Four Good Reasons to Evaluate Training Effectiveness

2018.03.13 Fenix Bretz
Reasons to Evaluate Training Effectiveness

When implementing any type of training program, we think that it’s obvious that training effectiveness should be evaluated regularly. Does it have the effect it’s expected to? Are the learners applying the learning and enhancing job performance? Is the training course or development program valuable enough to merit the time and money you are spending on it? These are questions that you need to be asking.

Globally, managers and executives agree that L&D is essential for the health and longevity of their firm. According to a 2018 LinkedIn report, an astounding 90% concurred with this. But, a McKinsey survey tells us only 25 percent of business managers think that training and development contribute measurably to business performance. There’s obviously a problem when courses and programs are not leading to the results they are supposed to.

Effective training and learning that actually carries over in a meaningful way don’t happen by accident. In order to make your program a true advantage, versus just another expense, you have to be able to quickly pinpoint how it’s working and in what ways it might be coming up short. This is where learning impact measurement becomes such a vital part of the L&D toolbox:

Evaluating training effect creates a common language.

Evaluating training effect creates a common language

What are the desired results? How do we know if a training program is just plain “edutainment” or if it actually has a long-term effect? By using analytical tools and reviewing exactly how well an L&D program is doing, you help to align ideas about training effectiveness across the board. Especially, as it becomes important to developing crisp learning objectives when having a system of measurement in place.

The phrase “on the same page” is important for a reason… From the executives, to the managers, to the new hires, you want to make sure that everyone has the same end goals in mind; that everyone understands the direction in which the company is headed, and that everyone comprehends the plan and the path to get there. When preparing to measure and evaluate training programs (in the right way), you also establish a foundational point and a common language.

Evaluating training effect enables you to steer it.

Evaluating training effect enables you to steer it

Defining clear learning objectives is like telling your GPS where you’re heading. To measure the fulfillment of those learning objectives means having a constant feedback system telling you if you’re on track. Without that “GPS”, you might just drive around aimlessly from street to street, city to city, without having any particular destination in mind, or even knowing where you are. Sure, you could encounter some interesting sights, but ultimately the risk that such a plan (or lack thereof) won’t lead to anything valuable is substantial.

Training evaluation, or learning impact measurement, is key to not only steering the learner in a meaningful direction, but also knowing if you’ve achieved getting there, or need to make a change to your plan.

Evaluating training effect can help identify problems.

Evaluating training effect can help identify problems

Obviously, the ultimate goal of any training program is to enhance business performance. Countless studies have demonstrated that organizations that invest in training are higher performing. However, in an isolated event, it is hard to determine exactly what might have led to increased sales revenues. Could it have been the training? Certainly. But it also may have been the result of a marketing campaign, a prize offer, even perhaps, a recession that turned at that time. Maybe it was due to of all of the above. This is why, in order to understand the true impact that sales training had, and if it helped you to achieve the desired ROI, you need to look closely at things like learning transfer, and at any relevant behavioural changes that may have taken place as a result of your L&D program.

On the flip side, if you see no desirable results after training takes place, you need to be able to figure out why this is the case. Learning impact measurement enables you to target where the lack of quality or lack of transfer occurs and allows you to see where the breakdown happens. Armed with this type of information, you can then make the changes needed in your curriculum to bolster your training initiative.

Evaluating training effect connects initiative with results.

Evaluating training effect connects initiative with results

Perhaps among the most important reasons for measuring learning, is to show those learners what they’ve achieved, what they might need to do, and how they’ve accomplished their goals. Feedback and encouragement are paramount in the realm of learning and development. Learners want to see their successes as they also want to grasp how it is they might improve. The tools of measurement here provide the analytics and the reports needed so that managers and learners can come together and discuss the results in a productive way.

Kodo Survey help organizations to evaluate training effectiveness. Without some measurement procedure in place, your organisation is that aimless vehicle travelling without direction or purpose across random roads. You might run into a dead end, an intricate roundabout, a street that can’t even be found on a map. Eventually, in such a scenario, you will run out of gas and just sit there helpless.

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By measuring the impact of your learning initiatives, you give your employees a clear path. Here is where we want to be, and here are the tools and skills that are needed to get us there. You’ve invested too much money and effort into your training modules not to also invest in measuring how well they are working.

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Now that we have used Kodo for a while, we see how easy it is to follow the learning impact and transfer of learning to the workplace. The insights we receive help us to continuously improve courses and programmes.

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Kristoffer Laag
HR Strategist