For any business, it’s essential to make sure you are offering the best service possible, not only to your actual customers but to anyone you deal with on a day-to-day basis.
Training departments are no different. It’s important to consider how your training department is working on several different levels. You want to ensure your employees are receiving excellent training, that your instructors are providing the best possible information, and that you have a great relationship with your vendors.
So how do you give yourself a better idea of how well your business is doing? It’s important to measure yourself to see how well you’re performing compared to how well you think you should be. Let’s take a look at some ways you can approach this!
Sometimes the easiest way to see how something is working is to simply observe it! This may not work for measuring all aspects of your business, but if you want to see how your training courses are being run, or observe what your training staff are like “in the field,” then why not attend or take a few training sessions so you can experience it first hand?
This can quickly give you an overview of the content being taught, how your trainers interact with their learners, or even how suitable a venue is for a particular class. Sometimes it can be hard to see problems until you’re immersed in a situation, and a little observation can give you a different view of your training.
Observation can also be straightforward to slot into your workday since you’ll already have a clear view of when your training sessions are scheduled and will be able to attend at a time that suits you.
Measuring your training department based on what you observe is a great way to pick up on obvious problems, as they will be things that jump out at you right away, such as venue locations or upgrading equipment. However, to measure how your training is running on a larger scale, you’re going to need to dig a little deeper.
One effective way to measure your training department is to follow up with your employees. This will mainly be employees who have been through one of your recent training sessions, but you may also want to consider talking to department staff and vendors or other people your trainees are interacting with.
All these different groups of people can give you an insight into different parts of your business, so it’s essential to incorporate as many different groups of people as possible into your measurement.
A great way to measure the success of your training is to look at the average assessment scores for the training you run. Whether it’s a pass/fail or one where trainees receive a grade or score at the end, you will want to consider this in your measurement.
Do you have a high number of trainees all failing one question? Is there one section of the training people seem to be struggling with consistently? This gives you great insight into parts of your materials that may require some tweaking. Maybe the materials don’t provide a good enough explanation to give trainees the knowledge they need to be successful. Or perhaps the instructor is having trouble explaining a particular concept adequately.
If you have certain results jumping out at you, it’s worth going over your content with your instructors to make sure you’re giving your trainees the best chance possible to learn and understand the information being taught to them.
It may be that you assess an area that trainees are struggling with and find that you’re pleased with how that section of the training is being taught, and that’s fine as well! You may want to do something simple like suggest extra reading for that particular section that will help strengthen difficult concepts.
The Importance of Surveys
The easiest way to get a good idea of how well your training department is doing, from across several different departments within the company, is to use surveys. Surveys allow you to ask precisely the questions you want answers to so you can get a clear idea of how effective your training is.
The first stage is designing your survey. This will depend greatly on the audience you are planning on sending it to, and you’ll want to create several different surveys to make sure you get the answers specifically relevant to each group surveyed.
You also want to make sure that you’re only getting information that will be useful to you in measuring your training, so take some time to think about the questions you want to include.
Finally, think about how you want people to answer. You may want to use tick boxes or a 1–10 rating system, but for more complex questions you may wish to include a text box so that participants can write detailed answers.
Running a survey once may give you the answers you need right at that moment, but what about a few months down the line? Employees may have responded one way after initially completing a training course, but your employees may be encountering a whole new set of problems now that they are on the job that weren’t apparent the last time you surveyed them. This means the results won’t be of any use now!
You want to make sure you regularly survey the relevant people involved in your business, whether that’s department managers, trainers, or employees, to make sure you are constantly producing results that you can use.
Repeating surveys is important because you don’t want to measure your training efforts once and then move on. You will always want to make sure you are at the top of your game and providing the best information possible, so ensure you are continually reflecting on the data you’ve collected.
When is the best time to send out a survey? It depends on what you’re trying to find out. If you want to ask your employees to review a training session, its content, or their instructor, you may wish to send this survey out during the training. This allows you to address any problems before the training is completed or, at least, before that training course is rerun. If you want a full review of a training course, you could send the survey a week or so after it has finished, as this will give trainees the chance to provide you with an accurate review of their whole experience.
The key to timing is to give yourself the best opportunity to fix problems as quickly as possible before anyone has to face that problem again. If something isn’t working, you don’t want to continue repeating that mistake again and again because you will be wasting valuable time and money.
You’ve sent out your survey and received your results. Great! Now what? Your job is far from done! It’s important to keep comparing the results over time and take them into account as you make decisions in the future.
Constantly comparing past and present results allows you to look for patterns in the data, which enables you to always be looking for things to update to make sure you are continually improving as a training department and business.
To get the results that will be useful to your business in the future, it’s important to make sure you ask precisely the questions you need answers to, so think about the analysis stage at the beginning when you’re designing your survey. You want to give yourself the best data to compare in the future, so plan your questions around that.
Analysis can be daunting if you have a lot of data to compare, so make sure you store all the results smartly. The best way to make sure your data is easy to find and compare is by using an online survey database. Keeping hard copies of results could mean storing years’ worth of data in your office or having to trawl through it manually any time you need to analyze it. Even emailing surveys to people as things like Word documents involves storing a lot of data on your computer, which doesn’t allow for easy comparisons.
Using an online survey tool like SurveyMonkey will make the analysis of your survey data more manageable and less time-consuming. Here at Administrate, we have a SurveyMonkey integration, meaning Administrate users can easily send customized surveys directly from Administrate, which will save you even more time and help keep things organized.
Whatever online survey tool you use, here are some of the benefits that tool could offer you:
- Real-Time Results. Having the ability to see your results in real-time means you will always have the freshest data available to you, and you won’t have to wait for all responses to input your data for comparison.
- Keep Everything in One Place. Keeping everything online means you’ll never have to worry about losing those essential responses. It also makes it easy to search for past results, and you won’t have to worry about surveys being stuck somewhere that you don’t have access to, such as a filing cabinet or someone else’s personal computer.
- Easy to Distribute. Distributing paper copies of surveys is not only time-consuming, but it is also expensive if you mail them to respondents. Online surveys can be sent directly to the people you need to reach quickly and easily. It also means you can easily keep track of how many you’ve sent and how many have been completed!
- Create Custom Reports. Using an online survey database means you will be able to create custom reports based on the data you want to see. Maybe you want to see the answer to a particular question from everyone you’ve ever surveyed, or you can filter your results to certain people such as employees or trainers. Only specific data will be related to certain problems you are addressing, so it’s helpful to be able to filter the information so you can look at the pieces you specifically need.
All these features are available through SurveyMonkey, and don’t forget Administrate’s SurveyMonkey integration will make the job even easier!
While there are different ways to help you measure how successful your training department is performing, we believe the most important tool at your disposal is surveys.
Not only can you design them to analyze precisely the data you want to focus on, but you can then reuse that data for as long as it’s relevant, giving you an invaluable catalog of information to help you make critical business decisions.
Using an online survey database will only make the process simpler. Not only will it save you a considerable amount of time in the long run, but it will also allow you to have all the data you’ve ever collected to create a comparison of how your business is doing at different points in time, which will give you a more realistic picture of how effective your training department is.
Measuring your training department is an on-going task that you should consider whenever you make important decisions, so never forget how vital it can be to your success as a business.
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