For many organizations, having enough employees with the right certifications and credentials can mean the difference between keeping the lights on or shutting down parts of the business.
Maintaining compliance using timely learning and development programs is essential, but managing these programs and measuring their effectiveness is a difficult process.
First, there is significant time and effort needed to calculate who requires compliance training now and in the future. Doing this and also programming all the data into a learning management system is a full-time job. As a result, compliance training management is difficult to get ahead of and is often a reactive task for L&D professionals.
Second, in order to measure the success of compliance training, you need to look at data from the employee lifecycle, which Mark T. Lawrence, a strategic HR consultant and founding member of the CIPD’s HR Analytics Group, describes as the “concept of what happens to the individual during the span of the employer-employee contract.”
Once data from this lifecycle are extracted from their various source systems, you need to run calculations on top of it to get the needed insights. And if the information contained within these systems is inaccurate, then more work is needed to clean the data before you can pull the reports at all.
By the time you have even just some of the information you need to keep track of compliance, it may be too late to get the right employees re-certified.
3 Data-Driven Ways to Better Manage Compliance Training
Whether you hire a team of workforce analysts to uncover insights from your learning data or implement a learning analytics solution to do it, having easy access to this kind of data enables you to stay ahead of compliance risks and provide more value to employees going through these programs. Here are a few ways analytics helps you achieve this:
1. Forecast how many credentialed employees are needed
It is notoriously difficult to know with any degree of certainty how many certified people you’ll have by a given date. This is due to many fluctuating factors, including the number of people in certifications programs, the success rate of certifying them, and the rate at which you retain people who are certified. Having this information will also help you see whether you need to hire more credentialed people to keep up with capacity.
Look at your historical data to forecast how many certified employees your organization will have by a certain time frame, taking into account the number of people in programs, program success rates, and retention rates of certified employees. This gives you a definitive answer as to whether to ramp up certification programs – well in advance of when they would impact the business.
2. Schedule the right amount of compliance training
When scheduling mandatory employee trainings, striking the right balance is key. You don’t want to train more people than necessary or more often than necessary. This makes it possible to minimize costs while reducing disruptions to workforce productivity.
Use analytics to determine the ideal schedule by looking at how many employees stay in and fall out of compliance over time, as well as what proportion of employee training is taken up by compliance training versus skills training. This reveals the right cadence of mandatory training each employee needs to take so they can remain productive and you can meet your operational requirements.
Some learning analytics solutions even enable you to easily share this data with managers so they can check for themselves who is about to fall out of compliance, and also create a personalized schedule for each person on their team to keep up capacity.
3. Increase training success rates and retention
While it’s important to meet the appropriate training volume, simply training more people may not be the most effective use of resources to increase the population of certified employees. Instead, focus your attention on the employees who are most likely to succeed at certification and improve your success rates rather than tying up more employees in non-productive training hours.
To achieve this, you need to find out which employee population groups are the best ones to target for certification training. Look for insights on the employee attributes that lead to higher certification success rates as well as whether these employees stayed with the organization. High post-certification employee retention rates are a clear sign that the investment in compliance training was sound.
Boost the impact of compliance training
As the last point above demonstrates, compliance training is about more than keeping up with capacity. It’s about making your employees successful. Travis Waugh, a training generalist for The Georgia Institute of Technology, expressed the common frustration that compliance learning initiatives are boring and lack real impact. He argues:
“Such compromises are understandable. In real life, with limited resources and seemingly infinite demand, learning departments have to choose priorities. We must accept that not every course will be a masterpiece. But sometimes, priorities must shift. And now might be the time to shift a little more love toward compliance.”
Learning analytics is enabling this shift today. Analytics not only helps you uncover which employees have the better success rates, but also which areas you can improve on so the outcomes of compliance training are more positive for both employees and the business.