Training results are arguably the most important part of the entire training process. The work, research, content creation, and engagement strategies you incorporate are all a means to an end. You train for the following outcomes (Unboxed):
- Employee learning
- Employees’ application of learned concepts
- Reaching a business goal(s)
- Strong return on investment
- Higher productivity
- To build a strong team
- To ensure higher employee engagement
- To ensure higher employee retention
Why You Should Know
The most obvious reason to know whether your training has catalyzed the desired outcomes is that training is a significant investment. Training Magazine’s 2021 Training Industry Report stated that U.S. companies spent an average of $1,071 per employee last year on training. That doesn’t include the soft costs of having team member away from their job.
It is important to evaluate training efforts and results to ensure the value exceeds the cost. Whether a company’s goal is higher productivity, more satisfied and engaged employees, building future leaders or ensuring the skills gap does not affect their business, being able to evaluate and measure outcomes is key.
What You Should Measure
There are generally two common training metrics. These include (Simplilearn):
- Participant satisfaction
- Learning outcomes
Attendee evaluation is a simple method to determine the satisfaction level of those being trained. This practice can be valuable as long as you keep a few factors in mind:
- Conduct blind surveys. Respondents are more likely to be honest about their reactions if they aren’t afraid of suffering repercussions for their candor.
- Promote engagement. Employees are also more likely to take these surveys seriously if you really engage their interest during the training. You can also incorporate engaging elements (gamification, etc.) into the surveys themselves to get authentic participation.
- Break it up. You don’t have to give one long survey after the end of the whole training. Consider doing micro surveys after each section while respondents’ memories are fresh and their energy is high.
Learning outcomes are usually measured with assessments. The most effective assessment schedule is to administer them pre-, mid-, and post-training (Unboxed). This gives a benchmark of where people were before the training, how they’re coming along during the process, and where they stand afterward. Assessments are the very best way to gauge the scope and level of learning and see how much your employees have gained in knowledge and abilities from beginning to end.
L&D directors are responsible to ensure that training works. With access to analytics and real-time assessment programs that give results on the spot, they can evaluate training programs and make informed decisions that will continue to add value.