Measuring the Effect of Training
How effective are your training programs? Do they result in greater productivity, fewer accidents, less expense, lower turnover, increased employee satisfaction or greater customer retention? Do they change people’s attitudes? Do they lower your risk of lawsuits?
Answers to questions like these are necessary to determine training effectiveness and if your efforts are producing results … results that can affect your bottom line.
Conducting an ongoing evaluation of your training programs is absolutely necessary. It can help you keep your training programs cost-effective and relevant by revealing when programs should be revised or replaced. You must analyze your training results in several different areas, such as:
- Training Participant Evaluation
Getting participant feedback is a vital part of training evaluation. You can do this through surveys, either via paper or computer. Areas to evaluate could include: content, delivery and logistics. Keep in mind that surveys are subjective, but they should help you get an overall feel for how the training is received.
- Skills/Principles Learned
Actual learning as a result of training is another important area to measure. If the training teaches certain skills, participants should be tested prior to and after the training so you can see what skills they gained. If the training covers knowledge and theory, testing participants at the end is a simple way to measure learning results.
- Identify Results
It’s important to be able to assess how the training impacts the bottom line. Identify specific results that are desired from the training and follow up to see if they occur. It’s also important to assess the behavior of training participants once they return to the job. Did the training impact their behavior?
- Calculate ROI
The final step is to calculate training effectiveness using return on investment (ROI) as it relates to the training. Once you identify the results and calculate the costs of the training, decide if the return is worth it. Be sure to factor in ALL costs related to the training: wages of developers and presenters, outside trainer fees, material costs such as paper and pens, downtime during training, facility and equipment charges, administrative costs, travel costs, etc.) The list can be extensive, but needs to be complete for the results to be useful.
Calculating the benefits of your training programs can be a bit time-consuming, but it’s essential if you want to know whether your training efforts are helping you meet your goals.
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