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How to Measure Training Effectiveness: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Shahan Zafar
A team of employees evaluating the effectiveness of their training programs

You might have heard from multiple sources that organizational training is valuable for your organization. Whether it’s marketing, sales, operations, administration, finance or any other department. All of your organization’s departments are likely to benefit from training and development programs.

According to a survey by LinkedIn Learning on 1,260 L&D professionals, 64% of them believe that learning and development has shifted from “nice to have” to “need to have” in 2021.

Measuring the effectiveness of your training programs is as important as creating them. But when we talk about effectiveness, you might have an important question in mind. If there are multiple statistics out there to prove the value of employee training, then why should one measure its effectiveness in the first place?

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Why Measure Training Effectiveness?

It’s important to measure the effectiveness of your training programs to understand how such programs impact your overall business objectives. If you know the effectiveness of your training programs, then and only then you can improve these programs to maximize their impact.

For example, if you are conducting product knowledge training for your sales team, and you later find out that these have had no impact on your sales. You now know that something’s wrong and can take corrective actions to improve this training program.

An employees discussing with her co-worker

Here are 4 reasons why measuring training effectiveness is important:

1) Training May Work for Others but Not for You

If you find yourself investing time and money in training but see no results, chances are that training is not working for you. You might need to solve other problems. For example, if your customer service training is having no impact on customer satisfaction, then maybe the issue lies somewhere else; probably in software bugs.

2) Are You Sure That You Are Delivering the Right Training?

There are numerous ways in which you can deliver training to your employees. Consider the case of training customer service representatives. Reflective listening? Product demonstrations? Or any other customer service training idea? How do you know which one works best for you? The answer lies in measuring results, where you can experiment different types and see which ones have the greatest impact.

3) Are Your Employees Spending the Right Amount of Time on Training?

Are your employees spending inadequate time on training, or are they spending too much time? You can get these answers only if you are effectively measuring time spent on training and comparing it with business results.

4) It Helps You Prioritize

You can prioritize resources depending on your results. For instance, if you’re seeing positive outcomes from your training efforts, you can increase your budget for these trainings and further improve them.

The 4th Level on The Kirkpatrick Model for Training Evaluation – Results. By Measuring the Results From Your Training Efforts – You Can Find Out Whether Training is Fruitful for You or Not!

 

The Steps to Measure Training Effectiveness

According to a survey by Udemy Business on 500 professionals in 2020, it was found that 38% struggle to measure the ROI of their training programs.

Conducting complex experiments would be great! But doing so requires time and expertise. Here’s a much simpler step-by-step process that you can implement along with a few basic tools to help you. It can be implemented by small organizations or even by larger ones.

To help you better understand, we have also included an example at every step, for measuring the effectiveness of retail training.

How to Measure Effectiveness of Training Infographic

 

Step 1: Choose What to Measure

The first step is to identify variables to measure. You need to list both metrics for measuring your training efforts and metrics for measuring the impact as well.

Measuring your training efforts: you need to list ways in which you’ll measure your training efforts, which could be the amount of time or money spent on training, number of hours of training videos watched, number of employees trained, etc.

Measuring the impact: You need to list what matters to you and why you are conducting training in the first place. It’s important to list measurable objectives as opposed to broad goals. These objectives, however, will come from your goals. Do read more on goals vs. objectives.

Examples of Metrics to Measure for Training

Example: if your organization is trying to determine the effectiveness of training retail staff at your fashion store, your metrics to measure training efforts will include the total hours of training watched, number of course videos completed, and the total number of employees trained. As your goals are to improve customer satisfaction and sales, you’ll list a sales objective such as revenue and customer satisfaction score (CSAT).

Step 2: Create Groups for Experimenting

The next step involves creating at least two groups, one of which is provided with training and the other is not. This is commonly known as A/B testing and it can help you in comparing the impact with or without training.

It’s important to note that you need to compare across one set of variables as it makes it easier to compare. This means including one variable for measuring training and one variable for measuring its impact. There are other important considerations, and you can read more here on how to do a A/B testing.

You provide one experiment group with no or limited training and this is called the control group. You provide a greater amount of training to the other group, which is called the challenger. This will help produce results that can be compared.

Too overwhelming? Let’s continue with our retail sales example to clarify it further.

Example: You provide one set of employees at one retail store with 0 hours of training. You then provide another set of employees at another retail store with x hours of training. We’d recommend picking stores that have had similar sales in the recent few months. This helps factor out any other variable that might be affecting your results.

Step 3: Collect Data

This step involves collecting data as accurately as possible. You can collect data manually, but if you’re doing this on a large scale and on a continuous basis, then we’d recommend using the right tools to deliver your training from. We’ll be discussing what I mean by this later in the blog.

Collecting data for the amount of training delivered is easy due to reporting capabilities offered by various training tools.

You can use an LMS such as Moodle, Blackboard etc. to deliver your training. These provide reports on course completions, number of hours spent on training, number of employees enrolled in a course and more.

Or you can use a video training platform such as Vimeo or YouTube to deliver training. Or you can also use private internal video platforms (also referred to as a Corporate YouTube) to deliver these videos. One such example of a corporate YouTube is VIDIZMO. These platforms are great as they provide you with metrics such as hours of videos watched, number of views, video completions and more.

Let’s continue with our example to show you what we mean.

Example: to record data for retail sales training, you can upload and privately share training videos with the challenger group through your private video platform like VIDIZMO. VIDIZMO provides you with the total watch time for your videos, which you can note. You can then note sales data for the products that you delivered training on through your POS system.

Step 4: Compare Results

The last step is to plot your data on charts and compare results across your control and challenger groups.

You can plot a simple bar chart to compare the control store with the challenger store like the one shown below.

Simple Bar Chart to Show Results

Or if you conduct multiple experiments, then you can plot a trend line to see the impact of hours of training on your retail sales.

 Measure Training Effectiveness Plot

 

Conclusion

The 4-step process mentioned above is a simple representation and gives a theoretical overview of the process. You define variables, create groups, collect data and compare!

You can start by implementing such a simple process or you can go one step ahead and scale your analysis. You can continuously collect data on the various metrics listed in step 1 and view results through means of dashboards. As we mentioned previously, it’s important to use the right tools to collect your data as it helps you scale up your analysis.

Deliver training through modern learning management systems, video platforms or content management systems. Collect results from various POS systems, survey tools or your CRM. Choose systems like VIDIZMO that allow you to export data and connect it with dashboarding tools.

If your organization is already measuring training effectiveness, please feel free to share your approach in the comments section below.

If you are looking to implement a YouTube-like platform for training through means of video, feel free to visit our website to learn more or explore our platform using our free trial.

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Posted by Shahan Zafar

Shahan is the Product Marketing Manager at VIDIZMO - An expert in video streaming, sharing and management platforms. Shahan is actively involved in researching and consolidating information regarding innovative features, customer challenges and emerging trends in this domain. You can email at shahan.zafar@vidizmo.com for any queries.

Tags: video analytics, video training and learning platform

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