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Measuring Results From Training
In order to effectively evaluate each level of training, you will need a variety of tools. In this post, we will learn about some different types of measurement tools that can help you effectively evaluate results.
Individual goal setting is an excellent way to measure behavior and results. Trainees should set goals during the workshop and then evaluate their progress at pre-determined intervals afterwards.
In order for goals to be effective, make sure they follow the SMART acronym:
- Specific: Success coach Jack Canfield states in his book The Success Principles that, “Vague goals produce vague results.” In order for you to achieve a goal, you must be very clear about what exactly you want. Often creating a list of benefits that the accomplishment of your goal will bring to your life, it will give your mind a compelling reason to pursue that goal.
- Measurable: It’s crucial for goal achievement that you are able to track your progress towards your goal. That’s why all goals need some form of objective measuring system so you can stay on track and become motivated when you enjoy the sweet taste of quantifiable progress.
- Achievable: Setting big goals is great, but setting unrealistic goals will just de-motivate you. A good goal is one that challenges, but is not so unrealistic that you have virtually no chance of accomplishing it.
- Relevant: Before you even set goals, it’s a good idea to sit down and define your core values and your life purpose because it’s these tools which ultimately decide how and what goals you choose for your life. Goals, in and of themselves, do not provide any happiness. Goals that are in harmony with your life purpose do have the power to make you happy.
- Timed: Without setting deadlines for your goals, you have no real compelling reason or motivation to start working on them. By setting a deadline, your subconscious mind begins to work on that goal, night and day, to bring you closer to achievement.
Self-evaluations are effective at the first three levels of evaluation, and can be effective at the fourth level depending on the topic. Common types of self-evaluations include:
- Pre-workshop and post-workshop tests to assess learning
- Reactionary questionnaires
- Personal assessment quizzes
- Self-reporting metric systems
When measuring reactionary feedback, open-ended questions such as, “How did you feel about the training?” are fine. However, you should also include scale-based questions so that you can evaluate the group as a whole and evaluate the individual on an objective basis. When measuring learning, behavior, and results, questions that are objective and closed or scale-based are necessary for accurate assessment.
Peer reviews are an excellent tool for measuring behavioral changes. However, you must ensure that the assessment system is well designed to prevent bias.
One excellent tool is 360 degree feedback. This system is designed to gather feedback from all of the people around an employee – their co-workers, subordinates, superiors, clients, etc. There are many resources available that can help you design a good 360 degree feedback system. If the topic that you are training on has high value, it can be worthwhile to take the time to develop a peer review system to accurately measure behavioral changes.
Supervisor evaluations are an important part of evaluating behavior changes and assessing results. Like peer reviews, a behavioral evaluation system should be set up before the training. It should be ratings-based and include closed questions to help the supervisor stay objective. When asking supervisors to measure results, those results should tie in with the employee’s regular metrics whenever possible. This achieves two things: it ensures that the measurements are relevant to the employee’s day-to-day duties, and it minimizes the amount of extra work that the supervisor has to do. (Often, if measuring training causes more work for supervisors, they will often avoid completing the evaluation, or spend minimal time doing so.)
Two notes of caution about supervisor evaluations:
- The employee must know which metrics will be evaluated after the training.
- Like peer evaluation, supervisor evaluation can be biased. Develop your metrics accordingly.
Depending on the scenario, you may want to ask high-level executives in the organisation to complete an evaluation. This will typically reflect behavioural changes and or measurable results. They will be particularly effective at helping you determine if your training was effective for the entire group. Make sure that these types of evaluations are necessary, focused, and short.
As well, although company executives are typically not involved in the nuts and bolts of training, they may want to see a high level evaluation report, particularly if the training was expensive, required by law, or was expected to have a high impact.
When you are planning the training, make sure to gather expectations from these key stakeholders, including timelines for results and the level of detail desired. Then, use this framework to build a results report tailored to their needs. The report will typically reflect behavioural changes and or measurable results.