November 2 2013

Totara 2.5 Unites Training & Performance Management

Written by Jim Yupangco

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Totara has always provided strong training and learner management for business. Now, it completes the circle by providing performance management capabilities as well. Version 2.5 makes Totara a complete solution for companies looking for the cost and flexibility advantages of open source systems with some of the same HR capabilities as many of the big-name proprietary systems.

For the last few years, here at Lambda, we’ve been integrating learner progress information into HR packages so that management and individuals alike can view a complete performance record including training, certifications, and other educational information. Now, instead of integrating with a third-party tool, companies have the option to use Totara as a performance management platform completely integrated with training and learning management. Unlike other proprietary systems that require the purchase of "modules" for either training or performance management to build a complete system for skills development, Totara offers a complete solution.

Link training with personal and corporate goals in Totara 2.5

The great thing about this new development is that managers and HR professionals can create training programs tied directly to corporate and individual performance improvement goals. Managers and employees can set personal goals inside the performance management module. Based on those and the overall corporate goals, training professionals can easily see the gaps. For example, if everyone in the organization sets the goal to ‘improve networking’ skills to support an ‘increase sales opportunities’ corporate objective, then it becomes obvious where training should focus.

On the flip side, both managers and individuals can view performance records to see where they may need to improve – integrated with the training options open to them. A simple click and an employee can register for a program or individual course directly from their performance appraisal. When an employee ‘graduates’ from a course, their performance record automatically updates, and they can move on to the next suggested course, webinar, in-service or other training.

Spend where it counts

Today, more organizations are starting to focus on engagement, retention and driving better performance from their existing workforce. By integrating the information from training with employee performance, managers can create the reports they need to understand the impact of training -- on an individual’s performance and corporate wide. Employees and managers can build development plans in the same system and conduct performance appraisals. Executives can view reports aligning goals with learning outcomes and actual metrics tied to business goals. Integration helps organizations make better decisions about learning and development investments by basing spending decisions on the evidence of what works and what is missing.

Totara 2.5 is a landmark release. Companies taking advantage of it will be better able to identify people with leadership potential, pinpoint high or low performers across groups, teams or the entire organization; alter training strategies, groom groups or individuals for specific roles and adjust corporate hiring strategies.

Sign up today for a Totara 2.5 demo and tour of the new performance management module.

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