In 2016, U.S. firms spent more than 70 million dollars on training; companies with over 1000 employees drove the expenditure. Despite this massive investment in training and development, approximately 90% of the trainees usually forget when they have learned within one year (Panopto, 2019). Regardless, even smaller companies can allocate a portion of their profit to invest in workshops and seminars since it is not the level of budget that determines the success of such programs. Instead, it is the ability to teach the appropriate content to the right individuals. Further, all corporations are prone to training challenges, but it is possible to mitigate any imminent issues with the proper evaluation tools.
Methods of Evaluating Effectiveness of Training Programs
Employee training and development are fundamental aspects of any company globally, and businesses significantly invest in it. It is a means of improving and enhancing an employee’s knowledge and abilities for better performance (Rafiq, 2015). Consequently, it is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of such programs to improve worker engagement and retention. Additionally, the results and impacts of previous training offer management an opportunity to improve future workshops. A firm expects workers who have gone through the training to exhibit high productivity and skill development. Some typical approaches of evaluation by the HR department are user acceptance and post-training tests, one-on-one discussion, and employee surveys.
User-acceptance tests are formative techniques used to gauge the user-friendliness of a program before it is initiated, while post-training examinations are quizzes given to employees to assess what they have gained from a particular training (Andriotis, 2019). One-on-one discussions are format conversations between a trainer/manager and an employee about the job or internship. 100% contribution of a trainee to the discussion indicates successful training. Finally, managers may administer surveys to gather data concerning the program’s perception and opinion. Surveys are standard training evaluation tools because of their ability to provide a quick easy-to-interpret report.
Addressing Ineffective Training Programs
Training programs are all designed to be effective, but, sometimes, they may not achieve the purposes they were intended to convey. As a result, it is the responsibility of the managing team to address issues that might professionally lead to ineffectiveness. Direct communication and working with a minor team are among the best approaches to ensuring a successful program. Management can be tempted to have all employees trained in one given session. However, such a one-fit-all approach may not be productive and effective. Few members should be chosen and trained beyond what they already know and helped grow by addressing role expectations and the strengths and weaknesses of the team in an honorable manner. This way, employees are likely to understand their participation better and able to change effectively.
Further, dealing with people respective to how they learn. The ability of workers to absorb information varies from one individual to another. For instance, some will understand well through doing, others while reflecting on past occurrences, and others by experimenting and testing their experiences. For this reason, it is an error to measure the effectiveness of a program by analyzing a selected cohort. Instead, various approaches should be embraced while handling the workers to overcome challenges and fix overwhelmed employees. Additionally, versatile training approaches will enhance inclusivity necessary for active employee engagement in the learning process. This way, they are likely to enjoy the program, eventually encouraging more reflections and further reading.
Avoid generic training programs and tailor the workshop to meet specific needs and roles. Regrettably, generic training has been found to strain individuals’ time and patience because they engage in irrelevant content, leading to more training challenges. The program should be categorized into essential and nice-to-have content. Every learner will be required to acquire vital skills but employ other training methods like badges or rewards to encourage workers to gain the nice-to-have content. Moreover, the content to be administered should be just-in-time to meet a specific need within that duration. Companies should avoid training workers to handle a more than six-month-old task in the future. Lastly, the workshop should be designed so that case studies or relevant scenarios are used to reinforce the content to employees.
Finally, besides training, give responsibility. Sometimes it is acceptable to tolerate mistakes and let people learn from what they have done wrong as long as it does not highly jeopardize the company’s functioning. People always desire responsibility, and meaningful work can often remedy mistakes done in the past. Following this, HR can deploy the 70:20:10 model. This theory postulates that practice accounts for 70% of learning, 20% is gained from other people, and 10% from learning materials or training programs and workshops. Adopting this philosophy can significantly improve company culture and natural motivation.
In summary, the best way to measure the effectiveness of a training program is to know the learners. Good training is about identifying the needs and skills of employees and tailoring the content to meet such qualities. Companies with a strong sense of purpose often train their workers and establish the internal environment culture. Furthermore, to determine the effectiveness of these programs, strive to understand the reaction of learners at the end of the workshop to make them feel valued. Also, assess their level of engagement, contribution, and interaction during the lessons to gauge the reception of the content. Further, this also helps the company to amend the program where necessary.
Andriotis, N. (2019). How to evaluate training – criteria, methods & tools for 2021. Talent LMS.
Panopto. (2019). Why employee training fails and how to prevent it in your organization. Panopto.
Rafiq, M. (2015). Training evaluation in an organization using Kirkpatrick model: a case study of PIA. Journal of Entrepreneurship & Organization Management, 4(03), 152-162.