivery days per week – what might this tell you, if anything, about the ability to deliver good quality training interventions, or even interventions that deliver organisation level results (e.g. more profits)? It may be an indication over time that you have too many trainers, or too few – which can be handy!

    So, just be clear about what you want to do with your KPIs, and what other people may want to do with KPIs.

    Transfer of behaviours to the workplace – can be an indication of either the desire of trainees to apply, or a lack of support from management to allow/enable trainees to apply new behaviours.

    Training outcomes – does it matter that you cannot easily determine the extent to which this is down to training or coaching after the fact? Training doesn’t happen in isolation, and if the training dept provided the coaching capability, hooray for the training dept!! It’ll certainly help with brand reputation.

    Ultimately the best source of KPIs is from the customers you serve – why not ask them to give you specific, measurable outcomes that will help them decide for themselves the extent to which you are helping them improve their own performance?



  4. What are the organisation’s objectives?
    Hi Lindsay

    I agree with the previous contributions but would like to add one thought – what are the orgnisation’s objectives? Anyone in an organisation that has individual/team KPIs should be able to see a link through to the overall company objectives. How does L&D help contribute to those and what therefore should you be measuring?




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