Employee training is increasingly important for organizations who use internal programs to foster desired behaviors and culture, to offer perks and benefits, and to create change, whether towards goals or to help in leadership development. If you’re in the process of choosing and implementing a new employee training program or want to ensure existing ones are meeting standards, you need measurement processes in place.
This will require setting standards, typically either through setting realistic goals and expectations, or based on developer promises and measuring their impact and results across your organization.
Set Needs and Goals
Measuring the quality of a training program requires first identifying what it is for, what the total estimated benefits are, and what you need most from it. This is important because it allows you to track real ROI based on which items are adding value and which are “nice to have.”
For example, if you’re implementing a training program to introduce emotional intelligence with the key goal of improving workplace communication but you don’t see that go up, the training isn’t as successful as you’d like, even if other metrics go up. Identifying key goals means establishing the business need or result you expect or want to see from the program and working from that point.
Identify Key Metrics
Key metrics or KPIs should track directly to results you can achieve from your program and should function as indicators that your training is working. They also have to account for variables in work and the workplace, especially when measuring success at an individual level.
For example, if you were creating an employee assessment program to determine the level of success of a customer service training program, you would have to account for a lot of variables. You also have to work to ensure that KPIs don’t reflect items such as new employees coming in, who haven’t necessarily taken the training.
How can you set KPIs?
- What are the desired outcomes of the training?
- What behaviors should the training result in?
- How do those behaviors manifest in work?
- How do those behaviors manifest in productivity?
- What about communication?
If you can take measurable data such as work performance, how work is completed, and so on to create KPIs, you can gauge the actual value of your training.
Put Measurement Protocols in Place
Collecting KPIs is often a complex process of connecting with employees, with their team leaders and managers, and surveying employees as a whole. It’s also important to benchmark data before a training program, to ensure that you can show when a training program has no results.
Organizations often rely on a range of measurement protocols including surveys, polls, competitions or games, and data-mining based on actual work completed. This may involve directly interviewing managers and team leads, asking individuals questions, and evaluating performance on the work floor. Here, many organizations will use specific evaluation models, like the Kirkpatrick Model. This model evaluates individual reaction, learning, behavior, and results, based on targeted goals.
Training programs are increasingly popular, with an estimated 14% year-over-year growth in the United States alone. However, you need to be able to measure results, so that you can track efforts, streamline programs to offer more focused training, and follow up when a program doesn’t have the full intended effect.