What is Effective Training and How Should Training Effectiveness Be Measured?

Effective training is meant to be engaging and drive towards organisation goals

Effective training starts with clear goals and useful content, taught in an interesting way by good trainers. Participants need chances to practice and get feedback.

Continued support helps them remember and use what they learn. Measuring outcomes shows how well the training worked.

In the previous post, we discussed what compliance training is about and types of compliance training.

This post looks at measuring training effectiveness or impact using both quantitative and qualititative measures. This can help trainers learn how to improve their training and create better content for the trainee.

Table of contents [click to view]

What is effective training?

Effective training starts with clear goals: what should participants know and do by the end? Useful content that addresses real-world problems prepares learners for success.

Effective training which focuses on creating and delivering a training that meets learning goals and keeps participants engaged. Meanwhile, training effectiveness is about checking the results and impact of the training to see if it met its goals and provided value to the organisation.

Interesting methods like lectures, activities, and videos keep them engaged. Skilled trainers who are knowledgeable and engaging improve the experience.

Hands-on practice helps participants use their new skills in real situations. Regular tests and feedback keep learning going.

After training, resources or coaching help apply what they learned. Lastly, checking results with surveys and performance reviews shows the training’s impact.

Benefits of Effective Training

1. Better Performance:

  • Employees do their jobs well, leading to higher productivity and quality work.

2. More Job Satisfaction:

  • Training shows the organisation cares about employee growth, boosting morale and job satisfaction.

3. Less Turnover:

  • Trained employees are more likely to stay, saving on hiring and training new staff.

4. Better Company Reputation:

  • Organisations that invest in employee development attract and keep top talent.

Effective training is key for personal and organisational growth. Well-designed, relevant, and engaging training courses lead to better employee performance and overall success.

How to measure training effectiveness?

Measuring training effectiveness is crucial to ensure that your training programs are actually working and providing value.

Here are steps to follow on how to measure training effectiveness:

  1. Set clear goals

Before you start, decide what you want your training to achieve. For example:

  • Reduce workplace accidents by 20%
  • Improve data protection practices
  • Increase reporting of potential compliance issues
  1. Use pre and post-training tests
  • Give a test before the training to see what people already know
  • Give the same (or similar) test after the training
  • Compare the results to see how much people have learned

For instance, if scores improve from an average of 60% to 90%, that’s a good sign your training is working.

  1. Check completion rates
  • Look at how many people finish the training
  • Low completion rates might mean the training is too long or boring
  1. Gather feedback
  • Ask participants what they thought of the training
  • Use surveys with questions like:
    • Was the training easy to understand?
    • Do you feel more confident about compliance now?
    • What could we improve?
  1. Monitor behaviour changes
  • Watch how people act after the training
  • Are they doing things differently?
  • For example, are more people wearing safety gear or reporting concerns?
  1. Track relevant metrics
  • Look at numbers that relate to your goals
  • For example:
    • Number of data breaches before and after training
    • Number of workplace accidents
    • How often people ask for help with compliance issues
  1. Conduct follow-up assessments
  • Test people again a few months after the training
  • This helps check if they’ve remembered what they learned
  1. Use real-world scenarios
  • Give people practical situations to solve
  • See if they can apply what they’ve learned to real problems
  1. Check compliance records
  • Look at how many compliance violations happen before and after training
  • Fewer violations could mean your training is working
  1. Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Compare the cost of training to the benefits it brings
  • For example, if you spend £10,000 on training and it saves £50,000 in potential fines, that’s a good ROI

Remember, measuring effectiveness isn’t just about ticking boxes. It’s about making sure your training is actually helping people do their jobs better and keeping your organisation safe.

A tip from the experts: The UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests using a mix of these methods for the best results. They say, “No single method will give you the full picture.”

By measuring your compliance training effectiveness, you can:

  • Prove the value of your training programs
  • Find ways to make your training better
  • Show regulators that you’re serious about compliance

So, don’t just train and forget. Measure, improve, and keep your compliance training as effective as possible!

