Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aren’t just for business plans. A well-written KPI clearly relays what success looks like to every member of any organization in a way that is meaningful. KPIs can tell an even more detailed story when they are used in an eLearning context. They can help everyone understand how the organization’s goals are supported, how the eLearning team is performing, and what employees are learning. Knowing how to write a KPI –for a leader and a learner– can be the key to getting your eLearning projects up and running.
eLearning KPIs at the Company Level
When an organization integrates eLearning KPIs, they trade two things for the promise of employee development: employee time and company money. Aligning eLearning KPIs with the organization’s goals and specifically addressing how employee time and the financial investment are well-spent can allow leadership to understand the value of eLearning in familiar terms.
eLearning KPIs at the Participant Level
Learners care about the time they’re giving up. Finding time for continuing education can be challenging, so it’s important that the employee understands what they’re getting in exchange for their time spent in front of a computer. Clear KPIs highlight the value of the course and help the learner stay positive and motivated.
How Do You Write a KPI for Everyone?
If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of creating not only one but two sets of KPIs, don’t give up. Take a look at this easy-to-follow list designed to help you construct meaningful KPIs that will resonate with your intended audience. The core KPI is the same but how you frame it will differ depending on your audience. Here are three strategies that can help you create a tailored KPI that speaks to your audience:
- Identify what’s important to them, even if it isn’t what’s most important to you. Whether it’s connecting the course to company goals, employee interests, or something in-between, don’t expect your audience to make the connection on their own. Do it for them!
- Adopt their language. A common mistake made by experts in many fields is to use technical terminology in an attempt to seem knowledgeable and trustworthy. Oftentimes, this approach can backfire because your audience simply cannot follow what you’re saying. Instead of leaving your audience feeling confused, try to connect with them by using language that’s meaningful to them.
- Integrate standards outside of the organization. Whether you’re talking to leaders or learners, what others in the industry are doing or not doing is relevant. Both groups have a vested interest in staying ahead of the curve and will respond positively to KPIs that will help them do that.
Let’s look at an example that demonstrates how easy it is to connect with leaders and learners through the same KPIs:
Core KPI: Increase product knowledge by 50%
Leader KPI: Decrease customer response time on the phone and on social media by increasing employee product knowledge by 50%. Less time searching for information leads to happier customers and less time per engagement.
Learner KPI: Work smarter by increasing your product knowledge by 50% and by decreasing the time you need to search for customer answers.
The same KPI can become more meaningful to your audience with careful consideration of what is important to them. The adjustments are minor, so a small amount of work can have a big payoff!
Dr. Amy Jauman, Ed.D., SMS, is an author, international speaker, and the Chief Learning Officer for the National Institute for Social Media. She focuses on using social media, experiential learning techniques, and online resources to make information meaningful to adult learners in traditional and remote business and educational environments. In 2017, she authored the NISM textbook Comprehensive Field Guide for Social Media Strategists: Master the Six Content Domains of the SMS Exam. In 2018 her second book, Certification Success: Create Your Personalized Study Plan, will be available through Kendall Hunt Publishing Company. Amy is a certified social media strategist with a master’s degree in experiential education and a doctorate in organization development.