Originally posted August 16, 2013 by Chris Kilbourne on http://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com
Metrics help training departments show their value to the organization, wrote Susan Prince, JD, a legal editor with BLR®, publisher of Training Forum. In today’s Advisor, Prince gives advice on establishing effective metrics for your safety training program.
For metrics to be effective, however, they need to be the right metrics, and they need to be aligned with business objectives.
“Training is an area that can be difficult to quantify,” Prince says. “However, it may be helpful to look at metrics that target the type of training and what it was intended to accomplish. For instance:
- Cost of sales training as a percent of total sales;
- Increase in hours of sales training compared with increases in sales;
- Changes in performance levels of employees who received training;
- Percentage of employees who cite lack of training or advancement as a reason for leaving;
- Identification of key employees and percent who have received training; and
- Percent of performance appraisals that include training goals for employees.”
Safety-specific metrics could include:
- Decrease in near-misses with a piece of equipment or in a particular operation as a result of training on that equipment or on that operation;
- Decrease in accidents with a piece of equipment or in a particular operation as a result of training on that equipment or on that operation;
- Decrease in number of reportable injuries among those who received training;and
- Decrease in days away from work because of injuries among those who received training.
Prince also offers some practical tips for using metrics:
- Make sure metrics give the whole picture, including quantity, quality, time, cost, and effectiveness.
- Focus on key areas where change is necessary.
- Develop a benchmark to use for evaluating progress toward goals.
- Set goals and establish metrics for measuring progress.
- Compare the company’s metrics with similar measures from key competitors, if possible.
- Use the language of business leaders, including ratios and measurements they know.
- Hard metrics (real data) are always better than soft metrics.
- Metrics should be directly related to important business issues.
- Metrics should be easy to understand, and data should be readily available.
- Don’t keep the metrics a secret. In order to drive change, employees have to know what is being measured and rewarded.
- Don’t forget that the quality of results is as important as quantity or cost.
- Calculate Return on Investment (ROI) whenever possible to make the business case.
- Use metrics to identify trends and head off problems on the horizon.
Why It Matters
- You know that effective safety training is necessary and profitable.
- However, you may encounter resistance from both management and employees about the time and effort given to training sessions.
- Use effective, specific metrics to prove your point to both management and employees that safety training benefits everyone involved.