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Why Companies Are Massively Integrating Performance Data and Training

“Two heads are better than one,” according to the old saying. In most cases, collaboration leads to better results. But when it comes to job-related issues, what really leads to increased productivity and better results? The answer lies in the integration of performance and employee training data. Unfortunately, a lot of companies still see these two aspects as separate systems. The truth is that they both contribute to achieving business goals, and they should be combined into one system.

Let’s see how this liaison works. Performance data helps to identify gaps in terms of what an employee does and what your company needs and wants the employee to do. The initial purpose of training is to eradicate this very gap. After the employees go through training their performance is measured again. This data shows whether the training has led to the desired results. The data also shows what part(s) of the training may need to be changed or emphasized. In other words, performance data defines your training content and strategy.

According to research, 45% of chief learning officers use performance data to evaluate the impact of training. In addition, almost 50% of enterprises take into account the effects of employee training on customer satisfaction. More than 50% of companies measure the effect of training on employee engagement and productivity.

Tri Junarso, an expert in people management, states in his book that only 34% of companies have aligned performance management and learning in order to devise better training programs and accomplish the business’s goals.

Integration is the new standard

Why is integrating performance data and learning good for your business? Using an integrated approach gives you a way to determine exactly what training your employees need instead of just guessing. This lets you provide the information and skills your employees need without wasting their time on things they don’t need to learn. It makes the training relevant and increases employees’ overall understanding of how to achieve the objectives given to them by their supervisors and managers. The relevant training you provide will improve performance, increase employee retention, boost the employees’ engagement in their work, and much more. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of integrating performance data and training.

  • Personalization of learning

Metrics can help you to identify who needs what kind of training, and precisely when. Just-in-time training plays a central role in providing employees with the information they need to perform tasks competently. This may sound strange, but performance data shows you what your employees don’t know. For instance, if a service representative spends a long time on the phone with each customer compared to other reps, you can send that employee tips on how to handle calls faster and more effectively, or connect the employee with top performers for some mentorship. By identifying knowledge, skill and confidence gaps, you can increase your employees’ engagement through personalized training.

  • Measuring training effectiveness

The right data also provides an insight into which training methods work best for your employees. Based on their feedback, you will have the information you need to make on-the-go changes in the training program, making it more effective and keeping it up to date. For example, if one of your distributors consistently fails to make the necessary number of sales per month, you could use short and frequent training sessions to teach skills, provide opportunities to practice the skills, improve confidence, and get feedback about obstacles the distributor may be encountering. Small, frequent training sessions will contribute to the completion of larger tasks in the long run. Thus, your training program will function optimally on a day-to-day basis.

  • Visibility of impact on business growth

Many employees don’t understand how their job contributes to the success of their company. According to a study, only 38% of the workforce aged between 34 and 54 see how completing their tasks influences the company’s bottom line. By the same token, executives often want to know how employee performance directly benefits the company. Integration of performance and training data allows them to see whether they have the right staff for the job, whether training is needed to help employees adapt to new changes in workflows, and what strengths the employees have that might best be used in other positions.

  • Improved productivity

Isn’t this what every business needs? By integrating performance and training data companies can better target their employees’ skill and knowledge gaps so the employees learn what they need, and the company’s workforce becomes highly productive while the company becomes highly competitive. Another aspect of training that increases your employees’ effectiveness and motivation is learning what your employees’ professional goals and learning styles are and taking them into account when you create training for them. Giving your employees the training they need to build a career in your company also results in higher levels of motivation, a sense of fulfillment and increased engagement. Moreover, when your employees can see the results of their work and the difference it makes to your company, it can greatly increase their productivity.

  • Time and cost savings

Performance data depends on real-time monitoring and can give you very valuable insights. The employees’ work is tracked at every step. This allows you to make the most necessary alterations and enhancements in your existing training programs, and identify new training that is needed. Moreover, performance data can allow executives to analyze such ideas as “empty labor” and the way it negatively influences employee productivity.

DOs and DON’Ts of Integrating Performance Data and Training

The integration of performance and training data should be done in a well-planned manner in order to accomplish your business’s goals. Here is a list of important DOs and DON’Ts to help you achieve optimal results.

DOs

  1. Measure what specifically matters to your business. Depending on the service or industry you’re engaged in, you will be interested in tracking different data in order to align your business goals with employee training. This could include:
  • Average number of sales per month;
  • Average time to complete specific tasks;
  • Employee retention rate after X months;
  • Average number of X products produced per day;
  • A quantity of answered customer support tickets per week, etc.  
  1. Establish performance standards for each employee. Make sure that these standards correlate with the company’s goals, meet each employee’s and professional development goals, and are included in the training program. Then, based on the standards you have established, map out a training program that teaches the employees what they need to know and do to meet your standards.
  1. Promote employee self-evaluation. Both constructive criticism and praise are useful but self-evaluation is even more crucial. By comparing the results of these two evaluations you will be able to find similarities and differences that will ensure a deeper understanding of each employee’s performance.

DON’Ts

  1. Don’t compare performance between employees. It’s not about competition, it’s about productivity. Your focus should be on whether each employee’s productivity contributes to company’s objectives and complies with certain standards, or not. If one of your employees has trouble completing a certain task, it’s time for on-the-go changes in the training program.
  1. Data visibility shouldn’t become an alternative to “Big Brother.” Don’t forget that visibility is a means for an employee of seeing his contribution to the company clearer rather than having been monitored continuously.
  1. Don’t forget to put employee performance outcomes into a broader picture. You should clearly understand in what way this or that completed task influences the company’s objectives or leads to inefficiencies. Moreover, you can create a sense of belonging by letting your employees know how great a job they have done.

As you can see, the integration of performance data and employee training can positively change businesses’ ability to achieve their objectives in the near future. Integrated in the right way, these two core systems will help to boost efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction, along with making more effective, more relative training programs.

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