Measuring training effectiveness is a necessary component of any training implementation, but there is one things that absolutely cannot be forgotten if you plan on reporting metrics on your training initiative. Surprisingly, this step is often skipped on many training programs. What often happens is that trainers start to analyze the current situation, design their approach, develop the training, test it, implement and then evaluate (did catch that? ADD[T]IE model at its finest).
The biggest problem here is what you should do before the first step, and that is to set a baseline. Without a baseline, any statistics you report don’t really mean anything, especially if you are trying to demonstrate performance improvement.
So how do you capture baseline statistics? This generally depends on the type of training you are implementing, but here are a couple of suggestions:
- Before training development, after the “analyze” phase, compile a list of the target audience. Create a survey and send it to the end users. Your questions should establish a baseline of their current knowledge of the (a) new/current process (b) tools and/or (c) standard procedure. You should also compile performance indicators related to their current task performance levels.
- Right before a participant starts an e-Learning or Live event, require them to take a skills assessment.
In either of these options, the obvious goal is to baseline their skills/knowledge prior to training. You then evaluate at multiple times post-training. If you are training to a new process (such as “how to resolve help desk tickets”), you will want to measure the participant skills post training and compare that to the amount of time it takes to close a ticket – all measured against those metrics prior to any training.
By setting your baseline, you will be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of your training program by demonstrating performance improvement through tangible metrics.