4 Ways to Measure and Increase the ROI of Employee Development with Skills Data

    In today's competitive landscape, investing in continuous L&D is crucial. This factsheet outlines essential metrics to track the success of your programs and provides practical tips to boost them.

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    Manager evaluating employee training data for improvement

    Some 87% of organizations are grappling with skill gaps now or expect to soon. Those with strong learning cultures are building their workforce capabilities and also have higher employee engagement and retention rates 30-50% higher than peers. Employers that don’t prioritize learning, however, are vulnerable to lower retention and higher churn rates, as well as growing skills gaps.

    To stay competitive, organizations must invest in continuous learning and development (L&D) initiatives that empower their workforce. But simply launching training programs is not enough. It’s essential to track progress to ensure training is delivering tangible results and contributing to the organization’s strategic goals.

    Measuring the success of your training programs should lead to analysis that proves the return on investment (ROI), justifies program budgets and enables data-driven improvements. Here are four key measurements to track and some tips on how to improve them.

    Metric 1

    Attendance Rates

    Attendance rates indicate interest and employee engagement. They’re calculated as the percentage of eligible employees who attend training sessions.

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    To increase attendance rates:

    • Showcase the value: Don’t just mandate training – show employees why they should be excited. Communicate how the program will improve their skills, careers and day-to-day performance.
    • Offer flexibility: Different employees have different schedules and learning preferences. Offer employee development modules at various times, in-person and online, to fit a range of needs.
    • Incentivize the experience: Make attendance rewarding with rewards and recognition, like those from a digital badging platform. These visual badges are credentials employees can easily share on their professional profiles, reinforcing the value of their participation.

    metric 2

    Completion Rates

    Completion rates measure the percentage of employees who successfully finish the training. This is another important indicator of employee engagement and program success.

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    To increase completion rates:

    • Divide and conquer: Break down training into easily digestible modules or sessions. This makes it easier for employees to fit learning into their schedules and prevents them from feeling overwhelmed. McKinsey research shows that an employee development approach that includes different types of learning formats, such as self-paced digital modules complemented by in-person training, works best.
    • Celebrate milestones: Reward employees’ progress with digital badges upon completion of each module or entire programs. This encourages ongoing progress and provides employees with official recognition they can share on social media and internal communication channels to motivate themselves and others.



    Motivating Employees with Digital Badge

    Johnson Controls, a pioneer in smart building solutions, transformed its learning programs with digital credentials. By turning training completions into a source of pride and accomplishment through digital badges, the company saw a remarkable 95% acceptance rate for the badges. Employees eagerly shared their achievements, with 62% showcasing their badges on social media, amplifying the program's impact.

    “It was amazing to see how many people reacted so positively to our badges … People started coming out of the woodwork to see how they could earn a badge, and that just made interest in our credentialing program skyrocket.”– Samuel Girard, Vice President of Customer Success, Johnson Controls

    metric 3

    Time to Competency

    Time to competency measures how quickly employees become proficient in new skills, reflecting program efficiency. Faced with competing priorities, the average employee only has 24 minutes a week to learn. Decreasing time to competency maximizes training investments.

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    To reduce time to competency:

    • Provide targeted training: Ensure training content is laser-focused on specific employee skills. By emphasizing the most critical areas, you can streamline the learning process and accelerate skill acquisition.
    • Embrace localization: Localized content enhances comprehension, reduces the time needed to assimilate information and improves knowledge retention.

    metric 4

    Performance Improvement

    Performance improvement tracks changes in employees’ on-the-job performance after skills training, measuring the effectiveness of the program and providing data to prove ROI.

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    To measure and enhance performance improvement:

    • Set clear goals: Set clear, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) performance goals for employees. Training objectives should align with these goals and provide benchmarks for improvement.
    • Prioritize feedback: Foster a culture of open communication by providing regular feedback and coaching to employees. Let learners know when they are doing well and offer constructive guidance on areas for improvement.
    • Use performance motivators: Leverage digital badges to acknowledge employees who demonstrate performance improvements. For example, badges can be awarded for meeting or exceeding performance goals.

    Measuring Success: Beyond the Basics

    Organizations using digital credentialing platforms like Credly can enhance their data and tracking with badge-specific employee skills data. Credly’s analytics lets you see trends in real-time by tracking metrics like:

    • Total Badges Issued: Measures program progress with statistics on number of badges issued.
    • Acceptance Rate: Tracks when earners accept the digital credentials they earn.
    • Badge Shares: Quantifies the marketing reach of your program.
    • Clicks to Your Website: Measures what traffic your badges are driving to support your employer brand.
    • Benchmarking Data: Gauges your program performance against regularly updated industry benchmarks.

    With detailed reports at the program or badge template level, analyzing this data provides insights into employees’ engagement with training. When it’s integrated with other metrics, the data provides a comprehensive way to measure L&D effectiveness and impact.

    In addition, linking these metrics with broader business impact metrics – such as revenue growth, cost savings or customer retention – correlates training investments with bottom-line results. This evaluation demonstrates the ROI of these initiatives and underscores their contribution to your organization’s overall success.

    Transforming Learning with Data

    A learning program’s success depends on collecting the right data to evaluate effectiveness and inform areas of improvement. By offering digital credentials with platforms like Credly and tracking the metrics that matter, you can paint a clear picture of your program’s performance and ensure continued results.

    To learn more, complete the form below to download our whitepaper. 

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