How to Measure Training Results
Every year a considerable amount of budget is usually allocated for employee training by their organizations as training have become an integral part of organization growth and development. Training employees not only strengthens their weak areas but also helps them to hone their existing set of skills. A learning and development program therefore tries to bring employees at the same level where they share the same amount of knowledge and expertise whereby the workforce becomes more productive and refined, earning more profits in the process with relatively less amount of supervision. Training are also responsible for boosting the morale and confidence of the employees, producing highly motivated and efficient team of work.Also since organizations are constantly changing and evolving, so does the role and position of competent employees in the organization. Training help these employees to be able to support the organization with their changing vision and ideals.However all these can only be achieved if the training are conducted by competent l & d trainers who knows how to bring about the best result out of a training session.
Here is where the concept of measuring training results comes from. Measuring training results generally comprises of Kirkpatrick’s four stages training evaluation model and organizations either follow all the stages or any one of those.
The first stage is about the trainee feedback where the trainees are given forms to fill up where they are generally asked on the benefits of this training program and the positive outcomes it will have on their professional lives, what topics did they find were properly discussed along with the least important topics, and lastly if they would recommend this kind of training sessions to their friends and colleagues. Trainers/organizations use this information to comprehend the effectiveness of the training, the participants’ view points, improvements needed in the future. This test is done after the end of the session.
The second stage comprises of measuring the degree of the intended skills and knowledge that the training participants are supposed to achieve. The trainers use this level of evaluation to measure result of the training and whether the objectives were met. As the trainers and the organizations get an idea of the amount of expertise gained by the participants, they will be able to plan their future endeavors. This evaluation can be done both prior and post the training.
The third stage involves evaluating the participating’s behavioral/attitude change that may have occurred as a result of the training process. It is basically used to assess the whether the employee are able to apply their learning from the training in their workplace. It is a kind of a reflection of the impact of the training on the participants and how much they were able to grasp. This evaluation can be done both prior and post the training and is usually takes place within 3 to 6 months of the training.
The fourth and the final stage comprises of evaluating the overall training session such as improved productivity and quality of the workforce, employee retention, high morale and confidence, increased sales and profit earned by the organization. Doing so will determine the Return on Investment (ROI) of the organizations for their training expenditure. This level of evaluation is required as a both pre and post training session.
By following Kirkpatrick’s four stages training evaluation model, organizations and trainers (especially freelancers) will be able to not only understand the result of the training, but also their areas of improvements so that professional development program are conducted that will prove to be more beneficial for the employees. Hence, if you as a trainer are interested in providing better training for the employees then following Kirkpatrick’s stages will certainly be of great help.