The final step of the training and development process is evaluations of results and effectiveness of training. The evaluation program helps in the assessment of various methods and techniques used in training.
Evaluation is the lifeblood of training, measuring the effectiveness of employee training, the application of new skills, the improvement in performance, and then using those measurements to further improve training programs.
The form of evaluation that we undertake is determined by the criteria that we choose, or are told to use, to measure success.
How to Measure Success or Effectiveness of Training
Following are the ways to measure the effectiveness of employee training:
One way of measuring the effectiveness of training is the good old bums on seats.
Although by no means a true measure of the effectiveness of training student numbers do reflect the fact that the training is addressing a need and that the design and methodology are meeting expectations.
2. Direct Cost
Direct costs are those costs incurred directly as a result of a training program – external design and development, consultancy fees, travel expenses, and so on.
If the program did not take place, these costs would not be incurred.
Many organizations only ever take direct costs into consideration when measuring training costs.
3. Indirect Costs
Indirect costs are a cost that may or may not be directly associated with a training event, but which would have been incurred anyway, whether or not the training took place.
Examples are equipment. Any analysis of the true costs of training will include both direct and indirect costs.
Efficiency is a measure of the amount of learning achieved relative to the number of effort put in.
In practical terms, this means the amount of time it takes to complete a piece of training.
Efficiency has a direct relation to cost – the more efficiency a training method is, the less it will cost.
5. Performance to Schedule
Sometimes with a training program, time is of the essence – the training needs to be completed by a given date if particular business objectives are to be achieved.
In these situations, the extent to which a training program performs to schedule is a critical measure of effectiveness.
6. Income Received
If you are a training provider operating externally to a client organization, then income received is a vital measure of your effectiveness.
Its the financial equivalent of bums on seats – the more courses you run or places you fill, the greater the benefits.
Some internal training providers may also cross charge their clients, although, because this correspondingly increases the cost to the organization, this is not regarded as a benefit when assessing return on investment.
Related: Key Principles of Employee Training.
7. The Extent to Which Trainees Mix
A justification often made for training, particularly group events, is that it provides an opportunity for students who work in different departments or regions to meet with each other, share experiences, and make contacts.
Because this a valued outcome of training, it needs to be considered when comparing training methods.
Similarly, some training may be regarded as a perk, a benefit of some value, even if this is not directly related to learning.
Reactions are what you measure with the happy sheet.
Reactions are important because, if students react negatively to your courses, they are less likely to transfer what they learned to their work and more likely to give bad reports to their peers, leading in turn to lower student numbers.
Learning, in terms of new or improved skills, knowledge, and attitudes is the primary aim of a training event.
Learning can be measured objectively using aa test or exam or some form of assessed exercise.
If a student has to achieve a certain level of learning to obtain a pass mark, then the number of passes may use as an evaluation measure.
Another important aspect of learning is the degree of retention – how the learning has stuck after the course is over.
10. Behavior Change
If a student has learned something from a course, you hope that this will be reflected in their behavior on the job.
If a student employs what they have learned appropriately, then their work behavior will meet the desired criteria.
Behavior can be measured through observation or, in some cause, through some automated means.
To assess behavior change requires that the measurements are has taken before and after the training.
11. Performance Change
If as a result of training, students are using appropriate behaviors on the job, then you would expect that to have a positive impact on performance.
A wide variety of indicators can be employed to measure the impact of training on performance – numbers of complaints, sales made, output per hour, and so on.
It is hard to be sure that it is training that has made the difference without making comparisons to a control group – a group of employees who have not been through the training.
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