Are you searching for methods to measure the outcomes of your employee training and development programs?
A successful measurement program can help you demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of your efforts, support stakeholder buy-in for future initiatives and help you to identify areas for improvement. Ideally, you’ll want to plan your measurement strategies before you design your training program or learning module. This can be done as part of a pre-design needs analysis phase to development — which can be as formal or informal as you need it to be.
However, there are also methods for training measurement that can be put into place to gather data from existing training programs. These strategies are useful to get a sense of which learning methods are working (or aren’t working), which content modules should be updated, and where you can make small tweaks and improvements to improve success rates.
How? Here are four simple methods to gather the measurement metrics and create the analytics and documentation you need. Use these methods to set yourself — and your organization — up for success.
4 Measurement Methods To Consider
- Use assessments. Assessments are often considered as the low-hanging fruit of measurement practice. The most common way to do this is to design a self-contained assessment to take at the end of the course to measure skills acquisition. However, there are other assessment options that are more effective. For example, you might also gather performance assessments at timed intervals post-training. Another option is to allow for self-assessments, in which your learners share confidence levels pre- and/or post-training and ask for practice time with a coach or clarification on any areas in which they aren’t clear.
- Set metrics by role. Arguably, the best metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for outcomes are going to be based on the specific task to be completed, or by employee role, or by department. What is the goal to be accomplished through training? Which skills need to be performed to get to that goal? This could be measured by data points such as speed and productivity times, certifications accomplished, number of customer complaints or escalations reduced, less waste, fewer overall errors or other areas of marked improvement.
- Develop surveys. Want to know if something is working? Just ask. Survey employees to get feedback on reported value of training, skills they’d like training to accomplish, and overall confidence levels. Survey your managers as well. You might even consider in business-to-consumer (B2C) environments having surveys offered to customers on their experiences with your business and employees pre- and post-training.
- Track engagement rates. This might be a bit more complicated, based on how much of an information technology (IT) department you have access to. Chances are, your training includes a digital and/or web-based component. Your team should be able to gather user statistics, including visits, time spent on page and completion rates. If your learning audience is very busy and using training resources flexibly, these metrics may be used to determine participation rates. You should also be able to get a more realistic idea of which modules get the most visits, which will show value and areas where additional training could be useful. If you’re finding that learners go back and review specific modules on the job, for example, that will tell you more about which training areas could use more emphasis — or that the learning module might not include enough information to be useful.
The key to improving your learning and development programs is to use effective measurement strategies. Ideally, you’ll plan your measurement criteria even before you plan your training initiatives. However, you can also use effective measurement methods to assess the efficacy of your existing training programs. Use the information to determine areas needing improvement, by gathering clear data on what’s working and what’s not. That information will help you plan future training programs, curate your content, show ROI, and gain stakeholder buy-in for new initiatives.