After we have completed the training, we want to make sure our training objectives were met. One model to measure effectiveness of training is the Kirkpatrick model, 1developed in the 1950s. His model has four levels:
- Reaction: How did the participants react to the training program?
- Learning: To what extent did participants improve knowledge and skills?
- Behavior: Did behavior change as a result of the training?
- Results: What benefits to the organization resulted from the training?
Each of Kirkpatrick’s levels can be assessed using a variety of methods. We will discuss those next.
Review the performance of the employees who received the training, and if possible review the performance of those who did not receive the training. For example, in your orientation training, if one of the learning objectives was to be able to request time off using the company intranet, and several employees who attended the training come back and ask for clarification on how to perform this task, it may mean the training didn’t work as well as you might have thought. In this case, it is important to go back and review the learning objectives and content of your training to ensure it can be more effective in the future.
Many trainers also ask people to take informal, anonymous surveys after the training to gauge the training. These types of surveys can be developed quickly and easily through websites such as Survey Monkey. Another option is to require a quiz at the end of the training to see how well the employees understand what you were trying to teach them. The quiz should be developed based on the learning objective you set for the training. For example, if a learning objective was to be able to follow OSHA standards, then a quiz might be developed specifically related to those standards. There are a number of online tools, some free, to develop quizzes and send them to people attending your training. For example, Wondershare Quiz Creator 2 offers a free trial and enables the manager to track who took the quiz and how well they did. Once developed by the trainer, the quiz can be e-mailed to each participant and the manager can see how each trainee did on the final quiz. After you see how participants do on the quiz, you can modify the training for next time to highlight areas where participants needed improvement.
It can be easy to forget about this step in the training process because usually we are so involved with the next task: we forget to ask questions about how something went and then take steps to improve it.
One way to improve effectiveness of a training program is to offer rewards when employees meet training goals. For example, if budget allows, a person might receive a pay increase or other reward for each level of training completed.
Once the training framework has been developed, the training content can be developed. The training plan serves as a starting point for training development.