Help Your Team Make the Most of Training and Development Time

To reasonably ensure that your learners get the most from their training and development time, it is essential that you are able to see and track their progress as simply as possible.  That may involve a quick scan every morning to see whether any learners have overdue activities on their training plans, or it may involve a thematic approach, where you look closer at a single topic or group of related topics to see who’s performing well – and more importantly, who might require additional support.

It's worth bearing mind that there can be a whole host of reasons why training has not been completed at/by the allotted time – ranging from legitimate problems accessing training content to someone trying their luck and putting off their training as long as possible.  An item flagged as being overdue does not necessarily mean that it has not been attempted, so it’s always worth taking a moment to look more closely and see whether the status reflects a need for additional support rather than a need for reprimand.  That’s why we include additional information in many reports to show when activities were last attempted, or if you are viewing a T&C plan, we give you the option to see a complete history of all attempts at an activity.

Different types of managers will approach monitoring their teams in different ways, and there is no definitive answer about how best to do this.  Instead, it’s a case of finding the right tools for the right questions at the right time.  Development Zone users will find that we’ve carefully selected a range of standard reports that aim to give you the key information that you need to be able to decide when and where intervention might be required.

Our suite of “progress monitor” tools provide a powerful overview of the learning plans of all of the individuals that you supervise.  Most supervisors will be able to use the range of on-screen filters to help identify individual activities or categories of activity that they are interested in with just a few clicks – sometimes though, there’s just too much data to be able to handle sensibly via your browser, and the platform will encourage you to download the data for manipulation elsewhere.  There’s nothing more frustrating than a system that becomes sluggish when you start asking probing questions about the data, that’s why we review the volume of data you’re asking for and signpost the most appropriate tools for analysing it, whether that is the online filters or an offline spreadsheet.

We also recognise that there can be truth in the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, which is why many of our progress reports – including your own T&C plan – are supplemented by graphics to give an indication of overall progress.  Our Firm Overview reports have used a combination of charts and statistics to provide a general summary of your firm’s recent activity, and we’re now pleased to be able to launch the first phase of our new custom dashboards that will allow supervisors and firm admins to create custom reporting dashboards to develop this concept further and show a much wider range of progress information in a way that suits them. 

With a range of over a dozen different types of charts that can be incorporated in a flexible dashboard layout, the custom dashboards allow you to take a fresh look at progress across your team, business unit or entire organisation.  In fact, the dashboards are so flexible that there isn’t enough space here to do them justice – to find out more about the dashboards, why not download the new guide to custom dashboards from the DevZone Help Centre (just click the Support option at the top of the screen and look in the Downloadable Guides) or find out more about the reporting features available on the platform by completing modules from our DevZone Academy.

Whichever ways you choose to help monitor the performance of your team, don’t forget the individual learners that are part of it and remember that red is not necessarily a sign of failure, but can also be a call for support.

About the author

After gaining a degree in Computer Science, Tim spent nine years teaching in a number of secondary schools (11-19 year olds) in Wales.  For the majority of his time teaching, Tim led a highly successful team of teachers delivering vocational ICT qualifications and reached the level of Associate Assistant Headteacher before leaving teaching.  He has also been a senior examiner and moderator for one of the UK's largest awarding bodies.  Since 2013 he has been the senior developer for the Development Zone.

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