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How To Keep Track Of Training For Employees And Why To Do It

Michael Hansen
5 min read

You realize the importance of training your employees and have spent time and money on the best learning courses to meet their needs. Six months in, you realize that you have some employees with expired certifications because they haven’t completed their required hours, and some compliance issues are still not addressed on the job. You realize that even with months of careful planning, you didn’t consider how to keep track of training for employees under your supervision. An employee training tracker can be an invaluable tool to make sure that everyone is on track, in compliance, and keeping up with all of their training. Here’s how to do it right.

Why is it important to track employee training?

Keeping track of employee training is crucial. Nearly 40% of employees leave their new jobs within a year when the training they receive is inadequate. With the cost of onboarding a new salaried employee at an average six to nine months of pay, losing an employee because they were not trained hits you right in the bottom line.

Additionally, for heavily regulated industries where non-compliance and lack of certifications can literally shut you down, tracking their training ensures that everyone on site has what they need to operate safely and legally. This is especially important for industries such as construction and healthcare and in any job that operates under a government contract.

Finally, knowing who has been trained and who has not can help you understand what’s going on with your employees. For example, if you are seeing consistent errors in a particular area of your company, you can review the training logs to see if the employees making the error have been adequately trained. This can prevent misunderstandings between supervisors and employees, increase productivity in the workplace, and generally create a better, more collaborative atmosphere.

How to keep track of training for employees, for businesses small to large

These days, the best way to keep track of training for employees is with a learning management system (LMS). A high-quality LMS does exactly what it sounds like: it manages the implementation schedule of employee training and keeps track of engagement, results, and completion dates.

Sure, you could use an Excel spreadsheet, emails, or the honor system, but if your company has more than a handful of employees, this gets messy and fast. Even the smallest companies can benefit from taking the time to select and implement better methods for measuring training. Not all learning management systems are created equally though.

When it comes to LMS options that track employee training the most effectively, take these steps to find the best fit for your company.

1. Get everyone on board, and give them what they need

Executives, HR, and other key stakeholders all need to be on board with adopting a new employee training tracker, and they need tools to understand their options.

If you are in charge of selecting a new LMS for your company, get everyone on board by explaining the importance of tracking employee training in terms of reducing turnover, lowering costs, and staying in compliance with all rules and regulations governing your industry.

Once everyone understands the benefits in terms of time, money, and legal operations, proceed to step two.

2. Focus on what you actually need (not all of the bells and whistles)

What exactly are you looking for in an LMS? If your construction company needs to track changes in compliance and regulations, can your LMS do that?

Healthcare providers need to maintain their licenses with ongoing professional learning and maybe every complete re-certification. If your LMS for your clinical practice can’t track that, it’s not the right one for you.

Likewise, some LMS options come with additional reporting and analytics add-ons that you simply may never need now or in the future. They may look fancy, but ensure these add-ons are worth the additional price.

3. Find a learning management system that meets those needs

If you are implementing a company-wide quarterly training that all employees are required to undergo, maybe what you need is an LMS that simply tracks course completions. Or perhaps your large healthcare company needs to make sure all medical professionals have up-to-date certifications (or the training they need) plus a thorough understanding of HIPAA compliance. If your LMS cannot track certifications, this will be challenging at every level.

Most executive teams also want a bird’s-eye view of employee performance and activity that can be quickly compiled and distributed for employee reviews or evaluations. See if your options handle that.

Whatever you need, make sure your LMS has what you need, offers excellent technical and customer support while you are in transition with it, and is compatible with your already existing technology. If your technology is out of date, it’s good to know what changes you will need to make to update and expand to accommodate the new system (and if the company is ready to make those changes!).

The number one reason people seek a new LMS is to ensure compliance, but hard on the heels of that is the ability to integrate your already-existing learning programs on an easy-to-use platform. Identify your primary goal, then proceed to step four.

4. Find an LMS that can grow with you

Focus on exactly what you need, but keep a weather eye on the horizon. Maybe your dental practice has ten hygienists and two dentists but has big plans to quadruple in size over the next few years. You may never need certain features (see step three), but you want an employee training tracker that is scalable, no matter your goals.

There are a variety of great LMS options to choose from, but here are three lists to start with to review your options:

  1. PC Magazine
  2. eLearning Industry
  3. FitSmallBusiness

5. Create a process to review the reports your LMS generates

You add employee data and think you’re done, but an LMS can generate incredibly detailed reports on not only course completions and certifications but also the following:

  • Training completion (and dates)
  • Assessment results
  • Employee satisfaction with the training
  • Facilitator evaluations
  • Time logged in training modules

A quality LMS can offer insight into how employees are feeling about the training itself and the people who facilitate it. This can help you develop more useful, engaging trainings to keep employees happy and reduce training friction. Create an ongoing process to review these insights to improve your training over time.

At EdgePoint Learning, we help with everything from designing your learning courses to figuring out how to track training for employees.

This post was originally published on eLearning Industry on April 10, 2019.

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