By Sue Wigston on September 13, 2016
An important factor to consider when selecting a corporate training event is the impact it is likely to have on the organization. You want your investment to deliver as much value as possible, but how do you know if it is working? The answer is through training measurement.
Training measurement can be deployed in a number of ways, including surveys, quizzes, and feedback requests. However, in the modern world, the most efficient and effective training measurement is digital. Most individuals are comfortable with digital platforms, and you get the benefits of real-time data collection and fast reporting.
Why Use Digital Training Measurement
In addition to getting a better understanding of your ROI, there are a number of reasons to use digital training measurement after a learning event:
- Tracking behavior change – The primary objective of most training initiatives is to change behaviors across the organization. Tracking your progress will tell you which areas need additional focus and which behaviors have become ingrained.
- Improving knowledge retention – Training measurement in combination with a retention strategy will help combat learning decay so individuals retain more information for longer.
- Promoting application – The act of measuring results prompts individuals to apply their new skills in the real world. When they know outcomes are being monitored (and the training is relevant to their jobs), they are more inclined to use what they know to produce the most impact.
When to Use Digital Training Measurement
You can use training measurement after almost any type of learning event. In fact, once you have a system in place, it makes sense to continually build on it by adding new elements after subsequent training sessions. You can use digital training measurement for as long as you’d like after an event, but given that the ultimate goal is permanent behavior change, you should be able to phase it out after a few months. The best part is training measurement will tell you when it’s time to stop. When you start consistently seeing the desired results, you can stop measuring them.
Different Types of Training Measurement
Digital training measurement platforms are not the only solution; there are other options you can incorporate into your measurement and reinforcement strategy. The most important consideration is that whatever system you choose, it must have three important components that can be tailored to your training event:
- Objectives – What goal are you trying to achieve through training?
- Reinforcement activities – What are the activities that will reinforce what participants learned?
- Analytics – What data do you need to see in order to measure progress?
The types of reinforcement activities and tools available include:
- Email reminders
- Knowledge tests
- Group discussions
Tips for Training Measurement
As you develop your measurement and retention strategy, create a timeline that covers three months after a training event and include different types of activities at various points along the way. As time progresses, pay attention to how many individuals participate and the results of each activity. Gather the appropriate data about the behavior changes you are trying to achieve, and use the data to take action if you are not getting the desired results. When you achieve consistent behavior change, you not only have the intended impact, but you can also calculate your training ROI and move on to the next training activity.
You can’t change what you don’t know. Training measurement gives you the information you need to ensure that your training dollars have the most impact on the organization.
Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.