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9 Ways People Analytics in Learning and Development Drives Performance

Oct 17, 2022

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The purpose of L&D is twofold: to improve the performance of individual employees and your organization. 

Your C-suite will want to see the impact of L&D programs on individual productivity and on business outcomes and ROI.   

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of them report seeing that impact in their organizations. Why is that? 

It makes sense to build evaluation and measurement into any initiative to provide quantifiable indicators of success. But many organizations have gaps. They either don’t or can’t measure the impact on business performance and, if they do, they aren’t satisfied with the outcomes.  

Reasons they don’t measure or are unhappy: 

  1. No available relevant data or metrics because it wasn’t built into the LMS due to a lack of foresight. 
  2. Data is not in a digestible format because of a lack of visualizations. 
  3. Data is available but not reported to C-suite because of a lack of a data-driven mindset and culture.  

As employee expectations rise, leaders have to prioritize employee development for better business outcomes and retention. Now more than ever, you need to know exactly how your L&D programs impact the workforce and you need to assess the ROI as the investment in L&D increases. 

Here are 9 ways people analytics solves for and drives L&D by demonstrating impact and providing insights:  

1. Metrics

Analytics will help break down the learning program and identify which components (content, methods, or activities) directly add business value. Building metrics into the program before implementation will ensure the data needed to demonstrate its value is readily available.  

Tracking high-level, advanced metrics like knowledge retention rates and learner proficiency instead of low-hanging fruit like hours completed and employee satisfaction with the training will provide more value.  

2. Integrating data. 

Having to manually extract data from several different systems makes it difficult to assess impact. If you have unintegrated, siloed systems, and outdated legacy systems that don’t talk to one another, you may have a situation where there is duplication and overlap in the tracking of data points.  

Integration makes data more readily available, digestible, and accessible while creating a clearer picture of employees’ interaction with L&D programs and how they use what they learn. When considering a new LMS it would be wise to prioritize integration and analytics capability as crucial for transforming data into actionable results that move the needle with business outcomes.  

3. Dashboards

Sending annual or quarterly reports to senior executives is a thing of the past. Putting real-time visualizations in front of decision-makers changed the game enabling improved speed, accuracy, and the ability to assess L&D. Packaging data in the form of dashboards provides a new level of data accessibility and digestibility that is not only useful to managers and decision makers but can validate L&D efforts.  

4. Data amalgamation. 

You can’t rely solely on the learning data from the LMS to determine the efficacy of L&D programs. To tie your training programs back to organizational goals you need a holistic view for richer insights. 

Combining and comparing those learning metrics with other employee lifecycle data like performance, engagement, and retention rates will help to derive actionable insights quicker.    

5. Skill development.

People analytics has the potential to bridge the skills gap by using L&D data to enable skill development. How? By analyzing L&D data to determine the most effective training for developing a specific skill (particularly knowledge-based ones), and which areas of the organization certain skills should be developed. It will also help you to create a skills taxonomy for more strategic upskilling and reskilling.  

6. Employee performance. 

Another way you can prove L&D effectiveness is through data comparisons. Measuring differences in performance scores from people data before and after training, or between those who were trained versus those who weren’t can be a source of valuable insight and proof positive of L&D impact.   

7. Revenue

Merging business data with people data can unlock powerful insights. Here’s a pro tip: Connect business metrics such as sales figures to L&D data to measure performance and determine which L&D efforts are effective at growing sales. Another tip: connect L&D data to safety metrics to establish which training programs are most effective at reducing incidents and to investigate correlations between training frequency and knowledge retention.  

8. Turnover.

L&D has a critical role in reducing turnover by providing opportunities that enhance employee experience and boost retention. If there was any doubt as to where learning lies in employees’ list of job priorities, the 2019 Workforce Learning Report by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees were more likely to stay at a company that invested in their learning.  

Using people analytics to determine the relationship between turnover and different aspects of your L&D program (such as learning, rewards, career advancement opportunities) and engagement, will help to assess its effectiveness. For example, if a mentorship program in a specific area of the business is meeting its objectives.  

9. Promotions

Promoting internal mobility by hiring and promoting internally versus externally saves costs and indicates to employees a commitment to development and this contributes to engagement and retention. People analytics supports this by analyzing how activities like a leadership program facilitate internal recruitment by making it easier to fill managerial positions from within. Consider implementing an internal talent marketplace to reap these benefits. 

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About Pixentia

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results. 

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