According to a study done by ClearCompany1 in 2016, 68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy. Nonetheless, many companies still view employee training as an expense instead of an investment. But despite all of the resources, time and effort put into making everything happens, many organisations fail to properly measure the effectiveness of the training.
Infographic: 3 key differences between training and development
Rethink the employee training program
A study shows that 40% of employees2 leave their jobs within the first year due to poor company training.
Developing a training program is a daunting but critically important task. In general, businesses tend to choose a traditional approach that follows a simple procedure like below:
- First, the L&D department identifies the "trainees" and their training need. This step tends to be carried out through an all-in-one assessment based on the trainees' job descriptions.
- Once the identification is done, organisations move on to the execution phase of the training plan.
- The last, and also often ignored step, is to measure the effectiveness of the programs. Sadly, many organisations do not put much thought into performing this step properly; some just skip it entirely. Consequently, many training programs fail to align with the overall business objectives.
Read more: Why your employees are leaving you (besides salary)
How to measure training effectiveness in 4 steps
Step 1: Identify training needs with the “3Ws”
The "3Ws" in training needs identification are:
- Why train: There may be areas where the employees have very limited knowledge about. Having a pre-training assessment in place is a good way to notice the gap in the employees' skills and competencies.
- Who to train: Not everyone needs to sit through the same training session. Within the same department, person A’s expertise can also be starkly different from person B.
- What to train: A person who lacks presentation skills need not be trained in coding techniques. Managers need to have a clear idea of which competencies are required for each of their employees.
Read more: Duplicating your top employees
Step 2: Pre-training assessment
A pre-assessment in combination with a deep understanding of the 3Ws will give the managers an overview of where their teams are currently at. Managers can take the results from the assessment into consideration along with the company’s objectives to devise a training plan that suits each individual.
The key is to design a job-specific assessment. Each employee will be tested on all aspects that are related to their position and will be evaluated against the "ideal profile".
Step 3: Training
There are no shortages of training methods. Businesses can choose to hire an external lecturer or choose to utilise internal resources.
Organisations can also incorporate online/ remote classes into their programs. The employees can make use of the flexibility in the learning method and can train anywhere, anytime they seem fit.
Step 4: Post-training assessment
There are multiple proven methods in evaluating training effectiveness. One popular method among those is the Kirkpatrick Model which includes four levels of evaluation to determine the effect of training has on the employees.
Each level must be met before proceeding on to the next one. The four levels of evaluation are as follows:Level 1 - Reaction: How employees respond to the overall training (their satisfaction).
Do take this chance to get feedback on: the content of the training, the training method, and the level of understanding from the employees, etc.
Feedback can be in the form of reviews, questionnaires, or even a face-to-face Q&A session.
Read more: Motivation – How does it work for sales?Level 2 - Learning: How much of the training knowledge the learners have grasped; what they have gained and what have not.
Evaluation technique in this level can vary from formal to informal tests, self-assessments to team assessments. The results from this level are then compared with the initial pre-training assessment results to determine how much gap has been fulfilled.Level 3 - Behaviour: How much impact the training has on their overall performance.
Many consider this level to be the most challenging as it is difficult to predict when an individual will utilise their new knowledge, or even how often they will use it post training.
Asking employees to train others or implementing 360-degree feedback is a useful solution in this situation in addition to other common methods like observations, assessments, and self-assessments.Level 4 - Results: It measures the business outcomes of the training programs such as increase in profits, employee retention, employee morale, and operation efficiency; or decrease in wastage and spending.
Utilising technology to automate the training need identification and the evaluation processes
With the advancements in technology today, there are loads of solutions that can help businesses to automate some (or all) parts of the training program.
And TRG Talent can help you with that. We offer online versions of both pre and post-training assessments that can be tailored to your needs: company's competency framework, target audience, and budget.
Our psychometric assessments are scientifically proven to be able to measure an individual's skills, personalities, attitudes, and cognitive ability.
Moving the entire assessment process from offline to online is not at all difficult. All that you need is an internet connectivity. Candidates will be provided with an URL to the assessment which they can take anywhere and anytime. The results are generated automatically and timely, and come complete with visualisations and easy-to-understand charts and graphs.
Businesses can certainly use a combination of different approaches, TRG Talent online assessments with offline activities, in order to maximise the returns on the investment.
Feeling interested? Talk to our consultants by requesting a FREE DEMO today!
1. Woolf, Sylvie, "5 Surprising Employee Development Statistics You Don't Know", ClearCompany, November 2017, https://blog.clearcompany.com/5-surprising-employee-development-statistics-you-dont-know
2. go2HR, "Employee Training is Worth the Investment", go2HR, February 2017, https://www.go2hr.ca/training-development/employee-training-is-worth-the-investment