Employee training relies on data in multiple ways. More than anything else, data plays a key role in creating an evolving set of training materials and is essential to crafting relatable, valuable programs. That’s why understanding what data is and does up front is key to success, says Zach Gemignani, co-founder and CEO of Juice Analytics, a Nashville-based company he and his brother co-founded in 2005 to take Big Data out of the warehouse and make it an effective business tool.
A key starting point, Gemignani says, is finding gaps in knowledge.
“Look across your workforce and understand there are there particular areas where certain subsets of staff are struggling in their knowledge,” he says. “The goal is to make sure they’re going to be able to catch up and perform well with the right kind of training. We often work with an organization that wants to make sure everybody has taken a certain curriculum and has worked their way through some coursework and needs to be done by a particular time.”
The process to realign training and training outcomes requires a series of goals that are both tactical and analytical:
- Give administrators clear visibility into who has completed what who has not yet done their work.
- From there, look for how to most efficiently deliver training:
- What courses
- What times
- What frequencies
And all the while, recognize the lost productivity and expense of training time and balance that with anticipated outcomes. Training is an investment, and its costs need to be factored into outcomes for a clear picture of the overall program’s goals.
Creating Smarter, More Informed Training
So, what does smarter and more informed training look like? For one, it means improving employee engagement, which can reap benefits in everything from safety and security to retention and job satisfaction.
“We want to make sure that we help clients tackle those problems in the smartest possible way and that’s where our outcomes applications come in,” Gemignani says. “We’ll build a solution that is an interface for managers, executives, and other administrators to be able to look at the data and understand how they are delivering training. One of the really common things that we will offer is an ability for people to understand what areas people are performing well in on their training, along with where they are struggling and what types of educational tools will help those who are lagging behind be more successful.”
One such platform is HealthStream’s KnowledgeQ, an analytical application focused on the annual mandatory training that occurs in health systems across the country. The goal was to deliver information and intelligence linked to that training that would ensure that participants had better outcomes and felt like they could deliver that training more efficiently.
“There are a few different core features in the KnowledgeQ application that are about achieving that goal,” Gemignani explains. “The first one is to really provide a visibility for administrators at hospitals to understand who has taken the classes and identify those people who have not complied yet. You want to be able to identify those places where people are not doing the work they need to do and make sure, in a very targeted way, to get that done.”
Goal-setting, he adds, is a key component of this or any other training application, and works best alongside a well thought out delivery structure.
“In KnowledgeQ is you can set goals for your workforce and then see how you’re progressing towards those goals,” he explains. “That kind of touches on how are you doing in terms of what people have absorbed in the training and also [lets you] drill deeply into that information and understand groups of people who are struggling. The third element is this concept of delivery: giving people tools to most efficiently deliver the training they know they have to deliver. That can involve what exact courses, at what frequency, you’re delivering to the team. Sometimes there are groups of people in your organization who have a ton of experience and every year aced the test. Do you really feel like it’s important to give them every piece of coursework, or is it possible that you could just have very targeted piece of coursework for those types of people? Making efficient decisions while also maintaining your organization’s overall knowledge level is what KnowledgeQ does.
This blog post is taken from a HealthStream Second Opinions Podcast that was recorded recently. To hear Zach Gemignani’s full discussion, click here.
About Zach Gemignani
Zach Gemignani is co-founder and CEO of Juice Analytics, a Nashville-based company and HealthStream partner helping transform how people communicate with data. Its products include Juicebox, a SaaS platform for delivering interactive data-storytelling applications to inform smarter decisions. He also is author of the Wiley book Data Fluency: Empowering Your Organization with Effective Data Communication, has served on the leadership committee for the Nashville Analytic Summit for several years, and has been named a Most Admired CEO by the Nashville Business Journal.