Global spending on employee learning and development (L&D) continues to increase exponentially. Corporate training expenditure in the U.S. has increased by almost $10 billion in 2022. However, corporate training spending won’t achieve a return on investment (ROI) if training isn’t effective in improving employee performance.

Therefore, determining training effectiveness is fundamental for every organization. In this article, we’ll review a few practical methods to evaluating your training programs. But first, let’s explore some key benefits of having an evaluation process for your training program.

Top Reasons To Evaluate Training

  1. To determine training’s ROI: All training programs aim to improve business performance and achieve a strong (ROI). Improvements in productivity, sales and profits can all be recorded and assessed.
  2. To identify if it benefits employees: The most important purpose for assessing training efficacy is determining whether it improves your employees’ abilities and performance. It also gives learners a clear picture of what they’ve accomplished and the path they need to take to advance to the next level.
  3. To find issues and make improvements: As soon as you have clear objectives and a roadmap for the training course, measuring training effectiveness can help you see if you’re on the right track or if you need to make any adjustments. In case the course does not offer the desired results, you must isolate the areas where there are problems and make the necessary modifications to the instructional methods.

How To Evaluate Training Programs

Let’s dive deeper into some useful training evaluation methods that can help you identify and assess actionable insights for your training program.

1.   Training assessments.

Derek Bruce, operations director at Skills Training Group, shares that “Training assessment is essentially a process that seeks to determine a candidate’s present level of ability, knowledge, and competency and then compare it to the organization’s benchmark. It is an excellent method of dealing with any competency gaps because it assists in identifying the difference and identifying training requirements.”

Pre-training assessments.

The pre-training assessment is given to learners prior to the training source is presented or received. The pre-test can be administered in order to weed out participants who may not be a good fit, determine class content and/or to set prerequisite skills. It seeks to determine people’s level of knowledge and abilities in order to assist trainers in preparing training modules and deciding what .

Post-training assessments.

At the end of each training module, trainers can administer post-tests to show the percentage of knowledge gained in the course. This can prove the efficacy of your training programs. Trainers can use the data obtained from post-training assessments to better determine areas for improvement in the training modules and target individual learners who need additional attention.

2.   Surveys and feedbacks.

Surveys are a crucial component of a successful training course. Participants’ feedback can help you assess the effectiveness of your training, make improvements and plan for future courses. Post-training surveys are the most effective approach to improve your training and ensure that it meets its objectives and provides good value for money.

The sort of questions you ask the participants determine the quality of your post-training survey responses. To ask the correct questions, you must first understand what each inquiry tries to measure (e.g., key performance indicators).

3.   Focus groups.

This method is especially useful for your company if the company implements an online training course. Focus groups give the summative and formative evaluation needed to improve your training course before it’s released. They provide you with a clear picture of how your initiative will be viewed by your target audience.

Mark Valderrama, founder of Aquarium Store Depot, says, “Focus groups provide honest and often direct feedback, just in time, to avoid such miscommunication and other potential disasters. They aid in the elimination of flaws and the strengthening of your course structure prior to the final release.”

4.   Calculating ROI.

If an organization is going to spend money on a training budge, it’s only natural to measure the economic ROI gained from training.

Training ROI calculates how much an organization gets from its training investment. It’s a financial metric that elaborates on the advantages and business outcomes of a training program. This can be done by collecting data linked to targeted KPIs like productivity and output, customer satisfaction levels, sales records and training costs (i.e., number of hours spent, instructors’ salary, facility and material costs, etc.).

Calculating the ROI is a great strategy to evaluate your training program’s efficacy and know how ahead you are in the game.

Parting Thoughts

There are numerous evaluation methodologies and instruments available to help you evaluate training effectiveness. The most effective evaluation method likely utilizes a variety of models and tools, depending on your company’s goals and objectives.