Training evaluation is defined as a systematic approach where data and information is gathered to ascertain the suitability and effectiveness of a training program. The evaluation process is beneficial as it can assess the usefulness of the process, help in overall working and boost employee engagement.
What is training evaluation?
Training evaluation is a method that helps to analyze whether the initiatives and training programs are efficient and whether they are aligned with the objectives, vision, and goals of an organization. It is a process that discovers opportunities and training gaps while employee training.
It is necessary to determine whether the involved participants were in accordance with the deliverables of the program. Did they learn something useful, apply those skills and knowledge in the workplace and were able to better their performance and efficiency is what the training evaluation process addresses.
The training evaluation process should not be occasional but a continued and consistent one. It is one of the best ways to determine the worth of training programs, specific tools, events, and activities. The results can help in making changes that will remove ineffectiveness and boost improvements.
Types of training evaluation
The different types of training evaluation program are-
- Formative evaluation – This type of training evaluation offers feedback to the developer and designer of the program so that they can know whether the course meets the requirements of its target audience.
- Process evaluation– This type of training evaluation deals in information related to events occurred during training. It is about imparting and receiving feedback verbally.
- Outcome evaluation – This type of training evaluation determines whether results were achieved after applying new skills and know-how.
- Impact evaluation – This type of training evaluation deals with the impact of the training on the strategic goals of a company.
Training evaluation methods
Evaluation methods are conducted to know where the objectives were met and the impact of training on performance levels. There are two types of training evaluation methods
- Focus groups
- Case studies
The quantitative method
Need for training evaluation methods
The need for training evaluation methods are-
1. Participant reaction and satisfaction
The trainer takes the help of the survey at the end to measure the success rate of the training program and reactions of the participants. It includes questions about the trainees like did they enjoy the program, did they like the trainer and his method and would they accept the chance of working with the trainer again in the future.
2. Acquisition of knowledge
This method helps the firm to understand the level of knowledge acquisition in the participants. It is a fact that when the trainee knows that he will be tested at the end of the program he has a vested interest and works doubly hard during the course.
The valid examination helps to determine the extent of learning and highlight areas that need further improvement. The trainee has to take part in an exam after completing the training and his grades are then checked by the instructor, who shares the results with other participants and the training manager.
One of the reasons for doing so is to know about any gaps in the acquired know-how so that they can be addressed effectively.
3. Behavioral application
One of the needs of training evaluation methods is to know about the behavioral application. It deals with monitoring the changing behavior as the employee applies acquired skills and know-how in the tasks at his workplace.
The behavioral application method of training evaluation demonstrates which participant is applying his knowledge and also about how, where and for what purpose he is doing so.
4. Business improvement
An organization organizes training programs for its employees to improve the overall efficiency and productivity of their company. The training evaluation method can assess the success level by comparing and determining the improvements that have taken place.
The training evaluation deals with the training in terms of returns like financial gains and business improvements and costs like time used for training, staff wages, facility fee, and course fee.
The purpose of training evaluation is-
- Improve the quality of the program for the development and growth of an employee
- Justify the role and need for training
- Assess the suitability of overall training program
- Determine the competency of the trainer
- Assess the quality of the training program
- Pinpoint gaps in the program
- Determine whether the program has achieved its target
- The offer information on improving future training programs
The numerous advantages of the training evaluation process are
1. Measuring the reaction of the participant
The training program is undertaken for the participants and the evaluation process helps to know whether the trainee enjoyed the session, learned something from it, considers it a proper use of time and ultimately benefitted by using it effectively in the workplace.
Training evaluation helps to know about the deliverables and competency gaps thus increasing accountability
3. Measures learning
The purpose of a training program is learning something new. Training evaluation determines whether the participant is able to gain further knowledge and improve his skills
4. Employee engagement and satisfaction
The training evaluation helps to know whether the participants were fully engaged in the program and whether it helped them in doing their jobs properly. It determines whether it was able to improve their engagement and boost satisfaction.
5. Measures effectiveness of training
The training evaluation takes the help of surveys to know about the application of gained knowledge and changes that are occurring in the workplace. This helps in determining and measuring the effectiveness of a training program
6. Impact on business
Training evaluation addresses issues like non-compliance, turnover, and complaints to know about an overall improvement in engagement, morale, and productivity of employees in an organization.
7. Measuring ROI
The training evaluation process helps to measure ROI by measuring changes in terms of results and productivity in comparison with the implementation cost.
Training evaluation offers feedback about the training process. It assesses the level of work and tells about the loopholes and changes it needs to overcome ineffectiveness.
The disadvantages of the training evaluation process are-
- It is time-consuming and expensive
- It is difficult to analyze subjective perspectives
- Lack of definite action as it is a continuous process
5 Stages of training evaluation
The stages of training evaluation process depending upon the external and internal factors are described as follows-
1. Describing the outputs
The first stage of training evaluation is describing objectives or descriptive data to the participants interested in taking the course.
2. Pre-training assessment
The second stage involves sharing previous experiences of participants with the current batch. It includes information about their achievements after going through the training program. It helps to know about expected outputs, syllabus and learning needs of current participants.
3. Post-assessment reaction
The next stage of training evaluation is about the participant’s reaction towards the training program and is dependent upon lots of factors like methods of teaching, formats used for teaching, the environment and satisfaction towards the program.
4. Post-assessment learning
This stage of training evaluation is about self-assessment. It determines the skills and knowledge that has been gained, is it being applied and overall effects during and after application of those skills and know-how.
One of the most important stages of training evaluation is the final step that includes an assessment at regular intervals. This makes sure that the training program is showing expected results without any hassles or interruptions.