Running training on a regular basis is a hugely important part of aiding your employees' development, but what do you do after the training has taken place? Are you looking at how effective your training has actually been, or have you been guilty of simply thinking running training sessions is enough?
You may have a very well thought out training plan for all your staff, but if you're not taking time to reflect and see what impact your training is actually having, then you're not doing the best you can for your staff. Evaluating your training will let you see what is working, and what perhaps needs looked at, so you can always make sure you are providing the best training possible.
We take a look at some simple ways you can measure the effectiveness of your training so you can make sure your staff are learning exactly what they need to be at all times.
The first step you may want to take when measuring the effectiveness of any training sessions is to get the students to evaluate it. You may think your training sessions are going quite well, but if your students aren't enjoying themselves, or connecting with the material, or the teacher, then chances are they won't be learning very much.
This can be quite simple to do, as you can either sit down with your employees after they've completed the training, or send out a survey to see what they thought of the training overall. Sometimes something as simple such as the length of the training sessions, or the time of day you have your training at, can effect how your employees feel about it, and therefore how much they learn. Once you know what the problems are, you can try your best to fix them to make sure your students have a good relationship with the training you have on offer.
Test Your Students
The simplest way to see if what you are teaching in your training sessions is working is to test your students to see if they have developed a greater knowledge of the topic or skills being taught to them. There are many ways to do this, so you'll want to pick the one that best applies to the skills or information they are being taught. Some examples could be taking a written test, writing an essay, performing a practical assessment, or performing a role playing exercise.
It may be a good idea to test your employees before they take the training too, so you really have something to compare the after training results to. This may not work in all cases, such as an instance where they're learning a completely new skill, they won't have any knowledge to test in the first place. However, if you're building on knowledge they already have, conducting a test beforehand may be a good idea, and it will show you where their knowledge has clearly been expanded upon.
You should have a clear idea of what each training session should be teaching your employees, so use this as a guide to see whether the training has been effective or not. If you test them afterwards and they still don't know a number of the things you expected them to, it may be worthwhile going back and looking at the training session, and seeing what areas could be improved to make sure you get the desired results.
One way you can see if your employees have picked up the new skills you need them to is to simply observe their work after they've completed the training. Employees may seem to have developed the new skills and knowledge you would expect them to have when you test them, but if they're not actually putting it to good use in the working day, then your training programme may not be very effective.
Make sure you spend a little time observing your employees and see if they are still demonstrating gaps in their knowledge, or whether they are actually applying what they learned to their work. This may be simply reviewing work they are submitting, or watching how they interact with customers, to see if their behaviour has changed at all or not. You may want to hold one-to-one sessions with your employees to see why they are not using the skills they have learned in their work, as there may be a whole new knowledge gap that presents itself that you didn't consider before. You will then be able to work this into your future training sessions which should hopefully make sure that employees can start using what they have been taught straight away.
Pass It On
A great way to judge how effective your training has been is to get your students to teach their newly acquired knowledge to someone else. This may be particularly effective with managers or team leaders passing on their knowledge to the rest of their team. Sometimes it's not appropriate for some employees to attend a whole training session, but it may be beneficial for their managers to pass on some of the skills and knowledge, so this can be a great change to test what those managers have learned.
If they aren't able to effectively pass on the knowledge they've been taught, then chances are your training sessions weren't as effective as they could have been. If you observe the passing on of knowledge, you should be able to identify which areas they feel confident enough in to successfully teach to others, as well as see the parts they may be struggling with. This will mean you can focus on tightening up these parts of the training sessions to make sure they are as successful as the rest of it.
There are many different reasons why your training may not be as effective as you would like it to be, so it's important to take some time to reflect on the training you have on offer periodically to help make sure that your staff are getting the quality of training that they should be. If you don't look for possible problems, you won't be able to identify the ones that you can fix, and your training won't be as beneficial as you want it to be.
Take a little extra time to evaluate the effectiveness of your training offering, and you can be confident your staff are on track to learning everything you need them to.