Your Most Critical Key Performance Indicators

When reviewing the performance of your lifelong learning program, there are four key performance indicators (KPIs) you should be using.

  1. Staff Productivity. Total revenue divided by the total FTE staff will give you your Staff Productivity number. The industry benchmark is $125,000 with the best lifelong learning programs performing between $150,000 and $250,000. If you are not reaching the benchmark, the reasons most likely are staffing structure, software and/or planning.
  2. Repeat Rate. Students or clients in one period of time repeating in a second period of time as a percentage of the first period of time will give you your student (open enrollment) or client (contract sales) Repeat Rate. The industry benchmark for open enrollment is 30-50% and for contract sales 50%+. If you are not reaching the benchmark(s) then you most likely are not doing a good job listening to your students and clients and not putting enough resources into selling to repeat students and clients.
  3. Operating Margin. Income minus direct costs (promotion and production costs) will give you your operating margin. The overall industry benchmark is 40% with the best lifelong learning programs pushing for 50%. It should be noted that operating margins of categories and subcategories will differ. If you are not reaching the benchmark then your pricing needs to be reviewed, as well as your promotion and production costs.
  4. Net. Income minus direct costs minus administration costs will give you your net. The industry benchmark is 5% with the best lifelong learning programs pushing for 10%+. If you are not reaching the benchmark you should review your administration percentage and your pricing.

To get help with your KPIs, as well as additional strategies to improve the performance of your lifelong learning program you should contact the Learning Resources Network (LERN), the leading association in lifelong learning, at www.lern.org