How to Conduct a Training Evaluation (Four Key Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 22, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Training programs benefit many people, including both employees and employers. A training assessment establishes the framework for assessing an organization's requirements and the most effective method of delivering that training to employees. Learning how to conduct a training program evaluation can help a manager increase team morale and motivate individuals to succeed. In this article, we define training evaluations, discuss the different levels of them, explore why they are important, and review how you can conduct a training evaluation on your own.

What is a training evaluation?

A training program evaluation provides detailed feedback on the usefulness of a training program. Employees, their trainers, and the supervisor of the training program may all undergo evaluation in three distinct phases, before, during, and after implementation. In this way, a business can identify areas where training programs might benefit from enhancement in the future.

Related: Understanding the Importance of Training Employees

Levels of training program evaluation

The Kirkpatrick Four-Level Training Evaluation scale is useful for assessing a training program's performance. Employers can utilize it to maximize the return on their investment in training programs they undertake. Here are the levels that comprise a comprehensive training program evaluation program:

Reaction

This level may be useful for assessing an employee's performance upon completion of a training program. It can also help get feedback on how effective the program was for them. With this information, you may make program modifications, assign new targets to employees, and provide more assistance as necessary.

Learning

This level focuses mainly on the knowledge employees gain as a result of their training program. It enables employees to be more self-aware and understand how they may improve their performance. Employees can share their confidence and motivation levels, which can help employers identify the changes that are necessary to improve focus in the program. By understanding what employees are learning, employers are better prepared to help support the team to reach their goals.

Behaviour

The behavioural assessment examines the learning environment of a program to determine if individuals apply the concepts they have learned in training to their everyday work. While an employee may have enjoyed the design of a training program and learned important knowledge, the communication or cultural aspects of the program may need improvement to help support employees in integrating their knowledge into their role.

Results

This level assesses whether an employee accomplished their learning goals and identifies areas for growth. It may be useful for assessing whether the business obtained a return on investment from the employee's job activities compared to the time spent in training and development. Some companies may begin with this level, as they can set a standard for employee performance based on the results they wish to see from training. Some of the metrics that a business may track are higher morale, sales, and customer satisfaction.

Related: How to Define and Measure a Key Performance Indicator

Importance of assessment training

There are many benefits to having training program evaluations in the workplace, including:

Employee retention

Training programs help employees gain new abilities on the job, become more skilled in their role, and feel like they are progressing in their career. These factors typically lead to increased employee retention. It also enables people to feel as if their role has an influence on the business, and it can help create a feeling of community with their work.

Related: What Is a Job Evaluation? Definition, Methods, and Process

Company performance

Businesses can identify and correlate the effectiveness of a training initiative with key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs can help with tracking performance, which the company can then use to compare to its competitors. Comparing KPIs to competitor data can help determine which internal departments need training programs to help the company stay relevant in the market.

Customer and client satisfaction

By improving the skills of employees, a company is likely to have increased customer satisfaction. This can help increase sales and brand reputation. For example, employees can enhance their communication skills training programs. Once they have developed additional skills and returned to work, their new approach to their role might help them connect with customers and close more sales. As a result of this added training, customer satisfaction may increase and the company may make more sales and profits.

How to conduct a training program evaluation

Here's a list of steps you can take if you are interested in learning how to conduct a training program evaluation:

1. Assess training programs throughout each step of the process

It's important to conduct training program evaluations prior to, during, and after the implementation phase. Try to monitor each phase of the training program carefully to verify that all necessary procedures are complete and to assess whether they have an effect on all employees. You can consider the following questions to assist you in evaluating each stage of the process:

Before the implementation stage

Here's a list of questions you can use to help you assess a training program before implementation:

  • Can training methods lead to an improvement of employees' skills to perform in their current role?

  • Have these methods been successful with other employees? If so, how?

  • What feedback did employees give concerning this training program?

  • Do these methods fit well with the employee's learning style?

  • Do employees understand what needs to be done to complete this program?

During the implementation stage

Here's a list of questions you can use during training implementation to help assess the program:

  • Can you discuss the main points you've learned so far?

  • Are the materials helpful?

  • Do you like this training program?

  • Do you believe this training program is an appropriate use of your time?

After the implementation stage

Here's a list of questions you can use after a training program to assess it:

  • Did you meet all the objectives outlined in the program?

  • Do you believe the trainer came into the program prepared?

  • What do you like the most about this training?

  • What aspects of the training needs improvement?

2. Set key performance indicators for each program

Identifying KPIs enables businesses to modify certain components of a training program to help ensure they result in desired outcomes. You can choose the skills to focus the training program on so that you can identify KPIs to assess the program's effectiveness. Here's a list of KPIs you can use to assess the effectiveness of a program:

  • Regional and national sales

  • Sales from new customers

  • Organic traffic

  • Click-through rate

  • In-store foot traffic

  • Customer retention

  • Number of new hires

Related: Tips for Conducting Employee Evaluations (With FAQs)

3. Select training assessment types for each program and test them during each step of the process

Employers have a range of possibilities for assessing the effectiveness of a training program. By evaluating several training programs, you may determine what needs to be changed and if the performance calculation is reliable. Consider the following measures for determining the program's success:

  • Follow-up questionnaires: Inquire about the applications of the training programs and solicit open-ended replies from participants to enable them to provide thorough feedback on the training program's effectiveness.

  • Program assignments: You can utilize this strategy to assess how an individual developed a certain skill throughout a short-term training session.

  • Action plans: After the program is complete and the participants' performance undergoes evaluation, create an action plan. In this way, you may convey the actions necessary to accomplish the program's objectives.

  • Performance contracts: Utilize this strategy prior to the start of the training program to help ensure that everyone agrees on the program's conditions.

  • Performance monitoring: Verify that the performance is consistent with the KPIs you're attempting to achieve. After evaluating the program's success, you may have a better understanding of the training's impact on the company and areas for improvement.

4. Get feedback from all participants and identify training effects

Once the training program is complete, ask for feedback from participants to determine the aspects of the program that had the most influence on participants. Here are a couple strategies you can use to determine the effectiveness of training programs:

  • Control group: Evaluate the performance of a group that has gone through training and another a group that hasn't gone through training. For comparison purposes, have the same settings for each group.

  • Impact estimates: Test for different performance variables from participants and rate them based on the four levels. You can also ask participants, supervisors, senior managers, and experts about the training program's percentage of improvement and variables that lead to results.


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