When a new employee is hired, implementing the onboarding training should be one of the very first steps for any organization out there. This training should be then continued throughout their employment, which means that providing existing employees with development opportunities is as much important as providing it to the new hires.
It’s essential that the corporate training offered is retained by the employees, but how can companies evaluate how effective this training really is? Evaluating training effectiveness is necessary to get a clear picture of what material employees understand well and which areas require improvement. According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work.
You may be thinking now, ‘Why is evaluation of training effectiveness necessary?’
Check our guide below and see what are the benefits of training evaluation and how can your organisation measure training effectiveness.
4 Benefits of Evaluating Training Effectiveness
Identify Areas for Improvement
While assessing a training program, you can determine whether the program is producing the outcomes you want to see. Regularly evaluating your training programs can help to identify the areas where the training might be falling short or not engaging learners. By addressing these issues, employees will get more out of corporate training and improve their performance.
Keep Learners and Trainers Accountable
Regular evaluations hold everyone accountable to the standard your company has set for training. Through using an assessment builder, you can track employee training and gain insights into employees’ engagement with various training programs, administer surveys, and also understand the return of investment of training.
Improve Employee Retention Rate
Individualized, quality development makes employees feel more rationally and emotionally committed to their jobs. Additionally, training helps employees feel more confident in their work by levelling up their skill sets. In most cases, employees are more inclined to stay with companies that invest in their learning and development. Improving retention rates means saving your company from high onboarding costs. Work Institute’s 2018 Retention Report stated that one in four workers leave their jobs. Nearly one-third of that turnover was due to unsupportive management and a lack of development opportunities.
Better Training = Higher ROI
Investing in employee training can increase profit margins, help your organization predict future growth, and even improve stock-market performance. Use regular evaluations to measure training effectiveness, refine your training methods, provide a better experience to learners, and increase return of investment as a result. According to Harvard Business Review, although organizations spend more than $350 billion globally on training, they are not spending their money effectively. 70% of employees report that they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs;
The Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model
During the 1950s, the University of Wisconsin Professor Donald Kirkpatrick developed the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model for evaluating training. This 4-level approach is one of the most successful models that will help you to measure in measuring the effectiveness of customized corporate training programs. Here are the four levels of measurement and the key indicators to look for at each level.
Level 1 – Reaction
The first level will measure how the employees have reacted to the training program and determine the relevance of the training. By using surveys, questionnaires, or by simply talking to the employees before and after the course can help in collecting their feedback on the training experience.
Topics to cover during your discussion:
- Was the course content relevant and easy to understand?
- Enquire about the learnings and key takeaways about the training.
- Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the program.
- Understand if the training was able to accommodate the learner’s pace and learning style.
At the end of Level 1, you should have a good understanding of how well the training was received and establish any gaps in the training content.
Level 2 – Learning
This level will measure the knowledge and skills gained by the employees at the end of the training. A combination of metrics can be used to measure this level such as:,
- Test scores during and after the training.
- Evaluation of the applied learning projects.
- Influence on performance of the key performance indicators.
- A certificate on the completion of the course.
- A report by the supervisor and the feedback.
At this stage of evaluation, you will be able to decide if the training is meeting its set objectives, the specific skills that can be developed with this training and the scope for improvement in the content and method of delivery.
Level 3 – Behavior
At this stage of evaluation, you can understand how the training has impacted the learner’s performance and attitude towards work. This can be measured by a combination of the following methods:
- Self-assessment questionnaires
- Informal feedback from peers and managers
- Focus groups
- On-the-job observation
- Actual job performance key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Customer surveys, comments, or complaints
Topics to cover in your assessment include:
- How has learning been implemented at work?
- Are the learners confident to share their new skills and knowledge with their peers?
Level 4 – Results
The last stage measures the tangible results of the training such as reduced cost, improved quality, faster project completion, increased productivity, employee retention, better marketing leads, increased sales, and higher morale at work. Key metrics to measure the above mentioned are:
- Improved business results
- Increased productivity and quality of work
- Employee retention
- Higher morale
- Customer satisfaction index
Training is all about improving individual and group performances and in turn affecting the overall performance of your business. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the training and ensure that the original learning goals were achieved. According to LinkedIn, 94 percent of employees would stay with a company longer if there was an investment in learning.
Factors like job satisfaction, the enjoyment of learning, and helping employees understand that they are valued assets worthy of development may seem intangible—but these factors can be very powerful.
If you are following the Kirkpatrick model and simply want to evaluate the training according to stakeholders’ expectations, you or the business managers can gather financial data and draw links between the benefits of the training and the evidence.