Measuring the effectiveness of your training program is obviously a key to proving the ROI of training, optimizing the efficiency of your program, and leading to overall improvement of your workforce. One of the most comprehensive and well-recognized strategies for measuring training effectiveness is Donald Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation.
Level 1: Reaction
Are participants reacting positively to your training? Focus on observing the training sessions and gauging the engagement of your learners. One great way to do this is to deploy a survey immediately following the training and collect feedback on every aspect of the experience (venue, facilitator, materials, distribution, etc.) The key is to survey the learners consistently to make results quantifiable. It is important to assess the learner’s reaction to continually improve the learner experience and reduce the impediments to learning, overall measuring training effectiveness.
Level 2: Learning
Did your participants acquire the necessary skills during training? Throughout the course incorporate tests, quizzes, practical exams and other means of evaluation to measure retention of information. Also, try administering a pre-training evaluation to compare with other assessments throughout the training course. Use focus groups to compare the skill sets of those who had formal training and those who did not. The trainee’s learning level indicates how effective and engaging training was. With this measurement, training instructors can tell if objectives are met, and in what areas the program can be optimized.
Level 3: Behavior
Are your participants applying what they’ve learned in their roles? If you’re using eLearning platforms or digital methods of distribution for training materials, make sure to employ software that keeps track of who is using the materials and how often. Can you demonstrate a change in behavior among training recipients - when confronted with an obstacle, question or problem, can the employee recall the necessary information? Giving your learners access to reference materials in the format they most prefer will significantly impact their ability to recall and apply what they’ve learned.
Level 4: Results
What specific outcomes are achieved because of training? The results of the analysis of the other three levels will often show reduced costs, less turnover, higher level of morale, increase in sales, increase in productivity, and more. The CLO’s organization must have these sorts of metrics in mind to measure the success of training.
Your organization’s C-suite wants to see the impact of learning investments to determine how valuable training s is to the rest of the organization. Training evaluation needs to be thought of as a critical analysis of outcomes, not simply the measurement of activities learning to track, measure and analyze the effectiveness of your training program will be crucial to proving the value of additional investment. The most successful companies have harnessed the power of training analytics, and they track metrics on what they want to accomplish, metrics following the progression of those accomplishments month-to-month and metrics as predictions for upcoming quarters or years.
“Kirkpatrick Model” by Kirkpatrick partners, kirkpatrickpartners.com; “Four Levels of Evaluation” by TrainingIndustry.com.