Companies spend a lot of money for the training purposes of their employees and that’s why it is necessary for them to understand the effectiveness of the Employees Training and Development Programs. The training evaluation helps them cut the costs and save a great deal of time, which can then use for their business. This assessment is actually a measure to check the cost effectiveness of the given training program and to ensure that the training is capable of filling up the competency gaps within the organization.
There are various methods and stages to perform this assessment, but most of the time, it is done with the collection of data, which mostly comprises of their feedback about the deliverables of the training and whether or not, they are satisfied. Moreover, it is also discussed that whether they got to learn something from the training and do they feel as if they are able to apply those newly acquired skills in their workplace.
Basis of Training Evaluation
Most of the evaluation methods and steps are the outcomes of Kirkpatrick’s Model, which makes use of reaction, learning, behavior, and results as its basic categories on which the eye is needed to be kept.
Reaction deals with the response of the participant regarding whether they liked the training course or not and if they did, then which part of it was the most interesting one and if not, then what’s the reason. Learning deals with the degree to which the participants gained the knowledge and the rate of gain. Behavior involves the checking of the level of the application of the skills, whereas, results deal the effect of the skills and knowledge on the success of the organization.
Training Evaluation Methods
- Satisfaction and Participant reaction
Satisfaction evaluation is the most basic measure for assessing the success rate of any training. For the purpose, the trainer, usually, hands out a survey at the end of the course to test the reaction of the participants.
Most of the time, it covers common questions like whether the participants enjoyed the training or did they like the trainer. Moreover, would they want him or her back, in case any other training program is initiated or do they feel as if it was a loss of their time? Generally, the training evaluation ends here, since this method answers nearly all of the expectations, but still, if someone likes to dig deeper, then rest of the methods can also do the job.
- Knowledge Acquisition
Knowledge acquisition is the second level of the training evaluation and involves the examination as the attachment of the training course to check that how much the participants have learned from the training course. It is a fact that most of the participants take training seriously only if they know that they are required to demonstrate the concepts that they have learned during the training.
In this method, participants are supposed to take the exam, after the training. The instructors or the trainers check and grade the responses, and share the results with the students as well as the training managers. This is done so that any gaps in the expected and acquired knowledge can be quickly sewn up.
A reliable and valid examination, as the training ends, can help in determining if the participant has understood and learned the concept or not. It can point out the participants that did not gain anything from training, leaving even further room for the support those who did. Furthermore, it can highlight areas that might need additional coaching or further training.
- Behavioral Application
The third method of evaluation deals with the behavioral application of their newly acquired skills. It also involves monitoring the changing behaviors as the skills and knowledge are applied to the tasks. Even though the first method of training evaluation, satisfaction assessment, is sufficient in most of the cases, but whenever the method of behavioral application is needed, it is used with the combination of the first two.
This method demonstrates the level to which the participants apply their newly acquired knowledge in their real life and real world problems. This provides crystal clear evidence of who is applying the knowledge, where the knowledge is being applied and for what purposes. This can assist the management to avoid any misapplications.
For example, a company that initiates a course for increasing the telephone conversion rates can conduct a particular number of mystery calls before starting the training. This response can be recorded and graded in accordance with the objectives of the course. After the training, the same company can again conduct that particular number of mystery calls and can compare their results with those before the training and measure the effectiveness of the training.
- Measuring the Business Improvement
The primary objective of nearly all the organizations arranging the training courses is to generate a particular business improvement. So, it means that we can assess the success level of a training program by the improvement made in that particular field, once the training is complete and the participants are ready to apply their knowledge for the cause of development of the brand.
For example, if we use the above example of the course of increasing the telephone conversion rates, then it can be based on the goals like increasing the number of sales, decreasing the number of appointment cancellations, expanding the lead list, gaining higher conversion rates and decreasing the time lag.
- Return on Investment (ROI)
The final member of our list of training evaluation methods, is related to the measurement of return on investment. It deals with the training regarding costs and returns. Costs like those of the course fee, facility fee, staff management and their wages, time used for the training the participants and returns like the business improvement, increased number of conversions and financial gains, both short term and long term net gains.
Stages of Training Evaluation
Training evaluation is normally done in five stages while keeping an eye on all of the internal and external factors that could alter the expectations and results.
- Describing the outputs
First of all, the output in the form of descriptive data is presented before the participants of the current batch who are going to take the course. This includes previous achievements recorded in the various forms like charts, graphs, etc. as well as demographic data.
- Pre-training Assessment
In this step, the experiences with previous batches, along with the information about what they achieved after they took the course, are revealed to the participants of the current batch. This, then leads the descriptive data like expected outputs for the current batch, syllabus, learning needs and anything else that can come handy, later on.
- Post-Assessment (reactions)
This deals with the reaction of the participants to the training experience and involves a lot of factors like the formats used by the instructor for instructional purposes, methods for teaching, learning environment and satisfaction towards the instructors and the course, itself.
- Post-Assessment (learning)
The fourth step towards training evaluation deals with the self-assessment of the level of the gained knowledge and skills, along with their points of applications and the effects caused by the application of these skills.
The final step involves the time to time assessment of the training program so that it generates the expected results without dwindling or interruptions. This is done so that the participants of the course could get the feel as they are getting trained by the best in the whole market.