How do you measure training effectiveness in KPI?

KPIs are your training’s scorecard. Track completion rates, pass rates, and knowledge gain to ensure learning.

Measure satisfaction and behavior change to see if skills are applied. Target error reduction and positive ROI to maximize impact.

Choose KPIs that align with your specific training goals.

By using these KPIs, you can:

  • See if your training is working
  • Spot areas for improvement
  • Show the value of training to management

For instance, a UK retail company used these KPIs to measure their customer service training. They saw a 40% reduction in customer complaints and a 15% increase in sales, clearly showing the training’s effectiveness.

Measuring Training Effectiveness with KPIs:

KPIs are like scorecards that help you see if your training is working. Here are some key ones you can use:

  1. Completion Rate
    • What it is: Percentage of people who finish the training
    • How to calculate: (Number of completions ÷ Total participants) × 100
    • Example: If 90 out of 100 people finish, that’s a 90% completion rate
    • Good target: Aim for at least 80-90% completion
  2. Pass Rate
    • What it is: Percentage of people who pass the training assessment
    • How to calculate: (Number who passed ÷ Total who took the test) × 100
    • Example: If 85 out of 100 people pass, that’s an 85% pass rate
    • Good target: Aim for at least 80% pass rate
  3. Knowledge Improvement
    • What it is: How much people’s knowledge increases after training
    • How to calculate: (Post-training score – Pre-training score) ÷ Pre-training score × 100
    • Example: If average scores go from 60% to 90%, that’s a 50% improvement
    • Good target: Aim for at least a 20-30% improvement
  4. Learner Satisfaction
    • What it is: How happy people are with the training
    • How to measure: Use surveys with a rating scale (e.g., 1-5 stars)
    • Example: Average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars
    • Good target: Aim for at least 4 out of 5 stars
  5. Behaviour Change
    • What it is: How often people use new skills on the job
    • How to measure: Manager observations or self-reporting
    • Example: 70% of managers report staff using new skills regularly
    • Good target: Aim for at least 60-70% positive behaviour change
  6. Error Reduction
    • What it is: Decrease in mistakes related to the training topic
    • How to calculate: (Old error rate – New error rate) ÷ Old error rate × 100
    • Example: If errors drop from 10% to 5%, that’s a 50% reduction
    • Good target: Aim for at least a 30% reduction in errors
  7. Return on Investment (ROI)
    • What it is: Financial benefit compared to training cost
    • How to calculate: (Benefits – Costs) ÷ Costs × 100
    • Example: If you spend £10,000 on training and save £15,000, ROI is 50%
    • Good target: Aim for a positive ROI, ideally 25% or more
  8. Time to Competency
    • What it is: How quickly people can do tasks correctly after training
    • How to measure: Track time taken to complete tasks successfully
    • Example: New hires reach full competency 2 weeks faster after training
    • Good target: Aim for at least a 20% reduction in time to competency

Remember, you don’t need to use all these KPIs for every training program. Pick the ones that best match your training goals.

The 4 Ways to Measure Training Effectiveness:

  1. Reaction
    • What it is: How trainees feel about the training
    • How to measure: Surveys, feedback forms, or discussions after training
    • Example questions:
      • Did you enjoy the training?
      • Was the content relevant to your job?
      • How would you rate the trainer?
  2. Learning
    • What it is: What knowledge or skills trainees gained
    • How to measure: Tests, quizzes, or practical demonstrations
    • Example:
      • A before-and-after test to see how much people’s knowledge improved
      • Role-play exercises to show new skills learned
  3. Behaviour
    • What it is: How trainees apply what they learned on the job
    • How to measure: Observations, manager feedback, or performance reviews
    • Example:
      • Watching if staff use new safety procedures correctly
      • Checking if managers use newly learned communication techniques
  4. Results
    • What it is: The impact of the training on the organisation
    • How to measure: Business metrics, productivity data, or compliance records
    • Example:
      • Fewer accidents after health and safety training
      • Increased sales after customer service training

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