Training and development for an entire workforce can be a sizeable investment; the return on investment benefits employers tremendously. Increased productivity and performance improvement are two ways effective training manifests itself in the workplace. However, measuring the effectiveness of workplace training can be a difficult task without quantitative guidelines and concrete results. Measuring training effectiveness is a task that must be contemplated before training begins -- using post-training metrics cannot provide accurate results.
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Review your training and development strategy long before employee training begins. Incorporate performance appraisal reviews into your training strategy as your starting point. Reviewing individual or departmental performance measurements before training establishes a baseline from which you can measure progress after employees complete training. If at all possible, quantify the performance ratings -- this helps in producing metrics you can use for later comparisons. Once employees complete training, conduct post-training performance appraisals and compare those ratings to previous evaluations.
Establish benchmarks for employee performance before and after training. Benchmarks are sometimes referred to as key performance indicators, or KPIs. Your organizational or departmental KPIs can be expressed as training goals or as the distance between before-training performance and post-training performance. They may be unrelated to actual performance appraisals in that they identify specific areas in which employees demonstrate improvement.
Solicit employee feedback through opinion surveys and training evaluations. Training and development specialists generally begin orientation by asking employees what they expect to learn from each session. Identifying employee learning objectives will help you determine if the training meets employees expectations. For example, at the beginning of new hire orientation, human resources staff ask employees what they expect to learn during orientation. Training specialists construct a list from employee input and review the list on completion of orientation. If there are areas that orientation didn't cover, the facilitator has a record of employee expectations and can review orientation topics to ensure future sessions include those topics.
Calculate employee productivity. If you provide job skills training or training on new equipment for use in production-oriented work environments, measuring the effectiveness of your training can be simpler if you take before and after measurements. Prior to job skills training, calculate productivity using equipment and processes already in place. Following training, conduct similar measurements with employees utilising the new equipment or processes. This type of measurement can be easily performed on a smaller scale and multiplied to generate organisation-wide metrics.
Poll supervisors and managers about employee feedback before and after training as well as their observations of performance improvement prior to and subsequent to employee training. This is a subjective approach to measuring feedback; however, supervisors and managers are in the habit of observing employee performance because they are closer to employee day-to-day activities. While supervisor and manager observations are valuable, their assessments should be supplemented by quantitative data.
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