5 L&D KPIs you should be tracking for success

Identifying key performance indicators for your learning and development programme are not just crucial to ensuring your strategy can be measured but they also help you monitor L&D impact on the business. In a 2020 learning & skills report from CIPD, just 16% of L&D personnel monitored how learning transferred to employees' day-to-day work. And just 14% measured the impact on business strategy. However, according to the 2021 learning & skills at work report, things have vastly improved with over 80% of respondents reporting that their learning strategy aligns with business objectives, whilst also being clear on the way the learning they implement adds value to their organisation.

With all that in mind, a well-thought-out KPI should be aligned with business goals and give a strong sense of where your strategy is working, and where it might need further improvement. The KPIs should also help you achieve broader insights into your employee’s working life - indicating team capacity for developing their skills further.

In practice, learning and development KPIs track progress on specific measures. Let’s look into each metric in more detail, so you can identify and prioritise your KPIs in advance, while also defining future performance goals as you move forward.

1. Training Effectiveness

Undoubtedly the most important KPI for L&D initiatives is the effectiveness of your L&D strategy. For many L&D managers, this is tracked through learner or manager reflection and feedback on the impact of their corporate course on their job or personal development.

When learning and development initiatives are implemented based on identified needs and skills gaps from individuals & teams, training effectiveness is most likely to be flagged positively.

Other measures of training effectiveness include the retention of newly acquired knowledge and skills. Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve demonstrates how quickly we forget new information if not revisited or used frequently enough. Training which is structured with bite-sized learning, repetition or gamification helps to resist the forgetting curve and can assist in making a claim for the effectiveness of your corporate training programmes. The study plans of our language learning courses at Busuu are founded on this methodology.


2. Completion Rate

Another straightforward way to measure responses to your learning plan is completion rate, meaning which modules are being finished, and which are being abandoned. If a high number of staff are getting low completion rates, this could indicate an issue with the course.

Conversely, just because you have a high completion rate for each course, doesn’t mean that your staff is being trained effectively. Grades, staff feedback, and completion rates must be assessed holistically to give a full picture of how your employees are progressing.

To preempt this, when running your L&D programme, make sure to talk to your staff throughout. This can be done by regular check-ins. Either way, it’s essential to stay on track by gathering employee feedback as you monitor completions.

3. Impact of Training 

A standardised way to track your results against your L&D KPIs is through easy-to-verify certification. Although many e-learning tools provide certification, there are just as many that don’t; and even when an e-learning platform does use certification, these are often no more than in-house generated PDFs, providing little peace of mind to those seeking reputable accreditation. 

So, to ensure your L&D programme is being meaningfully assessed, seek out a course that is accredited by internationally recognised bodies, and non-partial third parties. This will give you the assurance that performance is properly measured, in line with recognised guidelines, whilst also providing a document to show for it. As an example, our language learning courses at Busuu provide learners with official certification following course completion. 

But there’s a double benefit to seeking out proper certification: after completing their course, your teams can download their certificate and add it to your company’s LinkedIn profile - raising your organisation's profile in the process. 

4. Employee Retention 

Another KPI, which admittedly is not the easiest to measure, is employee retention. Although employees may leave a company for many reasons, a lack of L&D opportunities is one of the most commonly cited factors. This is backed up by independent research. A recent study developed by HR consultancy Robert Half  found a direct link between staff turnover and a lack of employee retention initiatives, with less than half (47%) of the 500 businesses surveyed undertaking any training and development.

Even so, there may be a natural resistance to spearheading an L&D strategy. You might assume it will cost too much and be difficult to justify. But in the long run, you’re much more likely to save money. Studies show that rehiring nearly always costs more than retraining. 

There’s also employee branding to consider.  According to the 2017 Elderman trust barometer, “41% of people rank employees higher as their preferred source of reviews for the business, more than the PR department, CXOs or founders.” This means that it pays to reward staff with a dynamic, challenging environment that fosters growth and learning. A happy employee is much more likely to give your company a positive review, thus boosting your reputation to clients and partners alike.

To help foster retention and a happy workplace, you may want to consider language training. Learning a new language not only has obvious benefits for cross-cultural communication, but it has also been shown to improve cognitive efficiency across the board. 

5. Return on Investment (ROI) & Scalability 

Another metric to consider for success is scalability. It’s beneficial to invest in a package that gives consistent, replicable, results across a growing workforce. Otherwise, your L&D programme may struggle to provide measurable results in the long run. 

With Busuu, you have the ability to provide the same high-quality language learning experience to large cohorts of staff or learners. Plus with certain access levels, you can reallocate licenses between users up to 3 times. This allows you to meet any organisational changes without resource blockers.

The speed at which you can complete training is another crucial factor for ROI. Shortening the learning curve means quicker time to proficiency which in turn means your staff will be able to implement their new skills with downtime kept to a minimum. The University of Maryland has found that Busuu is 4x faster than traditional language learning. This makes our e-learning platform the obvious choice for those seeking language learning platforms with a fast ROI, that doesn’t sacrifice results.

Contact us to see how we can help your L&D results shine against your KPIs, through language learning.


Contact us here